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Corey Carson

Corey Carson, M.D., Kick-starts New Role as Atlanta United Team Physician

Corey Carson, M.D., has kicked off the first two months of his new role as the Team Physician for Atlanta United of Major League Soccer.

In addition to tending the team’s medical needs on and off the field, Dr. Carson is a primary care physician who specializes in sports medicine and is excited to bring his expertise to new patients at his practice in Marietta on select days.

Before joining Piedmont, Dr. Carson was the medical director for the sports medicine department at Family Health Centers of San Diego, and was the team doctor at Grossmont College near San Diego in the years prior.

Earlier in his career he participated in a fellowship a University of California San Diego where he performed medical care for the school’s athletes, and prior to that, completed a residency training in family medicine at Georgetown University. He earned a doctorate of medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2012.

Throughout his career, he gained team physician experience with more than a handful of teams at the high school, collegiate and major league levels. Dr. Carson said his experience in sports medicine has grown his passion for providing care to patients that offers an alternative to injuries or pain that may often get referred to surgical procedures.

“There are a lot of conditions which get referred to orthopedic surgery, but they're not necessarily surgical and could be managed conservatively. Those are the conditions I specialize in treating,” he said. “This allows the patient to get excellent care and frees up the surgeon's schedule to see more surgical cases."

Among the services offered by Dr. Carson are diagnostic ultrasounds, ultrasound-guided procedures, platelet-rich plasma injections, steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections, which is typically used to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Services offered are more effective with extremity pains such as in the shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, knee, ankle, foot and hip areas, he said.

“We have non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures we perform which can be very effective in cases where surgery isn't necessary,” Dr. Carson said. “These are quick procedures; the patients can often walk out of the office and go to work right away. There's very little downtime involved with them.”

Dr. Carson can be seen providing sideline care to at Atlanta United practices and games. He is now accepting new patients, with appointment availability on most Mondays and Wednesdays. Patients can call Piedmont Physicians of Marietta at 678-797-8201 for availability and to schedule an appointment.

Get to know Dr. Carson more via the Q & A below:

What shaped your decision to enter into health care, specifically sports medicine?

I always loved anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and then I always loved exercise and staying fit. When I was a medical student, I randomly got assigned with the team doctor for Eastern Virginia Medical School where I went to medical school. He worked with all the athletes and teams and I spent a lot of time with the athletes. I just really liked being a part of that, and before that I didn’t really know it was even an option.

How is sports medicine different from orthopedics or other family practice services?

Orthopedic surgeons are highly trained doctors who specialize in surgery. Primary care sports medicine physicians are not surgeons, but perform a lot of procedures and conservative, non-invasive treatments. Sometimes we call it non-operative orthopedics. Some musculoskeletal conditions are best treated with surgery, however many can be treated conservatively. For example, elbow tendonitis almost always doesn't require surgery and can be treated with a specialized injection and/or physical therapy. Or someone with hip arthritis may need a hip replacement at some point, but we can use conservative treatments to push the operation several years down the road so that when the surgeon does replace the joint, it lasts for the rest of the patient's life.

What are some highlights of your career or some of your most memorable moments?

I think probably the most memorable times are right now, doing the matches at Atlanta United… running out on the field and treating injuries in real-time. I’ve been doing sideline coverage with all the teams that I’ve taken care of, but this is the first time at a major-league level.

Tell me about your practice. Do you have advice, tips or motto that you typically give your patients?

We have a saying that we say which is “motion is lotion,” the idea being that we want you to be able to continue to keep moving, keep exercising because just from top to bottom, your entire health system and your entire body works better when you’re active.

What is the most personally satisfying aspect of your work?

I see a lot of patients with chronic musculoskeletal problems. Sometimes they're taking medications that have a lot of nasty side effects. And a lot of the time we can do a procedure and solve the problem, or at least impact it significantly so they won’t have the need for a lot of pain medications. That's the most satisfying part for me.

What would you be doing as a career if you weren’t a doctor?

Briefly, I had a job as a journalist. I went to journalism school undergrad and I had a job as a reporter for about a year out of college at a newspaper. What led me to that was I always liked reading and writing and I kind of admired a lot of writers when I was a kid…Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and people like that. I have done some medical layperson writing, I would guess that's probably what I would be doing.

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