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Spotlight: Michael Broton, MD, believes exercise is an underutilized tool for treating disease

Family and Sports Medicine Physician Michael Broton, MD, joined University of Minnesota Health earlier this year.
Helping patients recover from an injury or medical issue is a privilege for University of Minnesota Health Family and Sports Medicine Physician Michael Broton, MD.
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Helping patients recover from an injury or medical issue is a privilege for Family and Sports Medicine Physician Michael Broton, MD.

Broton joined University of Minnesota Health earlier this year, and sees patients at two clinics near or on the University of Minnesota campus. University of Minnesota Health spoke with Broton to get his views on exercise as a treatment tool for illness, diabetes and obesity and his approach to patient care.

Tell us about your role under University of Minnesota Health.
I provide sports medicine care at the University of Minnesota Health Sports Medicine Clinic in Stadium Village, and at the University of Minnesota Physicians Orthopaedic Clinic. I also help train family medicine residents at the University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in North Minneapolis. My role as a sports medicine physician is to diagnose and treat medical issues related to activity in recreational and amateur athletes. Most often, this involves treating musculo-skeletal injuries in those who are trying to maintain an active lifestyle. However, it can also include any activity-related health issue that is physically limiting for a person. For example, I can treat concussions and exercise-induced asthma, among other issues. I can also conduct pre-participation evaluations and offer exercise prescriptions for those starting exercise regimens.

Why are you passionate about your position?
It is a privilege to help patients recover from an injury, or work through a medical issue so they can reach their activity goal. I also believe that exercise is an underutilized tool when it comes to treating diseases and helping patients maintain their overall health. Some of my patients are attempting to return or maintain a high level of fitness after an injury or illness, while others are early in their journey toward their ideal activity level. Helping them achieve those goals is a lot of fun.

What is one of your favorite memories from your job?
One of my favorite moments involved helping an athlete who had a significant on-the-field injury return to high school athletics one year later. I kept in touch with the patient and family and was invited to his first collegiate basketball game. It was very gratifying to help him through the long healing process and watch as he matured into a fine young man.

Learn more about our sports medicine services.

What do you love about the University of Minnesota Health community?
It is a smart, compassionate, collaborative and driven community.

Tell us one surprising or interesting fact about yourself.
I like to run, cycle, swim, climb, hunt, and Nordic ski. I have worked with the Loppet Foundation organizing and providing medical care to Nordic skiers and Runners for over 10 years.

Anything else you want to share?
In response to the diabetes and obesity epidemics that this nation faces, medical providers need to be strong advocates for physical activity. We need to continue to challenge ourselves with activity goals and lead by example. My mantra is: Have fun, go play.

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