Selected Podcast

Physician with Dual Specialties Brings a Unique Skillset to Help Mizzou Athletes

MU Health Care specialist Dr. Brady Fleshman brings expertise in family medicine and sports medicine to his role as a team physician for Mizzou. Hear what fuels his passion for working with athletes in men’s basketball, softball, cheerleading and the Golden Girls dance team.
Physician with Dual Specialties Brings a Unique Skillset to Help Mizzou Athletes
Featured Speaker:
Brady Fleshman, M.D.
Brady Fleshman, M.D. is a Family medicine and sports medicine specialist. 

Learn more about Brady Fleshman, M.D.
Transcription:

Prakash Chandran (host): Welcome to the MU Healthcare Podcast. We're here with Dr. Brady Fleshman today. We are excited to learn more about you. The first question that I wanted to ask is, you specialize in both family and sports medicine, tell us a little bit about that. And what made you choose this dual specialty?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Well, initially, I chose family medicine because I like the broad range of things I see every day. There's never a day in clinic I won't see something different that I've not seen prior. I always like that I can be the first guy that somebody asks for any question they have. It always starts usually with the primary care physician.

And then, I quickly found out about sports medicine after working with some doctors who did family medicine and sports medicine. I loved kind of how they took care of an athlete and tried to get them back to their sport safely, but effectively and quickly. And I love that relationship they built with sometimes not just one athlete, but the whole team, as many players do get injured throughout the season. So, it's one of those things where you start to build a bond with, sometimes the coaching, the parents, everybody on the team, and I enjoy that aspect.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah, I can totally understand that, wanting to take care of everyone. Because as a family medicine doc, you see all different types of ages. Is that correct?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, I can have a day where I see a newborn baby, and then the very next visit can be someone who's older. And then, the next visit is someone in the middle age. Really, every day is different. And that's why I love family medicine. I never get tired of it because I never see the same things.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. Now, you kind of started talking about the fact that, you know, you were introduced to sports medicine and some of the reasons why you like it. But can you talk in a little bit more detail about what fuels your passion for it?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, I was an athlete myself, so I enjoyed playing sports. I came from a small town. So in small towns, you play sports, all the sports all year round. So, I played football and basketball and baseball because that's what my school offered, and I enjoyed that. And little did I know there was a career where I could take care of people who have injuries to get them back to those sports. And pretty much anyone who's an athlete suffers an injury at some point in their career and, frequently, multiple times in their career. And I like to be the guy that they can go to whenever they're having those issues, so I can get them back to the sport that they love. Because for me, it helps my wellbeing, it helps a lot of people's stress get lowered. It's just a good stress reliever for a lot of people working out, exercising, playing sports, and I enjoy that as well.

Prakash Chandran (host): Absolutely. Now, I know that you are a team physician for the Mizzou Tigers. Can you tell us what that experience has been like?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, I'm a team physician for the men's basketball team, softball team, the cheerleaders, and the Golden Girls, who's our dance team here at MU. And it's been an amazing experience. I've enjoyed getting to know all the teams, all the players, all the coaches. I often go to several of their games, so I've enjoyed covering them. And it's just been a great experience to see their success and be a part of that camaraderie. And I am from Missouri, so always been a Mizzou fan. Little did I know when I was a kid, I would be covering their games. But it's been an amazing experience and I really do not take it for granted.

