April 03, 2023

Meet Terra Blatnik, MD

Pediatric and Sports Medicine Specialist  

Dr. Blatnik specializes in the nonoperative treatment of all musculoskeletal sports-related conditions in pediatric and adolescent patients ages 5 and above. Learn more. 

Where are you from? 

I am originally from a small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up watching a lot of the Pittsburgh sports teams, especially the Steelers. Football is huge in western PA (both high school and professional).

What made you choose sports medicine and pediatrics as a specialty?

Sports were a big part of my life growing up. I started competitive gymnastics at a young age and competed through high school. In high school, I played tennis, basketball, and softball. I wanted to continue to have sports be a part of my professional life. I really enjoy working with kids so it was a natural transition to pediatric sports medicine. I also had two amazing female mentors in med school and residency that helped with my career path.

What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?

My husband and I came to WashU almost eight years ago. I was working in Cleveland, OH, after graduating from fellowship and he was completing his surgical training. Once he was finished, we wanted to find a hospital system that would allow both of us to find a position that would fit what we wanted to achieve in medicine. Washington University has been that place.

What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?

The most rewarding part of my practice is watching kids recover from injury and head back to the sport that they love. Sports is a big part of my patients' lives and it is difficult to have to sit out due to injury. When their treatment is complete, and they are healthy and ready to head back, it is so rewarding to see that happiness.

Was there a past patient who made a lasting impact on you?

I had a patient a few years ago that had been having knee pain. She was told it was nothing by an urgent care. Her X-ray showed something that didn’t look quite right to me so we kept looking. She ended up have a tumor in her femur bone that was causing pain. I definitely will not forget her and the things she had to go through. It was a reminder to keep looking if things don’t seem to add up.

Anything new on the horizon for pediatric sports medicine care?

In our field, there is research happening all the time. Injury prevention, concussion, and things specific to the female athlete are the areas I find most interesting. Concussion research has been ongoing in terms of diagnostic testing and how we can improve treatment. All things that will be beneficial to our athletes once we are able to get more concrete evidence.

What is the best advice you ever received? 

It isn’t necessarily advice, but I would say I learned the most from my mom. Growing up she held down a job while pursuing her masters and taking care of me and my brother. She showed me that you can be a good mom AND have a career, which has certainly shaped the way I run my adult life.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

My favorite thing to do outside of work is spend time with my family. My three kids are very busy in sports, so my husband and I spend a lot of time on the sidelines cheering them on. We enjoy watching sporting events like Blues games and are enjoying watching the new STL City team play. Outside of sports, we enjoy hiking, swimming, and watching movies together.

If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be doing? 

If I wasn’t a physician, I would probably be a teacher or a baker. I do enjoy baking in my free time so would be fun to integrate into a business.

Anything else you would like to share?

In addition to our three children, our family has a chocolate lab named Weasley. Our family loves Harry Potter so we wanted to name him after some aspect of the film.

Learn why patient's choose Washington University Orthopedicsrequest an appointment online or call (314) 514-3500.

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