Sports medicine surgeon talks about his road to success

July 3, 2013 11:00 AM

Kirby Messinger

For the past 20 years, Dr. James R. Andrews has been a surgeon for star athletes including Drew Brees, the Manning brothers, Charles Barkley, Jack Nicklaus and Bo Jackson. The internationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon who trained at Tulane University came back on June 29 to speak to medical students, residents and faculty members as the 22nd Ray Haddad Visiting Professor.

Dr. Mike O'Brien and Dr. James Andrews

During a visit to the Tulane School of Medicine, Dr. James R. Andrews signs a copy of his book, Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them for Athletes, Parents, and Coaches, for Dr. Mike O'Brien, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedics. (Photo by Pat Guerin)

Andrews, whose training in the field of orthopaedic surgery began as a resident in the Tulane Department of Orthopaedics, credits Tulane for his first steps toward success in sports medicine. He is an expert in surgery for knee, elbow and shoulder injuries.

Andrews said that one of the keys to a successful career is common sense. He outlined several traits that aid in success: positivity, humility, compassion, persistence, availability and honesty.

“When I talk about the road to success, it’s not that I’m a know-it-all,” he said. “It’s that perhaps I’ve made a lot of these mistakes along the way.”

Andrews closed his lecture by telling residents that in the future of sports medicine, prevention will become more important than treatment. His recent book, Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them for Athletes, Parents and Coaches — Based on My Life in Sports Medicine details prevention methods in a variety of youth sports.

He practices in Birmingham, Ala., at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center and at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla.

The Haddad Visiting Professorship is presented annually in honor of Dr. Ray J. Haddad Jr., who was chair of the Department of Orthopaedics from 1978 until his death in 1990. Haddad was director of sports medicine at Tulane, and he dedicated much of his career to the advancement of resident training and the Tulane orthopaedics program.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu