Get to know Dr. Alexander Lambert: Team Physician for the William and Mary Tribe Football Team

Football season for the William & Mary Tribe kicks off this weekend with an away game in Pennsylvania against Lafayette.  Dr. Alexander Lambert, joining HROSM in October, is a team physician for the Tribe Football team and we wanted to sit down with him and ask just a few questions before the season kick off. Without further adieu, here is our conversation with Dr. Lambert.

1. How long have you been a team physician for the Tribe?  

This is my 14th year as a team physician for the Tribe.

2. What is the most exciting part about being a collegiate team physician? 

Being at the games and standing with the team and enjoying all of the fanfare as well as the thrill of the competition is the most exciting part of being a team physician. I was an Army physician for 14 years and it was extremely rewarding and an honor to take care of our country’s military and their families. Being a collegiate team physician allows me to be part of a team again that together we are able to accomplish so much more than I could just in private practice.

3. On game day, what is your role as the Team Physician? 

On game days, my job is to stayed bored! The coaches, team, and athletic trainers love it when I do nothing! Otherwise, my role as a team physician is to assess any player that has an injury, and sometimes an illness, and treat the individual appropriately. The athletic trainers at W&M are some of the best in the country. I basically assist and augment what they do for the athletes everyday .

4. What are the 3 most common injuries you see as a team doctor?

The 3 most common injuries I see are sprains, muscle strains, and contusions/bruises. The 3 most common serious injuries requiring surgery that I see are knee meniscus tears, knee ACL tears, and shoulder ligament/labral tears.

5. If a player does suffer an injury, what steps do you take to get them back to the game? 

If a player does get injured, they are usually first evaluated by an athletic trainer.  If it is a significant injury, they will get me or another doc to assess the athlete and together we decide whether the athlete can continue to play without further compromising their safety and health. If they cannot continue to play, we provide whatever treatment and diagnostic studies they require to get them back to school and then sports as quickly and safely as possible. The coaches at W& M to a fantastic job at supporting the medical decisions from the trainers and doctors.  I have never been asked to compromise my medical integrity by returning an injured player too soon. The collegiate athlete is typically a legal adult and their decisions along with their parents input are also factors in returning injured athletes back to play.

The College of William & Mary has a great and well established athletic program.  There are several athletic trainers as well as several doctors from different practices that make up the medical team to support the numerous athletic teams. It is truly an exciting and very rewarding aspect of my job to be part of the Tribe team. I love it.