Letter: Steadman dedicated his life to his patients and his family | VailDaily.com

Letter: Steadman dedicated his life to his patients and his family

The valley has lost a great person.  

Dr. Richard Steadman passed away recently, the same way he lived his life with grace and dignity. I worked with Dr. Steadman for 30 years. From the time I met him, I immediately knew he was special. He was soft-spoken but you just couldn’t stop listening. We had so many talks about orthopedics, research, and life. At the end of each talk, he would always ask me how I was doing.

I learned so much from him, including how to be a better person. He dedicated his life to his patients and his family. He is the “father” of patient-based outcomes in sports medicine. Before Dr. Steadman, doctors would say well the x-ray looks good, so you must be good. Dr. Steadman felt the patient had to feel good. He always said no patient needs to be in pain. 

I remember so many patients coming in saying their other doctor said their knee was fine, but they were still in pain. Contrary to what some believe, he saw patients from all walks of life, not just athletes. People had pain for 10 years and then he would get them back to skiing. He wanted patients to be able to be active and enjoy life. He got the chance to teach this to many doctors who did fellowships with him. So many of them carry on his legacy around the world. 

His work with the U.S. Ski Team led to many of his fellows working with the ski team, traveling to provide medical coverage to all levels of skiers. He won so many awards around the world, too many to list. I just hope the valley realizes what a hero was lost and remembers him for years to come. The Steadman Clinic will carry his name. I will miss him forever.  

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Karen Briggs

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