Dr. Robin West, the Director of Sports Medicine for the Washington Redskins, has been named one of the 2016 IMPACT25 Athletes and Influencers by ESPNW.
In addition, Dr. West serves as the medical director of Inova Sports Medicine in Fairfax, Va., and is the Lead Team Physician for the Washington Nationals. She is also a board-certified orthopedics and sports medicine surgeon.
Dr. West is in her first year with the Redskins and spent 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers as assistant orthopedic team physician. She also served as team physician for the athletic department at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
She has been a leader in her field for many years, as the first and only head female physician in both Major League Baseball and the NFL. There are eight other females who serve as team physicians over the two leagues, but what West is doing is unique.
Ryan Clark, a former NFL safety for the Giants, Redskins and Steelers, wrote about his experience working with her when both were a part of the Steelers organization for ESPNW.
“I was an undrafted guy who thought I could never miss anything. What [Dr. West] did for me was make me feel comfortable with not having to put on an air of invincibility,” Clark wrote. “Any time you're a woman in a macho, manly field, you're going to encounter obstacles. Dr. West has always handled it with class. Whatever opportunity she was given, she did it in a way that was respectful to herself and to the patient.
“That's hard to do in the world of football because it is such an ego-driven profession. She shows that if you're a professional and good at your job and you work hard and excel, you should be rewarded in a way that is befitting of that work. Gender doesn't matter.”
The list includes other female figures who have had success in sports this year or have made a big impact, including Woman of the Year gymnast, Simone Biles, Redskins fan and Maryland native Katie Ledecky and Kathyrn Smith, the first female full-time NFL coach.
Dr. West has shown to be a groundbreaking figure in the world of sports medicine and someone that is a role model for people all over.
“Progress is a part of life and progress is possible,” Clark wrote. “For my daughter, who is extremely smart, she now has an example of what can be done. I think that's cool.”
Congratulations, Dr. West!