Doctors spend years in school preparing for their careers, never looking back once they start practicing medicine. But for James Cox, DO, combining his passion for his profession with his love of sports led him right back to school for a fulfilling "extracurricular" endeavor.
Cox, an experienced orthopedic surgeon with CAMC Physicians Group Teays Valley Orthopedics, serves as the team physician for West Virginia State University (WVSU) sports, a position he has enjoyed for nearly a decade.
"I love sports, and I love orthopedic surgery," Cox said. "I really enjoy working with athletes and getting them back into their sport."
Cox covers a variety of team sports for WVSU: football, basketball, women's volleyball and women's softball, to name a few.
Balancing time between surgery, seeing patients at his practice and being available for college sports takes a little extra planning.
"I try to be there for most of the games," Cox said. "You just have to carve out time for that."
The reward for Cox is seeing an athlete excel after an injury.
"Athletes are some of the most motivated patients to get well," Cox said. "They tend to follow instructions and are usually very aggressive in their rehabilitation. I enjoy that working relationship."
Cox also helps coordinate and staff a free sports physicals clinic each June for area middle and high school students. The clinic, sponsored by his practice and Teays Valley Hospital, helps younger athletes prepare for fall sports.
"Overall, I think sports medicine is just a good avenue for an orthopedic surgeon like me to stay in touch with the sports world, and to help kids keep enjoying doing what they are doing," Cox said. "Young athletes work long and hard to get where they are, and to be setback by an injury through no fault of their own can be troubling. It's rewarding to help them get back on track again."