May 31, 2022
Meet John Metzler, MD
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R)
Dr. Metzler specializes in nonsurgical management of all bone, muscle and joint conditions and injuries. He has special interests in foot/ankle, hip/knee, sports-related injuries to the shoulder, foot, and ankle, and the use of electromyography to assess muscle and nerve responses. Dr. Metzler also sees patients at the Living Well Center, which is a program that provides patients with a unique treatment approach to help them meet their health and wellness goals.
Where are you from? Anything fun/special about your hometown?
I am from Seabrook, Texas, just outside of Houston. I grew up near Galveston Bay and was able to enjoy time fishing, boating and water skiing. I miss the water but don’t miss the heat. I thoroughly enjoy the four seasons we have here in St. Louis.
What made you choose PM&R as a specialty?
I was drawn to the holistic approach of PM&R. Physiatrists (another name for PM&R specialists) are not restricted to a single body system or approach. I liked (and still like) the idea of looking at a patient as a composite of mind, body and spirit.
What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?
I came here 22 years ago. I was the second physiatrist in the orthopedic department. I was fresh out of training and wanted to work with people who were smarter than me in hopes that I would be challenged and would learn from them. I have not been disappointed. I also wanted to work in an environment where I could feel sure my patients would get high quality care. Again, I have not been disappointed.
What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?
The most challenging patients are the most rewarding. By the time patients make it here they often have been told many things and have undergone many interventions. Being the one to sit down, listen and then explain your assessment is often much appreciated and can be very rewarding.
Was there a past patient who made a lasting impact on you?
Early in my practice I saw a woman with a complex pain disorder. Nothing I did for her seemed to help. Much to my surprise, she sent me a Christmas card expressing her gratitude for my care. I came to realize that while everyone desires a cure, when that is not possible care is also much appreciated.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
My mother –before you do anything else say your prayers and do your chores.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Spending time with my family. I especially enjoy outdoor activities - hiking, camping or just throwing a ball in the backyard.
If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be doing?
Anything outdoors – working on a farm, ranch or at a national park.
Anything else you would like to share?
My wife and I have seven children (ages nine to 23). We have crisscrossed the country in our nine-passenger van and have driven to Texas, North Carolina, Wyoming, Canada and among other destinations. We are experts in maximizing hotel rooms and can easily take over a hotel breakfast buffet.
Learn more about Dr. Metzler and why patients choose Washington University Orthopedics for their physical medicine and rehabilitation needs.