Friday, November 21, 2014
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Behind the scenes with Phillies team doc at spring training

Phillies team physician and Sports Doc panelist Michael Ciccotti, M.D. takes you through a day in his life at spring training.

Behind the scenes with Phillies team doc at spring training

Philadelphia´s Ben Revere, center, is congratulated by his teammates<br />in the dugout, for scoring the first Phillies run in the game.<br />Philadephia Phillies vs Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field in<br />Clearwater. The last spring training game of 2013.  Game Action<br />03/28/2013  ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer  )
Philadelphia's Ben Revere, center, is congratulated by his teammates in the dugout, for scoring the first Phillies run in the game. Philadephia Phillies vs Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field in Clearwater. The last spring training game of 2013. Game Action 03/28/2013 ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

At last month’s Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Fla., Rothman Institute representatives followed head team physician and Sports Doc panelist Michael Ciccotti, M.D., through a typical day. Here are some excerpts from their experience.

“What your average Phillies fan sees on the field at Citizens Bank Park is just the tip of the iceberg. The overwhelming bulk of the organization lies beneath the surface in the minor leagues,” says Dr. Ciccotti, who has since retreated into a medical team office to review some images with James Ready, Head Minor League Training Coordinator for the Phillies.

“We have seven teams and two academies. Only one of them plays in South Philadelphia during the spring, summer and hopefully into the fall, and on that team there are only 25 guys playing. So the bulk of the work is done with the minor league guys.”

“One of my main goals as a physician is to educate people about their bodies. By the time these guys get to the major leagues they are relatively self-sufficient. They know what they need to do to be at peak performance and most importantly how to do it right to avoid injury. These guys are the future of the organization. As any baseball fan knows, it’s critical to the long-term success of the big league club to have suitable replenishments from the minor league levels.” 

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Dr. Ciccotti is the Phillies Head Team Physician—not just orthopaedist, but overall Medical Director. That means he is responsible for all the medical care for the team.

Got the flu? Go see doc.

Bit by a spider? Go see doc.

Reoccurring migraines? Go see doc.

“I coordinate the care of every injury and illness on this team, not just orthopaedics,” Dr. Ciccotti says. “Usually the players will approach Scott or James first and then I will get a call or a text. Some go to see my Rothman Institute colleague and fellow Phillies Team Physician Marc Harwood. Others, depending on the nature of the illness, get sent to a variety of specialty consultants we have on call.”

When injuries or illness linger and become long-term, that is usually when a player’s agent will get involved. They often times will ask for a second opinion.

“I have no problem when any patient asks for a second opinion,” says Dr. Ciccotti. He means it.

“It could be a field hockey player in Radnor, a varsity point guard from Runnemede, or a right handed pitcher in the big leagues. I ask whom they’re going to see just so I can be sure it’s the best person for the individual’s problem. We have players from other teams who seek us out to provide care or perform their surgery. It really is no big deal. The goal is always to make the patient, regardless of who they are, comfortable and confident that the care they’re receiving is the best.”

To read the blog entries in their entirety, visit

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Martin J. Kelley, PT, DPT, OCS Advanced Clinician at Penn Therapy and Fitness, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer,
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor,
David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
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