Prakash Chandran (host): You know, just hearing that you take care of the Mizzou athletes gives us confidence that you can take care of the rest of us. You know, even for me, I do pickup basketball on the weekends. I injure myself. So, you know, coming to a doctor like you, I'd love to learn a little bit more about how you take that expertise with working with Mizzou athletes and bring it kind of to the rest of the community.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. Whenever I see an athlete, you know, sometimes, let's say it's a high school softball player or a high school basketball player and you know, I tell them, "Hey, this is the same way we would treat you as an athlete here at MU." I think that gives them a bit of confidence that, "Oh, okay. Wow, I'm getting treated just like the Mizzou athletes are." Because in reality, we use the same type of evidence-based treatment for everybody and everybody's injuries are unique. So, you have to keep that in mind. But we're always going to do what's best for you, what's safest and what will get you back as fast as you can because most athletes want to be playing and do not want to be resting.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. Of course not. And I think what you said there is so important. That evidence-based care that you are providing people, is this something that you and your team are constantly learning and keeping up with?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Absolutely. We frequently get together the Mizzou team physicians and discuss evidence-based articles. Are we up-to-date with certain injuries and getting them back? We have meetings once a week in the mornings to discuss sports injuries. It's usually every Friday morning. And so, we always have time there where we get to talk about are we doing everything we can to get these athletes back? And I love that camaraderie here at Missouri Orthopedic Institute, because it's a large building, but we're all very close knitted. We're a family. We treat all these athletes together. We're constantly in conversations with each other, and that's one of the great parts about Missouri Orthopedic Institute being the team physicians for MU.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah, that sounds amazing. You know, you mentioned you were from a small town before. Can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up and kind of the things that motivated you to get into medicine in the first place?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, I am from a very small town. It was a county school, so everybody in the whole county went to the same school. A lot of my family are farmers actually. So, I was the odd one that went into medical school. Interestingly, it actually kind of started with me having an injury to my shoulder or playing basketball in high school and I kind of got to understand what physical therapy was. I thought that was kind of interesting. I shadowed some doctors and I found about being a physician, a sports medicine physician, and I found that to be even more interesting. And so, I continued to shadow people and I found that that was kind of what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. That's amazing. I remember watching a video with you saying that you actually kind of grew up on a farm and you have this special place in your heart for kind of this, you know, small farm, small town field. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think farmers are some of the toughest people around. And anytime I have a farmer in my clinic, I usually know that something pretty serious is going on because they don't typically try to get away from the farm unless they really have to. But, you know, I've seen plenty of my own injuries from coworkers and other farmers in my small town of things that happen. And so, I'm always there to be helpful for them.

And also, one thing that I think is amazing about a small town is the camaraderie of the community. And I love helping out those from rural areas because sometimes I feel like they're at a disadvantage. For myself, like I had to drive a couple of hours to even see a sports doctor because we just didn't have that where I was from. And so, I love being that outreach support for a lot of people in my hometown to help them with any injuries they have. It's been amazing.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. That's amazing. And one of the things that you ended with in that video is that especially in a small town, you kind of try to practice care in a way where they're like your own family. You treat them in the same way that you treat your own family. And that's something that really has stuck with me.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. You know, that's actually one thing that I tell a lot of patients, when we're talking about treatment ideas for athletes and other other patients, they always want to know, you know, what do you think is best? And I say, "Well, you know, if you were my family member and I treat all of my patients and all the athletes like they were my family, this is what I would recommend." And I feel like that gives them a certain amount of confidence that, "Okay, well, that's the treatment plan I want to go with."

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. I can tell just by talking to you, that community and that empathy is a big part of kind of what drives you in your medical practice and in your medical philosophy. I'd love to understand a little bit more about you outside of practicing medicine. Tell us a little bit more about your family life and what you do for fun.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, I'm a new dad. I have two twin boys that are three months old, so that's really rocked my world. Sleep is very precious these days when we get it. So, that's been amazing. A lot of my family are from a small area, a couple of hours north of where I'm at here in Columbia. So, we frequently go up there and see them. I have like 14 nieces and nephews. So, I love hanging out with them and playing with them. And kind of some hobbies I like to do, I mean, of course, I enjoy exercising. I also enjoy playing pickup basketball whenever I can. Sometimes you end up being a doctor at those pickup games because, you know, injuries can happen wherever you're at.

