About Dr. Larry Nassar, D.O., F.A.O.A.S.M.
Dr. Larry Nassar received his medical degree from Michigan State University in 1993. He completed his family practice residency at St. Lawrence Hospital in 1996 followed by a primary care sports medicine fellowship at Michigan State University in 1997. Dr. Nassar is the Team Physician for the M.S.U. Women's Gymnastics and Women's Crew Teams. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology, Division of Sports Medicine and teaches sports medicine and physical exam skills to the first and second year medical students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at M.S.U. He developed the curriculum and created the four sports medicine courses currently taught to the medical students at M.S.U. Dr. Nassar is the medical consultant for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. His medical practice is specific for osteopathic manual medicine and primary care sports medicine care of athletes and is located at the M.S.U. Sports Medicine Clinic. Over 80% of his patients are gymnasts, dancers, and cheerleaders.
Dr. Nassar is a 1985 graduate from the University Of Michigan where he received his kinesiology and athletic training education. He maintained his certification as an athletic trainer for 20 years and then retired. In 2007, he was appointed by Governor Granholm to the Michigan Board of Athletic Trainers to oversee the licensing of athletic trainers in the State of Michigan.
In addition to his work at M.S.U., Dr. Nassar is the national team physician for the USA Womens Artistic Gymnastics. He has been a part of the USA Gymnastics national team medical staff since 1986, first as an athletic trainer and then as a physician. Steve Whitlock was one of the greatest elite gymnastics coaches in the history of the State of Michigan. Dr. Nassar began by helping out at Steve Whitlock's Acronauts Gymnastics club as an athletic trainer. In 1986, Steve recommended to Jack Rockwell, ATC that Dr. Nassar join the national team medical staff. In 1996, the USAG Board of Directors appointed Dr. Nassar as the USAG national medical coordinator. He has been coordinating the medical care for USA Gymnastics at national and international competitions since then. Dr. Nassar began working with gymnasts as a student athletic trainer in 1978 at his high school. Because of his work with the high school team, he was granted a varsity high school letter in women's artistic gymnastics in 1981.
Locally, he has been working with John and Kathryn Geddert (Gedderts' Twistars Gymnastics Club) since 1988. Working with John and Kathryn Geddert has increased his understanding of gymnastics immenesly and he owes much of his success in gymnastics to the Gedderts. He has also been the team physician for Holt High School since 1997.
Dr. Nassar received a patent on his ankle brace for gymnasts' with syndesmotic ankle sprains in 1990 (patent #4,926,846).
Dr. Nassar has accumulated many awards throughout his medical career. A partial list includes the following awards:
"USA Gymnastics Shirley Marshack Memorial Award for the Development of the Talent Opportunity Program", 2003
"USA Gymnastics Service Award"
Presented by the USAG Athlete Advisory Council
Voted by coaches as the "United States Women's Gymnastics Elite Coaches Association National Contributor of the Year" For 6 Gymnastics Seasons
Voted by coaches as the "USA Gymnastics Region 5 Contributor of the Year" For 4 Gymnastics Seasons (The USA Gymnastics Region 5 Consists of the Following States: MI, OH, IL, IN, KY) Voted by coaches as the "Women's Gymnastics Contributor of the Year for the State of Michigan" For 4 Gymnastics Seasons
Dr. Nassar's most important part of if life is his wife Stefanie and their three children, Caroline , Katelyn, and Ryan. Stefanie is a pediatric physician assistant and athletic trainer. Their daughter Caroline is autistic. This website will soon be adding information about gymnastics and children with special needs.
Below is my philosophy on sports medicine. I wrote this for the USA Gymnastics Medical Handbook. I have reprinted it here so you may understand how I run my medical practice and my medical staff for gymnastics. I encourage all members of the gymnastics community to develop their own core purpose and philosophies. It helps me stay centered.
"USA Gymnastics (USAG) is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics. It is the responsibility of the USAG to represent the United States of America in international gymnastics competition. The athletes that compose the USAG national team in men's artistic, women's artistic, and women's rhythmic gymnastics are our country's highest skilled gymnasts. USAG is proud of the athletes that have honored our country in international competition. As with any elite athlete, these gymnasts push their body to its fullest ability to excel in their endeavor. USA Gymnastics recognizes this and understands the stress this places on an athlete's body. Therefore, the USAG developed a medical staff to aid these gymnasts.
USA Gymnastics demands the best medical care for their athletes. The USAG national team medical staff consists of highly trained medical professionals who have a strong interest and understanding of the sport of gymnastics. This staff has established the underlying premise that it functions with integrity and servitude. We will focus our thinking and efforts on the activities that surround a value adding process. It is our thoughts that determine our behavior which determine our results. By focusing our thoughts on a value adding process, we will continually improve our staff and the gymnastics community in which we function. This is in contrast to that which exists for the purpose of extraction for ones own personal gain. Our medical staff will draw information from the gymnastics community, process this, and then add back to the community-enhanced information with direction and purpose. The core purpose of the medical staff is to enhance the health and extend the performance of the athletes it is privileged to serve. The medical staff will accomplish this in a way that its members:
1. see and treat the whole person
2. teach and learn from one another
3. support the expectation that all members will continue to grow
4. treat each other and all those we interact with in increasingly human ways
5. perform such that our field of sports medicine and life itself is continually enhanced
The USAG national team medical staff will function as a team. We understand that we cannot function as a team unless there is a genuine need for the uniqueness and capacity of each of our staff members to accomplish the goals of our team. We will not become dependent on each other. We will not function independent of each other. We will function on a level of interdependence to allow mutual nurturing. Combining the strengths of each of our staff members will allow our team to continually advance to a higher level of performance."
I would also like to take this opportunity to explain my thoughts on sports. I am a sports medicine physician and I hope this helps people understand my views and who I am. This is taken from the article that I published entitled, "Money and Medals: The Core Purpose of Sport?"
"Reflecting on this story, we can see, at one level, the purpose of sport is: To enhance the physical and mental well being of all participants while performing in an activity that brings enjoyment.
It is through focusing on the physical and mental attributes of the skills involved in participating in the sport that performance is enhanced. A side effect of enhanced performance is the successful completion of competitions. In short, with proper physical and mental preparation, athletes have their best chance of winning. Winning then encompasses personal enjoyment, an expression of one's love for playing a sport, and a means to build bonds between family and friends. The money and medals that may occur are an afterthought; they are the side effect of the enhanced performance; they are not the goal!
If we reflect beyond the benefits of appropriately designed and experienced training, we can see additional developmental possibilities and potential to be gained by the individuals involved. We could add to the training purpose expressed above, this developmental purpose of sport: To develop the capacity for the inner management and discipline required of us to be true to ourselves and to be self determining in the complex and complicated situations life presents us.
We can see how both of these purposes complement one another and how they work together. With the right nature of training, we can develop the character to not only more truly represent ourselves, but also to more ably stand for the right and good. Done in this way, sport is a value adding process for society, and a healthy, meaningful experience... not only for the athlete, but for all involved."