As a specialist in pediatric sports medicine, Dr. Troy Smurawa is passionate about helping young athletes overcome injuries and return to the sports and activities they love. He is equally committed to helping them prevent injuries in the first place.
“Today, children are participating in sports at younger ages and competing more in select leagues and travel teams. They might go from a travel team to a school team and then back again, especially in sports like baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer,” Dr. Smurawa says. The growing emphasis on year-round participation in a single sport means an increase in overuse injuries for young athletes.
Dr. Smurawa’s goal is to help these young athletes stay healthy, perform better and enjoy their sport for years to come. In fact, he came to Children’s Health℠ because of the center’s strong focus on sports medicine, injury prevention and community involvement.
“A large focus here at Andrews Institute is developing programs that will help athletes prevent injuries. We’re also doing research to identify those factors that may contribute to kids getting injured and trying to figure out what we can change,” he says. Ultimately, Dr. Smurawa would like to see the Children’s Health Andrews Institute become nationally known for focusing on pediatric sports injury prevention and research.
Dr. Smurawa knew he wanted to be a doctor from a young age, and he found his way to sports medicine as an athlete himself. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school and in college and medical school he developed a passion for competitive running and triathlons. He also coached youth sports, such as soccer and basketball. “That drove my interest to work with young athletes,” he says.
These days, his coaching comes into play in the office with the young athletes who come to see him. He helps them put together programs to return safely to their sport after an injury.
Dr. Smurawa is also working on developing a strong dance medicine program. He’s always been interested in the mechanics of dance, but he has a personal stake as well. “I have three young daughters, all involved in ballet,” he says. Watching his daughters dance, he’s been able to see what makes dancers different from other athletes. For example, assessing whether a young dancer is ready to go on pointe is very important, as is understanding their movement patterns and potential for overuse injuries.
Board-certified in both pediatrics and sports medicine, Dr. Smurawa earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center and did his residency in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin. He completed a sports medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Akron, Ohio.
Dr. Smurawa knows very well what it is like to be on the field of play, both as a coach and an athlete. He is certified by USA Triathlon and USA Cycling as a multisport coach and has served as a team doctor for the USA Triathlon World Championships teams for the past 20 years. He has competed in more than 30 marathons, six Ironman Triathlons and countless other races. With an extremely active family, Dr. Smurawa, his wife and 3 daughters enjoy being outdoors and hiking, running and cycling. They also spend time giving back to the community and take regular mission trips together.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- University of Texas HSC at San Antonio (1991)
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics (1994), Pediatrics
- Children's Hospital Medical Center (1995), Sports Medicine
- Post-graduate School
- Oral Roberts University (1989)
- Board Certification
- American Board of Pediatrics
Departments and Programs
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American College of Pediatrics
- International Association for Dance Medicine and Science
- American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
- International Institute for Race Medicine
- Christian Medical and Dental Society
- Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM)