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Greenwich Doctor Takes Charge Of Medical Care At International Rugby Event

Local doctor Mark Kowalsky will serve as match day doctor at America's Rugby Championship. He will oversee care of top players from the United States and Chile. Photo Credit: contributed
Dr. Marc Kowalsky, at left, will oversee player care at America's Rugby Championship. Photo Credit: contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Dr. Marc Kowalsky heads to Fort Lauderdale this weekend to oversee the medical care of players at the America's Cup Rugby Championship match between the United States and Chile.

He's an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists in Stamford and Greenwich.

National teams from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and Uruguay are competing for the title. This championship is the North and South American equivalent to the prestigious European Six Nations Championship that is currently under way in Europe.

Kowalsky, who played rugby as an inside center while at Dartmouth, has been a team physician for the U.S. National Rugby Team, the Eagles, since 2012. In the role as match day doctor -- or MDD -- Kowalsky will work with the physicians of each competing team to medically supervise the entire match and coordinate the care of any player injured during the game.

Among the many responsibilities of an MDD, Kowalsky will make the final decision whether a player can return to a game, following an assessment for a head or bleeding injury, or severe trauma to the body.

"I feel privileged to care for top international players in a competition of this caliber," Kowalsky said.

An MDD must be a licensed practitioner who has a post-graduate qualification in sports, orthopedic or emergency medicine. Additionally, MDD's ideally would also have Level 2 World Rugby Immediate Care accreditation and experience as a rugby team physician.

National interest in rugby on a scholastic level has exploded in popularity in recent years, explained Kowalsky. He noted that most schools in our area have rugby teams as do some community organizations. Greenwich High School's rugby team is among the best in the country, he said.

Rugby fans may also rise following the return of the sport to the Summer Olympics, following a 92-year hiatus. America is the defending Olympic Rugby Champion, having won the gold medal in Paris way back in 1924.

For more information of Kowalsky's practice, visit its website.

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