Dr. Wright is Right!

Rex Duncan speaks from personal experience about the Cards' new head doc

Dr. Rick Wright Named

as Cardinal Team Physician


Dr. Rick Wright, 43, of the Washington University Physicians, who provide medical services to the Cardinals, has been tabbed to serve as team physician.  He will replace Dr. George Paletta, who is leaving the Washington University group to join a private practice. Paletta had been team physician for 7½ years.  There will be no transition as Wright has worked with injured Cardinals since the Washington University docs were selected for service to the team in the late 1990's.


Wright is a graduate of the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine in Columbia.  He served his internship and residencies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  He received additional training at the Minneapolis Sports Center.  In practice since 1992, he sees patients through the Center for Advanced Medicine in affiliation with the Barnes-Jewish-Childrens Hospitals in St. Louis.  He also teaches orthopedic surgery through Washington University.  He is also a team physician for the Blues and Rams.


I've had the pleasure of working with Dr. Wright and his staff on some personal orthopedic issues over the past couple of years and found him to certainly be very competent, engaging, and respected throughout the hospital system.  He is also a passionate Cardinal fan.  I recall a conversation I had with him last summer as the Cardinals were making their run to the World Series.  He was so excited about the prospect of being able to go to New York to watch the Cardinals play against the Yankees.  Well, he hasn't always been right, but his enthusiasm for this team is contagious.  Not only have the Cardinals found an excellent physician, they have also found an avid fan.


In a recent article, Brian Walton took exception to some comments written by Bernie Miklasz of the Post-Dispatch.  I added my own thoughts on the matter in that Miklasz, in a separate article, seemed to imply that the Cardinal team physicians might have mishandled the care of Scott Rolen by allowing him to return to early after shoulder surgery.  I countered that while I didn't know Dr. Paletta, I knew from experience that Rick Wright would not suborn the welfare of a patient to secondary matters like team pressure to get Rolen back too soon.  I doubt that the Cardinals would apply that pressure and I'm pretty certain that Bernie didn't spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express.


It's hard to imagine that the Cardinals could have done any better in naming a team physician than Rick Wright.  His depth of knowledge, experience, and commitment to the field of sports medicine will be a great asset to Cardinals who have had their wings clipped.  The best thing of all though is that he is one of us – a card carrying member of Cardinal Nation who will combine his expertise with the zeal of a true fan in helping get Cardinals back on the field and chasing a world championship as soon as their health permits.


Rex Duncan



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