Metro Health Sports Medicine Physician Works with USA Figure Skating
Dr. Caroline Beall is a family practice and sports medicine physician at Metro Health Allendale. While she treats athletes of all sports, she has been involved with USA Figure Skating and accompanied the skaters as a team physician to international competitions. In August 2015, she traveled with the team to Slovakia for the Junior Grand Prix Bratislava and in February 2013, journeyed to Rouen for the French Cup, which is a synchronized skating competition.
Dr. Beall herself was a figure skater when she was younger, starting at age five and continuing into college, where she was also active in other sports.
“My main goal was to have fun, and I enjoyed every minute of being on the ice,” she says.
Having an opportunity to work with the USA Figure Skating team has been an experience that Dr. Beall has been able to carry over into her role at Metro Health as a sports medicine physician.
“I enjoy caring for all athletes,” she explains. “But my experience with USA Figure Staking gives me exposure to taking care of elite athletes at an international level. I think this type of high level exposure better prepares me for the local teams I cover – Grand Valley and the Griffins – because they are playing at high levels, too.”
Dr. Beall’s time both as a figure skater and as a team physician with USA Figure Skating has taught her a variety of lessons that she is able incorporate into her practice at Metro Health.
“I learned attention to detail, perseverance, and focusing on goals through my years in figure skating,” Dr. Beall says. “As a team physician, I have learned that my personal experience as a figure skater is invaluable. I can understand, on a deeper level, what the athlete is experiencing as they describe the injury.”
As important it is to understand how to treat the athlete’s physical injuries, Dr. Beall’s experiences have also helped her understand how injuries affect skaters’ emotions, focus and concentration in competition.
“This translates into better care for all athletes I treat, because all athletes are affected physically, mentally and emotionally by injuries,” she explains.