Dr. Thomas Trojian is a sports medicine and team physician at Drexel University. Prior to coming to Drexel, he served as the medical director of UConn Sports Club and the University of Connecticut team physician for several women's and men's teams. He has a special interest in injury prevention (especially anterior cruciate ligament injuries), sports ultrasound use in the guided treatment of injuries, runners and concussion prevention. Dr. Trojian is also a faculty member in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine and is the director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship program.
For those of us who simply know you as Dr. Trojian, can you tell me a little bit about your life before medical school?
I grew up in Maryland, upstate New York, Southern Ontario, Ohio, and New Jersey. I was a multi-sport high school athlete, but football was my sport. I went to the University of Pennsylvania where I played football. After an injury and prolonged recovery, I decided not to play football but took up my other high school sport from Canada - rugby. I was All-American in rugby my senior year.
I worked at the Annenberg Theatre during undergraduate and graduate school. I developed a love for live theater. We had been long-time subscribers of the Connecticut Repertory Theater. I have an affinity for movies and I have seen 245 of the Internet Movie Database Top 250. Three of the remaining five are recent movies I have not gotten to see in the movie theater yet.
As the team physician at Drexel University, you get to work with a lot of different athletes. Is there one sport you've developed a greater appreciation for since starting this line of work?
I do not think I have gained a better appreciation for any one sport. I think what I developed is an appreciation for the commitment a student-athlete makes to their sport. The time commitment to school and sport is a dedication that few on campus can fully understand.
What's your favorite sport to watch while relaxing on the couch at home?
I am currently sitting on the couch, with English Premeir League Soccer on the tellie, drinking coffee. My wife already had it on when I finished making coffee.
You've also done your fair share of coaching in the past. What advice would you give to current coaches to improve injury prevention among young athletes?
Coaches should teach their captains the Injury Prevention Program (IPP). It is easy to do, and making the captains responsible to run IPP allows you as a coach to answer questions from parents and set up the practice. It also develops a lifelong change in the child's warm-up. We have had teams continue to use IPP after the coach left and the new coach did not want to do IPP, so the kids just came early to do it.
You don't just treat Drexel athletes. You also see several active Philadelphia "civilians." When should someone consider seeing a sports medicine doctor?
People should consider seeing a sports medicine physician when they have a problem that is related to exercising or performance. This could be an injury like sprain or strain, but being sports medicine we care for more than the musculoskeletal system, any medical problem related to exercise. We want to find ways to allow people to continue to do the activity they enjoy. I have cared for yoga instructors, Irish dancers, trampoline acrobats, cross-fit contestants, and Appalachian Trail thru-hikers besides the standard adult league soccer, basketball and first-time marathoners.
Having attended the University of Pennsylvania for undergrad, you're not a total stranger to Philadelphia, but surely some things have changed since you've been back. How are you adjusting to life in the city?
There was no adjustment. We have visited Philadelphia at least six months' worth of days in the 25 years we have been "away." I even have a national championship ring from my visits to Philadelphia. We have Philadelphia friends whose favorite restaurants are places we recommended to them. During our nine weekends here, we have already gone to "Made in America," PAFA Art auction, independent bookstore tour, three festivals, two craft fairs, and the Philadelphia Open Studio tour East and West—just to mention a few things.