Practitioner of the Year Award

Practitioner of the Year
Dr. Randall Wroble, Orthopedic Surgeon, Orthopedic One

Dr. Randall Wroble has touched the lives of countless athletes in Ohio and across the country over the course of more than 30 years as an orthopedic surgeon.

He’s even reached a certain celebrity status—not quite to the level of Michael Jordan, he jokes—and gets recognized at the grocery store or out in the community.

“Someone comes up and says, ‘Hello, Dr. Wroble, I don’t know if you remember me but 20 years ago you fixed my ACL and I’m doing great, and it’s so good to see you.’ It’s kind of cool to see that, it makes you feel good,” he says. “We as a profession are very involved with the community—with teams of different sorts, with athletes, coaches, athletic trainers—and my relationships with all those people have become so rewarding and so widespread.”

During his career, Wroble has served the needs of more than 40 athletic organizations at the high school, collegiate and professional level, including the Columbus Blue Jackets and Columbus Quest Women’s Professional Basketball. Today, he balances a roster of annual events such as the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships in addition to serving as the team physician for 11 teams, including Ohio University, Grove City High School and Otterbein University.

On top of the commitment required to treat and care for those athletes, Wroble is a practicing surgeon with Ohio’s largest orthopedic group, Orthopedic One. That doesn’t mean he’s spreading himself too thin.

“Besides the fact that he’s an outstanding leader, he’s accessible to us,” says Deborah Moore, senior director of compliance and sports medicine for the Ohio High School Athletic Association. “Whenever we need anything—if we need a consult, we need advice—we reach out to him and he’s always available to consult with us. And that’s really valuable.”

Wroble’s career stems from his own sports injury. He tore his ACL playing football at Cornell University and saw an opportunity to improve safety and treatment for athletes at all levels. Decades later, he still loves the competitive atmosphere of athletics.

Wroble supports and leads a number of committees dedicated to improving the health and safety of young athletes, including with his roles as chairman of the Joint Sports Medicine Committee of the Ohio State Medical Association and Ohio High School Athletic Association, and as chairman of the Columbus Medical Association’s Sports Medicine Committee.

He works with stakeholders ranging from legislators and administrators to coaches, trainers and athletes, identifying and addressing critical issues such as concussion protocols, emergency action plans and pre-participation evaluations. Wroble helped establish a statewide program for required weight assessments in wrestling and sudden death protocol for high school athletic programs. These sorts of efforts reach the lives of many beyond the teams he is directly affiliated with.

“It basically comes down to the fact that he’s here to serve young people who participate in sports here in Ohio and, of course, across the nation,” Moore says. “We feel blessed that as an athletic association we have access to somebody like Dr. Wroble.”

He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named a 2013 “Top Doc” in sports medicine by U.S. News and World Report and has been on Columbus Monthly’s Top Doctors list each year since 2015. In 2013, Wroble received the Columbus Medical Association’s Greg Brooks Award, given annually to a central Ohio sports medicine practitioner who provides advisory assistance and education for the public and medical community on healthcare for the amateur or recreational athlete. Wroble says he’s proud to have helped come up with the concept for OhioHealth Sports Medicine, which has grown to become the largest sports medicine organization in the state.

Amid a remarkable career impacting thousands of athletes, Wroble is perhaps toughest on himself, offering a bit of honest self-evaluation.

“As I look back and say, was my work-life balance a little askew? I would say, yeah, it probably was,” he admits, adding, “I love what I do, I love going to work every day.”

He says new opportunities, like joining Orthopedic One five years ago, have kept things fresh. And he’s a joy to work with, colleagues say.

“He’s a really nice guy,” Moore says. “And that’s the kind of person that we like to work with, that we’re used to working with. It makes it easy to develop a relationship.”

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The 2019 Healthcare Achievement Awards are Thursday, March 28, at The Estate at New Albany. Tickets are on sale now.