We sat down with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates physician, Dr Justin Raye to learn what motivated him to pursue the medical profession and how he helps his patients non-surgically.
What inspired you to become a physician?
I always had an interest for human physiology as well as health/fitness, which led me to pursue a major in Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate I volunteered in multiple different health/medical related fields in order to experience each possible career first hand. I became confident I wanted to become a physician after working closely with physicians within the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute at UF. I felt I was able to align my interests for athletics and human physiology while having the opportunity to closely interact and affect the lives of those within my community.
My father suffered from heart disease and had to undergo multiple cardiac procedures under the care of multiple different medical teams. When I was in high school he underwent his second open-heart surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville Florida. I was able to observe the interaction between multiple physicians as they helped care for my dad with the common goal for him to have the most successful outcome. Everyone was very professional and caring as they put in long hours yet always took the time to make sure my family was thoroughly informed. I knew from that experience that one day I wanted to put in the hard work so I would have the chance to be a part of a team in order to help others live their best quality of life with their family by their side.
My mom is a nurse and has always been a positive influence as I expressed interest in a medical career. She has always been someone in my family to talk to with a common interest of medicine.
The musculoskeletal system and the biomechanics regarding movement of the human body have always been strong interests of mine throughout my medical education. I enjoy interacting with others while applying my knowledge in order to help my patients improve their pain in order to improve their overall quality of life.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy affecting someone’s life in a positive way whether it’s by performing a procedure to decrease their pain or by taking the time to listen to and educate them on something that will impact their health. I can’t express how much I enjoy hearing that someone is getting better or moving back to some of the activities they love because their pain is improved.
What is your biggest challenge?
I enjoy listening to my patients and clearly explaining to them their problem while at the same time making sure they understand all planned treatments. I wish I could take even more time with each patient. I definitely do my best to answer all questions because it is important to me for my patients to be well informed regarding their care.
If you weren’t an orthopedic physician, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a professional soccer player in Barcelona (HaHa). Realistically though, I would have probably further explored my undergraduate major of exercise physiology and looked into teaching at the college level or becoming a strength and conditioning coach for a university or professional athletic team.
Your proudest moment?
Graduating medical school. The hard work and sacrifices along the way make an accomplishment that much better when you finally achieve it. I would never change a thing and ask myself, how can use my knowledge to improve the lives of others.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why?
I recently travelled to St Lucia for a week to relax and take in the culture/beauty of the island. We were able to spend several hours on the beach but also had the opportunity to hike the Gros Piton Mountain, go snorkeling in the coral reefs, and sailing at sunset. We are already planning our next vacation- Spain or a short Euro trip!
Any hobbies? Activities?
I really enjoy playing and watching just about any sport. I grew up playing soccer and always enjoy a game of pick up basketball. I plan to get more involved with golf. I am a big Florida Gator fan and try to get to Gainesville for football games as much as I can. I enjoy being outside whether it’s boating, fishing, paddle boarding or just spending time with family and friends.
What’s your next adventure?
I am always looking for a new place to explore and trying new things. My sister recently told us that Barcelona has been one of her favorite places that she travelled which is high on our list. I am open to all suggestions.
Your guilty pleasure food?
Pizza for sure. I also enjoy a good burger and BBQ ribs.
Dr Raye is an Interventional Pain Management Physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and his treatment focus includes, but is not limited to, back/neck pain, sciatica, spinal compression fractures, headaches, and chronic regional pain syndrome. His therapies include RFA, SCS, and regenerative therapy among many other non-surgical treatments. SOA has three locations and accommodates patients on a same day/next day basis when needed.