The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

What Makes a Good Sports Medicine Doctor? Humor and Friendliness is Key

Posted by on Monday, September 8th, 2014


New York City is a huge place, with over 100 doctors specializing in sports medicine. Many local doctors have come from prestigious colleges, completed residencies at respected medical institutions, and have many years in the field. So how is a person to choose a sports medicine practice? As one of our clients explained, it all boils down to more intangible qualities — demeanor, so-called “bedside manner,” sense of humor — that can really make or break a trip to the doctor. At The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine, we want you to feel comfortable, despite your discomfort, and confident in our ability to take care of you.

dr ryan minara
Dr. Ryan Minara is one of the friendly podiatriac surgeons and sports medicine doctors at our NYC offices.
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The Tale of the Ingrown Toenail

Like many patients, one witty blogger detested going to the doctor’s office. She had been soaking her big toe in Epsom salts for a week when her boyfriend scheduled the appointment for her with Dr. Ryan Minara. At once, the doctor could tell the patient was suffering from an infected ingrown toenail. It’s actually more common than you may think. Any number of things can cause an ingrown toenail — heredity, trauma, improper clipping. In most cases, some sort of sports injury trauma is the culprit.

The patient described Dr. Minara as “affable.” He kindly explained that no one had ever died from an ingrown toenail, but “home surgery involving tweezers, nail clippers, a sterilized safety pin, and some over-the-counter antibiotic cream” was ill-advised. Once a foot infection spreads to the bone, he said, you could end up requiring an amputation, so it’s best not to let this sort of issue go untreated.

“I have to appreciate Minara’s accurate prediction of my lackluster at-home methods,” the patient remarked.

On a scale of 1-10, Dr. Minara said the toe was about a six — which is bad. He respected her wishes to “not see anything,” and worked quickly to fix the problem. One thing patients appreciate about Dr. Minara is that he is very clear about what will happen during an in-office procedure. He detailed the “process of excavating nail from skin” while making a few numbing injections around the foot. The patient didn’t feel a thing. After just 10 minutes, her toe was bandaged up “like a potato.”

Humor Makes a Doctor’s Visit More Enjoyable

When the procedure was done, the curious patient wondered what happened to “the extra bits” that had been removed from the toe.

“We usually make a soup!” Dr. Minara joked, without missing a beat.

“The three of us laugh, and I feel like myself again,” the patient later wrote in her blog.

All in all, she was thankful that her boyfriend made her go through with the appointment to get her foot taken care of properly. The procedure was quick, painless, and surprisingly easy. Dr. Minara’s gentle joking and friendly demeanor helped ease the patient’s worries and left her with an overall positive experience.

Ultimately, this is the difference between an “okay” sports medicine doctor and a “great” sports medicine doctor. You want someone who puts you at ease and makes you smile, even when you are in so much pain. You want to genuinely enjoy coming to see us… even if you may not like the news we have regarding your condition. In the end, you should be able to form an ongoing relationship with your chosen team of doctors — who are all committed to your ongoing health.

Need a NYC Foot Doctor oOr Sports Medicine Specialist?

Dr. Ryan Minara travels between our Manhattan and Westchester offices at The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine. We help patients with acute pain management and trauma, such as fractures or tears, as well as longstanding chronic issues like plantar fasciitis and bunions — even when it seems like no other treatments have worked. We are equipped with all the latest advancements, including ultrasound, laser therapy, cryosurgery, and platelet-rich plasma. Book an appointment with Dr. Minara today!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.