Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Leigh Ann Curl of MedStar SportsHealth

Written by Laura Dyrda | November 15, 2010 | Print  |
Leigh Ann Curl, MD, a physician with MedStar SportsHealth in Columbia, Md., has earned many honors during her career in sports medicine and broke through several barriers in a field dominated by men. She is the first female head team orthopedic surgeon for a professional football team, the Baltimore Ravens, and graduated at the top of her class from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. At the time, she was the only female student in her class applying to pursue sports medicine as her subspecialty.

In addition to her impressive finish at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Curl also earned the number one spot out of her class of 4,000 students from the University of Connecticut, where she earned her undergraduate degree and played on the women's basketball team. Though some of her superiors doubted her ability and commitment to orthopedic sports medicine, Dr. Curl continued to pursue a career in the field.

"I decided to become good enough that [gender] wouldn't matter," said Dr. Curl in a report from The Baltimore Sun. According to the article, 8 percent of orthopedic surgeons are women, a number which the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is trying to increase. It seems Dr. Curl has achieved this status, as her colleagues and football-star patients express full confidence in her abilities.

"[In a good team physician], you look for the 'three A's': ability, availability and affability," says Andrew Tucker, the primary-care trained head team physician. "Leigh Ann is a highly regarded clinician, she has always been the sort of person who does far more than she has to and she gets along great with others."

During her career, Dr. Curl also served as the first female team orthopedist in the ACC when she worked for the University of Maryland. She has a professional interest in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, shoulder stabilization, ACL repair and cartilage and meniscal transplant.

Dr. Curl earned her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, where she also completed her residency. She also completed a fellowship in shoulder reconstruction and knee surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Learn more about Dr. Leigh Ann Curl.

Read more coverage on orthopedic and spine leaders to know:

- Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Stephen Burkhart of The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group


- Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Stephen H. Hochschuler of Texas Back Institute

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