Beyond that, you know, Columbia is also known for having a lot of great trails and I love going out and walking on the trails. And now, I guess I'd take the kids out on the stroller too. So, it's a little bit different. I'm not going as quite a fast of pace of running, but we walk the trails with the boys. So, it's been fun.

Prakash Chandran (host): That's great. One of the things that I wanted to ask you about, so you obviously play pickup basketball yourself. You know, you basically help take care of people that are doing softball and cheerleading and dance. And, you know, it's kind of all over the place. They're very different sports. When you are helping people across these different sports teams, what's a common theme or a common way that you look at helping or providing care across different disciplines?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: I think kind of what I was referring to earlier is whatever the problem is, I'm going to treat you as if we are trying our best to get you back to that sport as quickly and safely as possible. And I'm going to treat you like I would treat my own family. And I think, you know, regardless of what sport they're playing or what injury they have, I think knowing that I have that in mind gives them some confidence.

And the other great thing about Missouri Orthopedic Institute is we do have so many specialists and so many different orthopedic areas. And anytime there's a concern of needing to evaluate something further, I can talk to the orthopedic surgeon just a little bit down the hallway. So, that's always great to have everyone there and available.

Prakash Chandran (host): That's amazing. I'd love to close by just asking some quickfire questions and having you answer them. Does that sound okay?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: I am a little nervous, but let's do it.

Prakash Chandran (host): Oh, yeah. You got it. You got it. Well, let's just start with your first job.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Does farming count?

Prakash Chandran (host): Farming. Absolutely.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Because that's what it was. I got paid for it, so I'm going to say farming, yeah.

Prakash Chandran (host): Now, when you say farming, what does that mean? Like, were you driving tractors?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. So, my family are crop farmers and cattle farmers. So, it involves driving tractors, planting corn and soybeans, mowing hay, taking care of cattle, vaccinating the cattle. It's different with each season of the year.

Prakash Chandran (host): Wow, you've been taking care of people, places, and things for a long time.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. That's actually one thing that, you know, people kind of like, "Well, how come you didn't want to be a veterinarian?" It's probably because I enjoy air conditioning and heating too much, because I do not like being out in the snow at 2:00 AM with a sick calf.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. Well, fair enough. Fair enough. You have that experience under your belt. Tell us about a hero that inspires you.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: It would probably be my grandpa Fleshman. He's 86 years old, and he still farms every day. You can tell that what he does is not work, it's just his life, it's his passion. And the day that he would stop farming would be not a good day for him. I know that he just wouldn't even know how to function. And I love that. You know, he doesn't think of farming as a job, it's his lifestyle. And I try to live up to that. And that's how I feel here, you know, as a team physician and the patients that I see. It's not a job for me, it's what I enjoy. I mean, I just felt like I was meant to do this.

Prakash Chandran (host): I love that. I know this is not a quickfire round, but I love the answers that you're giving. It just gives me so much insight into the person that you are. So, I appreciate that.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. That's awesome. Good.

Prakash Chandran (host): Yeah. I mean, more lightweight, what's your favorite food?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Pizza, followed by steak

Prakash Chandran (host): Maybe steak on pizza.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. There you go. That'd probably be good, yeah.

Prakash Chandran (host): And then final question, if you were not practicing medicine, what do you think you'd be doing?

Dr. Brady Fleshman: This'll throw you off. I would be a drummer for a rock band. That's one of my hobbies. I don't do it as much anymore, but I play drums. I have a drum set in my basement. And so yeah, if I was not a doctor and I could do whatever I wanted, I would try to be a drummer for a rock band somewhere.

Prakash Chandran (host): Awesome. Well, I've really appreciated your time today, Dr. Fleshman. Thank you so much.

Dr. Brady Fleshman: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks a lot for having me.

Prakash Chandran (host): And thank you all for joining us. For more information, you can visit muhealth.org/teamdocs or call 573-882-BONE. That's 573-882-BONE. My name is Prakash Chandran. Thanks so much for listening today. Be well.