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Dr. James Lohse credits his medical career to a guidance counselor at his all-boys Catholic high school in Staten Island, New York. The counselor suggested a course in injury treatment, and Lohse soon became one of the area’s first student athletic trainers.
“That guidance counselor saw in me that I could relate to lots of different personalities,” Lohse says.
“It was what happened at the first season practice that was a game changer, though,” he adds. During that football practice, there was a large crash. A woman had wrapped her car around a pole. Grabbing his big orange tackle box, Lohse says his first responder skills kicked in. The EMT who arrived complimented Lohse on his work.
“I felt personally then that I was called to medicine,” Lohse says. “I still think of that woman all these years later.”
Lohse originally trained in family medicine moved into sports medicine—he wanted to take care of the whole athlete, not just focus on bones. Since 2003, Dr. Lohse has been specializing in concussions. Growing up in central New Jersey, Lohse played every sport—a passion for athletics he is fostering in his three sons. Their childhood is similar to Lohse’s own in another way.
“Central New Jersey is very much like Middle Tennessee, so it was really a seamless tradition,” he says, adding, “Moving here was the best personal decision my wife and I have made.”