Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics Greg Summerville, MD, entered his intern year in Internal Medicine with an open-minded readiness to explore the entire spectrum of medicine. At the outset of residency, Dr. Summerville could not have predicted that he would end up practicing in an evolving branch of Sports Medicine that treats adult and pediatric sports-related conditions and injuries with non-invasive, more accurate, and less painful innovative procedures — Non-Operative Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine.
Only when a sports-related injury requiring surgery curbed his athletic lifestyle during his intern year did personal experience fast-track Dr. Summerville’s career interests toward pursuing Sports Medicine.
He noted: “It was the first time I had been sidelined from being active, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized I had a huge passion for helping people stay active, as I see exercise as medicine, and having limitations that prevent you from exercising means you can’t live to your fullest.”
After residency at the University of California, San Francisco (2013-2016), Dr. Summerville completed a combined Pediatric/Adult Sports Medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/UPenn. Relocated to California’s Bay Area and appointed to the Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Summerville spent almost five years as team physician to several area colleges while helping to build the MSK ultrasound and concussion programs at Kaiser Permanente.
A UNC alumnus, Dr. Summerville joined the Department of Orthopaedics in February 2022 and serves on UNC’s four-physician Non-Operative Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine team. Certified in musculoskeletal ultrasound (RMSK), he was drawn to return to Chapel Hill to help advance his division’s strength in use of ultrasound for both diagnostic purposes and therapeutic interventions. Though division physicians all see and treat the entire spectrum of sports medicine, Dr. Summerville is unique in that he completed a sports fellowship with a special emphasis on youth athletes at the CHOP Sports Medicine and Performance Center.
“I wanted to enter practice with the expertise to take care of all age ranges. I see the entire spectrum of sports medicine, treating everything from youth sports injuries to arthritis care. Coming from a background in internal medicine, he credits having the opportunity to focus in on treating kids during his training as critical to developing a niche in youth sports medicine.”
In his first year at UNC, Dr. Summerville will be focused on building his team’s growth in sports medicine at UNC’s Carolina Pointe II and UNC Specialty Care at Pittsboro. In addition to his clinical roles, he is passionate about clinical education and looks forward to working with fellows, residents, and medical students. He is helping lead a workshop at an upcoming national meeting of the American College of Physicians where he will be teaching shoulder and knee examination to help practicing physicians fine tune their MSK diagnosis.
He noted: “UNC’s Sports Medicine program is growing. The Department of Orthopaedics recognizes the importance that non-operative providers play in helping people with musculoskeletal injuries as non-operative sports medicine grows in popularity with patients seeking alternatives to surgery. Given 75-80% of orthopaedic problems do not require surgery, our clinical research will further interventional therapeutics and treatment that will offer patients appealing options instead of invasive procedures.”