UTSW physician volunteering at Tokyo Olympics
DALLAS – Aug. 8, 2021 – Dr. Stephanie Tow, M.D., Director of the Adaptive Sports Medicine Program at UT Southwestern who serves as team physician and medical director of multiple adaptive/Para sports organizations and events in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, completed her first week of providing volunteer care at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Dr. Tow, head team physician and a national medical classifier for the U.S. Paralympics Swimming national team, is serving as a volunteer physician for two weeks, assigned to provide general medical support in the Olympics athlete village and isolation hotel designated for any participants who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Dr. Tow is one of only 16 overseas physicians in this role, alongside many other Japanese physicians.
“Many sports medicine physicians strive to work at the Olympics at some point in their career so it’s an honor to be asked and to be able to go so early in my career,” said Dr. Tow, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, ranked No. 17 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and part of UT Southwestern’s Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. “It’s such a privilege to be able to work with international leaders on this side of sports medicine.”
Dr. Tow has been strictly following the Olympics COVID-19 protocol, which includes COVID-19 testing each day at work to ensure safety for her and others. She has spent her first week caring for Olympic athletes and delegation staff from around the world in both the athlete village and the COVID-19 isolation hotel.
“I am confident with what is in place to control the spread of COVID-19 infection. With the protocols in place, we have been very effective in keeping COVID-19 infection numbers low and essentially creating an Olympics bubble to protect everyone from COVID-19 as best as we can,” Dr. Tow added.
Dr. Tow has a wealth of experience in sports medicine event coverage, including serving as the medical director for the World Para Swimming World Series in Lewisville in 2021, and a volunteer physician with many youth, high school, collegiate, and professional sports teams and events during her career.
Dr. Tow, also part of the UT Southwestern Pediatric Group that sees pediatric patients at Children’s Health℠ Specialty Center Cityville in Dallas and at Scottish Rite for Children Sports Medicine in Frisco, is one of only four physicians in the U.S. to have completed dual fellowship training in the subspecialties of pediatric rehabilitation medicine and sports medicine. She performed her pediatric rehabilitation medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado/Children’s Hospital Colorado, her sports medicine fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and is now board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in both sports medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Dr. Tow completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, after which she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2009. She earned her medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University) – New Jersey Medical School and completed her residency and chief residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern in 2016 and 2017 before joining UT Southwestern’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation faculty in 2020.
Dr. Tow is a member of multiple national, institutional, and departmental committees and serves in leadership roles for several of them, including as Chair-Elect of the Adapted Sports and Recreation Committee of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. She has delivered scores of lectures and presentations and is involved in multiple research projects related to her clinical interests in adaptive/Para sports medicine, concussion, pediatric sports medicine, pediatric rehabilitation medicine, and medical education. Among many other honors, she was recognized as having a top original research abstract at the 2019 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly in San Antonio.
“It has been inspiring to be able to finally bring the world together and show off a lot of our athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” said Dr. Tow, who grew up playing multiple sports including being a competitive swimmer who helped lead her high school team in the state championship in New Jersey her senior year. She also competed on the Johns Hopkins University women’s ultimate Frisbee team, has competed in multiple triathlons, and enjoys skiing, cycling, yoga, traveling, cooking, camping, and hiking.
About UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,800 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 117,000 hospitalized patients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases, and oversee nearly 3 million outpatient visits a year.