Q&A with orthopaedic surgeon Robert Adams
Ryan Summerlin August 20, 2014
Dr. Robert Adams has just joined Valley View to launch the Glenwood Orthopaedic Center. He has lived and practiced orthopaedics in the Roaring Fork Valley for the last 16 years. His wife, Stacey, is a native of Glenwood Springs. He earned his undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, attended Baylor College of Medicine and did his internship and residency at the University of Colorado. He has a 20-year-old daughter, Connor, who is a junior at Gonzaga University, and a 17-year-old son, Cole, who is a freshman at Carroll College. He has an 8-year-old golden retriever named Champ who is “the best dog in the world.”
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Chicago but my parents moved to Dallas when I was 6 months old. I met my wife while I was in medical school — we were introduced through mutual friends. I had never heard of Glenwood Springs until I met her. In fact, I kept making fun of her about being from a small town and she said, “You just have to visit and then you will understand what a great place it is.” She was right. And after my first visit I could see myself practicing and raising a family here.
Why did you decide to become an orthopaedic surgeon?
When I was in eighth grade, I had my first knee surgery, an MCL repair. In those days, doctors operated on MCLs — now we rarely do. When I woke up after surgery I told my parents this is something I could do — be an orthopaedic doctor. I was interested in helping people get back to being active doing what they like to do. My parents were thrilled.
Why did you choose to come here?
Someone wisely told me to do my residency closest to where I wanted to practice, so that’s why I chose University of Colorado where I could be as close as possible to Glenwood and my wife’s hometown. While at University Hospital, I worked at an indigent care clinic that repaired fractures and the clinic was staffed with two docs from Glenwood who knew my wife’s father — Skip Likely — the owner of a service station that used to be on the corner on the way to Sunlight. It’s now a fly shop. Working with those docs reinforced my desire to practice here.
What do you do for fun?
There is so much to do in this valley, and I do a lot. I mountain bike, road bike and raft. I am a beginner kayaker and I play a little golf. I also enjoy playing tennis with my wife. In the fall I hunt and fish, and in the winter I snowboard, ski and snowmobile. For the past 11 years, I have gone on an extreme snowcat skiing trip with buddies in British Columbia. Over the past several years, I’ve also enjoyed taking my kids on snowcat and heli-skiing trips as well. We own a time share in Kauai where I enjoy paddle surfing.
Where is the joy in medicine?
Relieving people from suffering from joint pain. I see patients who have been suffering from hip or knee joint pain for 20 years. Then when I replace their joint, I make them so happy, they want to give me a big hug. That’s when I know I have done my job.
What does patient-centered care mean to you?
It means catering to the patient’s every need. The Valley View team will do whatever we can to help the patient feel more comfortable. For example, if a patient is nervous before surgery, a massage therapist will be by his/her side to calm nerves.
If you could sing a karaoke song, what would it be?
That’s funny as both my wife and I are terrible singers and should never sing. What is ironic is, my PA and my nurse gave me a karaoke machine for my birthday. In return, I am going to make a CD of my wife and me singing and force them to listen to it. I like country music — so I would sing Zac Brown, Toby Keith or Billy Currington.
What is your favorite Coloradough?
I love the apple fritters. Oh, and the cinnamon sugar donuts. So good but, oh, so bad!