Get to Know Dr. Michael C. Ciccotti, Rothman’s Newest Sports Medicine Surgeon

November 10th, 2021

Briefly introduce yourself and detail your history as a physician, joining Rothman

My name is Michael C. Ciccotti and I am Rothman Orthopaedics’ newest Orthopaedic Surgeon, specializing in Sports Medicine Surgery. I am proud to consider myself a native of the Philadelphia area, having grown up in and gone to high school in the suburbs just outside the city. My love of sports is inextricably tied to this city, the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers. It was here on the Schuylkill River where my own athletic career started as a coxswain in the sport of crew/rowing, competing in races like Philadelphia’s storied Stotesbury Regatta.

 I left Philadelphia after high school for college at Yale University where I was recruited as a four-year member of the Varsity Heavyweight Crew/Rowing team and had the chance to compete nationally and internationally. I was honored in my senior year to receive the Augustus S. Blagden Trophy, presented to that senior who has done most to enhance the tradition of rowing at Yale. However, I knew that the time had come to transition from being an athlete myself to becoming a surgeon who takes care of athletes.

My journey brought me back to Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University, and Rothman Orthopaedics. I received my M.D. from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson and had the opportunity to stay for my Orthopaedic Surgery Residency with Jefferson and Rothman Orthopaedics, long considered one of the nation’s best Orthopaedic Surgery Residency programs. I followed residency with a fellowship in Sports Medicine Surgery at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. However, my love of Philadelphia couldn’t keep me away for long and I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to return home and join Rothman Orthopaedics. My wife, who is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in the United States Navy, looks forward to joining me here after the completion of her service.  


How did you get involved with sports medicine specifically?

Many of us who go into Sports Medicine Surgery are former athletes with a deep understanding of the stresses that sport puts on the human body and the role that physicians play in helping to keep athletes in top condition. While that is certainly true of me, my own draw to Sports Medicine Surgery actually began much earlier.

My father is also an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine Surgery and so I had the opportunity to grow up seeing what he did firsthand. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the job. I fell in love with the challenging problems; their tangible, tactile nature; the ability to use my hands to perform intricate and precise surgeries.

But mostly I fell in love with the opportunity to help people simply get back to doing the things that they love to do, whether they’re a worker or a “weekend warrior,” or high school, collegiate, elite, professional, or Olympic athlete. Along this journey, I’ve been truly blessed to have my dad as my greatest mentor, a constant source of inspiration and guidance. Now I get to fulfill a life-long dream of working alongside him as a member of the Sports Medicine Division at Rothman. 

What was the process like joining the ski and snowboard national team as a physician?

One of the greatest opportunities that I received in my training was the opportunity to start working with the US Skiing and Snowboarding teams. Just like Rothman Orthopaedics provides medical care here in Philadelphia to the Eagles and Phillies and Sixers, the Steadman Clinic, where I did my fellowship, has an association with US Ski and Snowboard, the national governing body for Olympic Skiing and Snowboarding in the United States. One of my mentors there, Dr. Tom Hackett, serves as the Head Team Physician for US Snowboarding and I was given the opportunity as a fellow to help provide medical coverage for the US Ski and Snowboard teams.

As a fellow, I spent three weeks in Austria providing medical care for national team athletes on the US Ski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Snowboard Cross teams.  I’ve been very fortunate to be asked to continue to provide medical coverage for the team as part of a pool of US physicians who volunteer their time and expertise. It is a tremendous honor to be able to participate in the care of these athletes as they represent the United States and follow their Olympic dreams. It represents everything we aspire to as Sports Medicine Surgeons, supporting athletes in their pursuit of excellence, attempting to do something better than any human being has done it before.

I was thrilled this year to travel to Switzerland with the Ski and Snowboard Halfpipe teams, which was particularly exciting as they prepare for the upcoming February 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Many of these athletes will be seeking to bring home medals for the United States.

Click here to read part two on Dr. Ciccotti’s experience working with the Ski and Snowboard Halfpipe teams. If you’re in need of orthopaedic attention, learn more about our service offerings here.



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