Last Updated: Oct 26, 2023
Ravi Ved, DO wasn’t sure where his journey through medicine would take him. He practiced internal medicine during his rotations and ruled out the operating room. It wasn’t until his wife was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis while she was training for a marathon, that he wanted to focus his specialty on joints. Researching between both rheumatology and sports medicine, he ended up liking the latter.
“I liked the lifestyle and patient satisfaction with sports medicine. The patients are more motivated in their health and to get back to their activities.”
Growing up in Harrisburg he did his ungraduated studies at the University of Pittsburgh where he now practices as an internal medicine and primary care doctor at Allegheny Health Network, specializing in sports medicine.
In addition to seeing patients in the office, he has extensive experience working with athletes of all sports and sports levels, from high school level to Olympic athletes. He is the current Director of Internal Medicine with the Pittsburgh Pirates and has also worked with the USA Rugby team.
“My first week as an attending I covered the World Cup for Rugby in San Francisco,” he said. “We ended up having to spine board a player in front of 50,000 fans and take him off the field.”
Dr. Ved said he did that before he even saw a patient in the regular doctor’s office.
“It was great, in a way, because that’s what we practice; being able to respond when all eyes are on you.”
Now, he teaches medical education to the USA Rugby medical staff, including CRP courses and how to respond to injuries on the field.
Dr. Ved said, “If a player goes down on the pitch, we teach how to approach them because in rugby the play doesn’t stop. So, there could be a player injured on the field and the game keeps going.”
In addition to rugby and high school sports, he is also the Director of Internal Medicine for the Pittsburgh Pirates. There he is part of a team of 4 doctors rotating between primary medicine and orthopedic surgeons.
“We get calls if there are any medical issues with the players. Even if a player has a cold, they’ll send them to us for evaluation.”
With the Pirates, Dr. Ved even rotates weeks in Florida during spring training and does the official player physicals for their draft records.
“It’s a really great experience. I get access to the games with myself and my fellows, and even can bring my family with me to spring training,” he said.
Between the coverage of all those different sports, Dr. Ved said he sees all types of injuries.
“We see all injuries from head to toe,” he said. “Sprains in the shoulder, ankles or rotator cuff injuries, we’ve seen them all. We use X-ray machines and ultrasounds to help evaluate any injury we see,” he said.
In the last year, he said they have seen around 5,000 concussions.
“They’re a huge part of what we do.”
In his position, he works closely with the athletic trainers of these teams who will inspect the injuries and send them to the team doctor if further evaluation is needed.
Dr. Ved said, “If there is concern about a concussion, we can do a neurocognitive screening.”
“When we see a player get diagnosed with a concussion, we can talk about supplements or brain rest. We’ve done research on concussions along what they call a balloon model, which just limits the amount of strain on a person’s brain.”
Even with a hectic schedule, Dr. Ved says he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I love my practice, it’s a nice balance between the office and the on-the-spot coverage.”