The Cleveland Indians might not have won the World Series this year, but Jason A. Genin, DO, will always treasure being in the locker room during the champagne celebration when the team captured the American League pennant for the first time since 1997.
“I’ll never forget the absolute joy and sense of accomplishment when we won the American League championship. Just to see the pure effort everyone had to put forth to make it to the World Series was so rewarding,” says Dr. Genin, who serves as the team’s medical orthopedist.
The DO touched base with Dr. Genin to learn how he uses his sports medicine training to treat the best players in the American League. Following is an edited Q&A.
How did you become involved with the Cleveland Indians’ medical team?
I was recognized for my work with the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health clinic, where I practice medical orthopedic and regenerative medicine. The team’s staff brought me on for my whole-person approach to patient care. Four years ago, I became the only DO member of the Indians’ broad medical team.
What does your role with the team entail?
I cover the home games, where I take care of players on both the home and away teams. I provide the players with any medical and orthopedic procedures they need. We’re always looking into treatment advancements to help the players improve function and maintain good health.
Were you involved with treating the players during the World Series?
I was there for every game of the MLB playoffs, including the World Series, treating various musculoskeletal issues. I also provided osteopathic manipulative treatment when needed. Most athletes are used to hands-on treatment and are grateful to receive it.
The medical team doesn’t often go to the dugout, but we were in the locker room. You really appreciate the players as patients and as people. It was great to see the success of the Indians this year. To be a part of that success is a great honor.
What’s the biggest challenge of treating players on such a high-profile team?
It’s incredibly challenging to determine the best thing for an athlete when he’s injured. You typically have limited time to decide whether he can continue to play in the game and what his best medical treatment would be.
What advice would you give to medical students who want to pursue sports medicine?
Consider shadowing a sports medicine physician. If you like the type of work they do, you can gain experience working with local high school and college teams.
Although the Chicago Cubs ended up being the team to end a World Series drought, are you optimistic about the Cleveland Indians having another run in the series next year?
I think we’ll have a bright future. The Indians have a lot of young, talented players who will be competing for years to come.