Tabor hires local physician as team doctor

Staff writer

Dr. Greg Erb has a passion for sports, after playing them in college and high school. That passion, and that of his physician’s assistant Josh Smith, led Erb to accept a position Tabor College’s athletic physician.

Erb came to Hillsboro as a sports and family physician at Hillsboro Physicians Clinic earlier this year. Smith joined the team at Hillsboro Clinic in February.

He and Smith will begin attending football games this fall checking athletes health and treating their game time injuries. Smith will also be available to athletes twice a week to asses any health issues during practice or off-season.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Smith said. “I’ve always had an athletic background and like being around sports and athletes.”

Smith played football while in high school, and Erb played defensive back for the University of Kansas. Both have a passion for the sport, and know how dangerous its can be.

“I’ll be at every home football game because the potential for injury is high,” Smith said. “It has yet to be determined what my role would be for other sports or basketball in the winter. We’ve talked about doing them on a rotational schedule with other area doctors.”

The rotation could include doctors from St. Luke Hospital or Newton Medical Center depending on interest. It would mean each doctor would not be too bogged down with too many games, and that a physician would always be on hand in case of an emergency.

Smith said he and Erb would always be available by phone if unable to attend a game, and trainers would still be present at every sporting event.

This is the first time Smith has ever been a team doctor, but he has studied orthopedics at a hospital in Kansas City.

Head athletic trainer Season Graves said it’s been several years since Tabor has had a team doctor.

“Our previous doctor was located in Hutchinson or Wichita and it was hard for him or a member of his team to travel to games,” Graves said. “Someone locally can attend games easier and can refer to an orthopedic doctor if the injury is too serious for them to handle.”

Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference rules dictate that a medical professional must be present at every sporting event in case of injury.

“The problem is general doctors usually don’t have a sports background and have a hard time with injuries sustained during games and practice,” Graves said.

Graves said she hopes the partnership is successful for the school and Hillsboro Community Hospital.

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