In Practice: John Durkan, M.D.

John A Durkan

Providence profiles John Durkan, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Providence Medical Group-Hood River Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Clinic.

Distinction
Assistant team physician, San Francisco 49ers; team physician, U.S Snowboarding Team; consultant, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan

Past lives
Medical degree, Boston University School of Medicine; internship, Kaiser Foundation Hospital; residency, San Francisco Orthopedic Program; fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

You were a team doc when snowboarding debuted at the 1998 Olympics. What memory stands out from those games?
The snowboarding event was held in the mountains of Japan near a hot springs that had been taken over by snow monkeys. A blizzard canceled the snowboarding event for a day, so I was able to hike and watch the mystical scene of snow-covered monkeys enjoying the warm water baths. 

What advice would you give team doctors in Sochi, Russia, this year?
They may find that much of their time is occupied with treating communicable diseases, especially viral flu-like illnesses. Lots of ibuprofen, hydration and rest. Also, the athletes are competing in the event of a lifetime, so they're more inclined to ignore potentially major injuries. The medical group needs to be aware of this and do all they can to help the athlete return to the sport safely.

What’s the most common preventable winter sports injury?
Knee injuries seem to be the most common. They are preventable by early-season conditioning exercises and agility training. Skiers should always make sure their bindings are fully functional and their ski and snowboard bases are well tuned.

Why did you choose to practice in Hood River?
I had heard of the Gorge while learning to windsurf in the San Francisco Bay. My wife, Marianne [nurse manager of Providence Hood River’s hospice and home health programs], and I checked out Hood River and found it to be an outdoor paradise. We've now lived here for 28 years. 

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I play swing and blues guitar and I'm in two different bands. I also enjoy glass sculpture, tennis, skiing, kayaking, windsurfing and swing dancing with Marianne to the bands that perform in Hood River.

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