Paul Saenz, DO
When it comes to partnering with patients to prevent illness and injury, Paul Saenz, DO, is at the top of his game. As team physician for the NBA San Antonio Spurs, Dr. Saenz uses a whole-person approach to help athletes heighten performance and extend their careers.
“The next best thing to being an athlete is taking care of one,” says Dr. Saenz, a sports medicine physician and associate clinical professor of osteopathic medicine. “Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to provide care for a full spectrum of athletes, from recreational to professional.”
What drew you to practice medicine?
It was in my blood. As a teenager, I worked the counter at my dad’s pharmacy. Seeing him use his passion for science to help people really compelled me toward a career in medicine where I could have a real effect on a person’s health and lifestyle.
Why did you choose osteopathic medicine?
It just seemed like the right fit for me. I interviewed at an osteopathic medical school and connected right away with the holistic philosophy. I was fortunate to meet an osteopathic physician who specialized in sports medicine and remember thinking, “Wow—that sounds like a dream job!” After that, I spoke with the DO who cared for my grandmother and that was it—the decision was made!
What is your proudest achievement?
Serving as a national team physician for four Olympic sports and as team doc for the Spurs, who have won five NBA championships. I’m also proud to hold a teaching faculty position, helping to prepare the next generation of DOs. I’ve truly had the career of my dreams.
What’s one word you would use to describe your patients?
Motivated. That’s what makes my job so fun. Athletes are typically very committed to health and performance. They’re driven to succeed and it’s rewarding to help them meet their goals. In a small way, it feels like their success is part of my success.”
Describe your perfect day.
Wake up, have a great breakfast and go for a bike ride with my wife. Any day that includes exercise and a good meal is a pretty good day!