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Active & Athletic

Don’t Let Sports Injuries Derail Your Game

By Amy Morgan


Whether you’re a weekend warrior playing a pick-up game or a student-athlete starting a new season, an unexpected injury can put a kibosh on the competition. When you need medical attention quickly, the professionals at Physicians Premier free-standing emergency room are prepared and ready to help, no matter the hour.


Physicians Premier, located west on Highway 46 near the HEB Plus, is staffed 24/7 by board-certified emergency room doctors, unlike many urgent care facilities. Nurses with years of emergency training immediately triage each arrival. The facility can handle any type of traumatic injury or illness, both pediatric and adult, and offers on-site X-rays, CAT scans, a full laboratory and ultrasound. Rather than spending time waiting, patients are seen, treated, and on their way.


Medical Director Zack Baum, M.D., experienced the capability of Physicians Premier last winter himself. When Dr. Baum unexpectedly twisted his ankle playing basketball, colleague Lonnie Schwirtlich, M.D., drew from his 43 years of emergency room experience as well as images from on-site X-Ray and sonogram to diagnose Dr. Baum’s Achilles tendon rupture. Dr. Baum was placed in a boot and referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further follow-up, a typical treatment path for many sports injuries seen at Physicians Premier.

“We have a wide range of tools at our disposal to understand what’s happened in an injury,” Dr. Baum said. “We diagnose lacerations, sprains, fractures, torn ligaments and tendons and create a plan for the patient’s next step.” Physicians Premier offers immediate, comprehensive treatment including stitches, splinting, and sedation and reduction of dislocations.


In addition to sprains and fractures, concussions are a common concern. Dr. Baum tells parents to bring their child in if they are concerned something is off after a head injury. “Diagnosis of concussion is based on symptoms: coordination, memory or vision changes, nausea or vomiting, headache or loss of consciousness,” he said. “The patient doesn’t always need a full CAT scan work-up, but we have experience and evidence-based medicine to decide after evaluation if an injury warrants further investigation to rule out a fracture of the skull or internal bleeding in the brain.”


Dr. Baum added, “If someone’s worried, they just need a doctor who has years of training to decide what to do. I tell them they can relax, take the responsibility off their shoulders and put it on mine.” No matter the diagnosis, the professionals will provide instruction about next steps and facilitate future follow-up.


Physicians Premier has been a good neighbor to the community. The professionals maintain close ties with local school athletic departments, Dr. Baum said, and in the past have traveled to Smithson Valley High School to provide physicals to members of the sports teams, JROTC and band. The doctors can still accommodate last-minute sports physicals for student athletes.


The physician-owned and operated facility accepts all insurances and commits to work with patients to make sure charges are billed appropriately with the least amount of out-of-pocket expense. They also offer a discounted self-pay rate. Physicians Premier offers all the capabilities of a hospital emergency room without the wait or the crowd. Find them at

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