MaMayo Clinic experts available to discuss health issues and concerns related to Olympic Games

Mayo Clinic's medical experts are sources of in-depth expertise and commentary about health issues and background related to the Olympic Games and Olympians. Below is a sampling of Mayo Clinic experts available to discuss numerous topics related to the Olympic Games, including concussions, performance enhancing drugs, sports psychology, joint injuries, etc. Mayo has satellite capability for broadcast requests.

Michael Stuart, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, can discuss arthroscopy, knee ligament reconstruction and partial knee replacement. He also has presented nationally on doping issues. Dr. Stuart is one of the team physicians for the United States men's ice hockey team, and will be at the Olympic Games.

Michael Joyner, M.D., is an anesthesiologist and specialist in exercise science, with special interest in track and field. He says that athletes' performances continue to improve not necessarily because of genetics but because of training harder and longer, improved medical care and the fact that world-class athletes from more countries now participate. Dr. Joyner is an expert on the older athlete and can address relationships of environment on training. He also is an authority on doping.

Jonathan Finnoff, D.O., is an expert in strength and stability training. He can discuss rehabilitation of ankle, shoulder, knee, back and other musculoskeletal injuries. Dr. Finnoff is one of the team physicians for the United States Ski Team, working predominantly with the cross-country and Nordic combined athletes. He is also an expert on doping issues.

Aynsley Smith, Ph.D., is a sport psychology specialist who can discuss depression and its relationship to poor athletic performance and how psychological factors affect an athlete's success. She can discuss pressures on athletes to do well -- from coaches, parents, peers and sponsors. Dr. Smith has insight into doping issues, is a national expert on "yips" -- the phenomenon where a person experiences a jerk or tremor in high-pressure situations causing the athlete to fail -- and is coordinating sports-related concussion research.

Mary O'Connor, M.D., is chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. She was a member of the Olympic rowing team in 1980 when the U.S. boycotted the games. Dr. O'Connor was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for being a team member. She specializes in hip and knee replacement and in women's health and can talk about any aspect of bone damage and treatment.

Richard Berger, M.D., Ph.D., is an expert on the biomechanics and nerves of the hand and wrist, from bones and ligaments to injury and repair. Dr. Berger is the chair of Hand Surgery at Mayo Clinic Rochester and has been featured recently for his work with Major League Baseball player Jason Werth.

Diane Dahm, M.D., specializes in bone mineral density and the knee in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-injured patients. She can talk about ACL reconstruction in teens and sports-related activity following knee arthroplasty and shoulder trauma. She has served as an Olympic and professional sports team physician.

Michael Jensen, M.D., is an endocrinologist who can discuss how the body burns energy and how the metabolic system affects weight gain or loss and body shape.

Edward Laskowski, M.D., is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. His specialty areas include sports medicine, fitness, and strength and stability training. Dr. Laskowski is the fitness editor for, and he has served on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and on the medical staff of the Chicago Marathon. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he served on the medical staff at the Olympic Polyclinic in the Olympic Village.

Jay Smith, M.D., specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation and can speak about shoulder and knee injuries and biomechanics. He is one of the team trainers for the Minnesota Twins spring training beginning in February.

Daniel Drubach, M.D., is a neurologist with expertise in traumatic brain injury and concussion. He can discuss common treatments, as well as the impact of these types of injuries on behavior, memory and cognition.

Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., is a specialist in cardiopulmonary research, specifically how the body reacts to exercise at high altitudes. He has special medical insight on the stress of competing in different geographic environments.

Nisha Charkoudian, Ph.D., is a physiologist whose expertise on the human body and its functions includes special knowledge of how the body regulates its temperature and blood pressure during exercise, dehydration and exposure to heat and cold.


Mayo Clinic


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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