At the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., the world’s top tennis players are competing for one of the sport’s most cherished titles. And not far from the action, Dr. Alexis Chiang Colvin ’98 is helping to keep the players healthy, tending to the strains, sprains, and other injuries that accompany two weeks of intense athletic competition.
Colvin, an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, has been on the U.S. Open medical staff since 2009. This year, she has taken on added responsibility as the United States Tennis Association’s chief medical officer. After the Open, she will accompany the U.S. Fed Cup team during its matches. She also will help the USTA promote the health benefits of tennis.
Elite tennis players are motivated patients, which is “always a good thing,” Colvin says, and being able to play a small part in helping them reach their goals is rewarding.
Colvin got an early start in orthopedics, seeing the specialty up close in a summer program before her senior year at Princeton. She already had been admitted to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a sophomore, through a program designed to encourage pre-med students to pursue humanities majors (now known as FlexMed). Colvin’s Mount Sinai and Princeton connections put her in contact with Dr. Evan Flatow ’77, a mentor who now chairs the Department of Orthopaedics at Mount Sinai.
Colvin worked with collegiate and pro athletes while completing her fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, and she has a particular appreciation for tennis, a sport that she plays recreationally.
While watching the U.S. Open matches is exciting, Colvin says that those moments in the spotlight are just a small part of the sport. Earlier this year, she saw a sampling of the training that goes on behind the scenes when she visited coaches and trainers at the USTA Player Development Training Center in Florida. “Seeing how hard these players are working on a day to day basis is pretty impressive,” Colvin says.
Video: Below, Alexis Chiang Colvin ’98 talks about tennis health myths in a U.S. Open Health Desk segment.
Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. All alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.