February 14, 2022
Meet Robert Brophy , MD
Sports Medicine Specialist
With a subspecialty certification in sports medicine, Dr. Brophy's clinical and surgical practice focuses on the treatment of shoulder and knee injuries in patients from all sports and walks of life. He has been named a St. Louis Best Doctor since 2009 and a Castle Connolly Top Doctor since 2019. As a sports surgeon and athlete himself, Dr. Brophy knows just how important it is for patients to get back to the activities (or fields) they love.
Where are you from? Anything unique about your hometown?
I grew up in a suburb of Syracuse, New York. Some of the more renowned graduates of my high school are probably the actor, Richard Gere, and recent Olympic gold medalist, Breanna Stewart.
What made you choose orthopedics and sports medicine as a specialty?
Orthopedic surgery and sports medicine were a natural extension of my experience as an athlete and my education as an engineer.
What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?
I was fortunate to attend the Washington University School of Medicine. As a medical student, Dr. Goldfarb was the resident on my first rotation in orthopedic surgery and Dr. Gelberman was the chair of the department. After completing my residency and fellowship in New York City, it was a tremendous opportunity to return to St. Louis and join Washington University Orthopedics as a junior partner to Drs. Matt Matava and Rick Wright in sports medicine. I was attracted to many aspects of the job, including the opportunity to help them take care of the St. Louis professional athlete community.
What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?
I can genuinely say that I enjoy the various aspects of my practice equally, although for different reasons. Seeing patients in clinic, performing surgeries in the operating room, providing team care and conducting research are all interesting in different and complementary ways.
Similarly, the various aspects of our academic mission, from teaching, research and leadership in local and national organizations all provide their own satisfaction.
You are a team physician for the St. Louis Blues. What's it like taking care of these elite athletes?
The medical aspect of care for these athletes is the same as it is for all of our patients: diagnosing and treating injuries as best we can. Obviously other aspects differ, including where we see and treat the athletes, the logistics of obtaining diagnostics and coordinated work with athletic trainers and other staff to deliver the best care possible.
Are you working on any interesting sports trials or studies right now?
Most of our studies in general relate to athletes and injuries that affect athletes. My role as Vice Chair of the NFL Musculoskeletal Research Committee involves some very interesting investigations.
What’s the best advice you ever received and who/what was it from?
Like so many others in the department, Dr. Gelberman is the source of the best advice during my career. One of the many pieces of advice that I remember is the importance of being credible rather than incredible as a key to building long term success.
What's your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I like to travel with family and friends and still enjoy working out and exercising when time permits...I even played recreational soccer up until a few years ago. I met my wife, Jen, who also played soccer in college, at the 1994 World Cup when the USA played Brazil in Palo Alto, CA. I played minor leagues for a few years after college, winning a couple of national championships. Ten of my teammates went to the MLS and I went to med school.
If you weren't a doctor, what would you like to be doing?
I could have have enjoyed a variety areas in the intersection of technology and business.
Learn more about Dr. Brophy and why patients trust WashU Ortho for their sports medicine care.