In the spring of 1978, Dr. George Wade had a vision: to start an orthopedic practice specializing in Sports Medicine.

In 1978, after completing a sports medicine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in southern California, Dr. George Wade moved to Boise. His surgical practice began with the help of Dr. Richard Gardner, Idaho’s first sports medicine orthopedist and the original Boise State University team physician. In 1979, Dr. Wade succeeded Dr. Gardner as the BSU team physician and created Idaho Sports Medicine Institute (ISMI) as a specialized orthopedic care facility for athletes and active persons of all ages and abilities. To achieve this goal, he hired an exercise physiologist (James Moore), an athletic trainer and a physical therapist to begin offering specialized, progressive rehabilitation in conjunction with orthopedic surgery. Thus, the philosophy of Idaho Sports Medicine Institute was founded.

George A. Wade, M.D., Emeritus
ISMI staff on the blue Boise State University football field
Patient receiving treatment while in ankle brace.
Patient receiving treatment for knee pain.
Patient receiving treatment for knee pain.
Female receptionist at the front desk of ISMI.
Machines inside of Idaho Sports Medicine Institute.
Achilles heel treatment procedure.
Front of Idaho Sports Medicine Institute. Red brick building under the Boise State University stadium.

In 1984, at the request of Boise State University’s athletic administration, the ISMI clinic moved to the BSU football stadium. This move created the first such arrangement in the United States: a privately owned medical facility on a state-owned university campus. In 1985, Dr. Kirk Lewis, a friend and colleague of Dr. Wade’s from the University of Michigan, joined ISMI after completion of fellowship training in sports medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1991, after years of caring for athletes at the professional, Olympic, collegiate, high school and recreational levels, yet another landmark addition was made to ISMI. As a new faculty member at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho (FMRI), Dr. Karl Watts saw the potential for ISMI to become a premier training site for Family Medicine physicians interested in pursuing sports medicine. That year, ISMI and FMRI formalized the relationship that created a nationally recognized yearly sports medicine fellowship for Family Medicine physicians. Since then, prior ISMI fellowship graduates have become accomplished Team Physicians for high school and university programs across the country.

Dr. Scot Scheffel, a primary care sports medicine physician, joined the ISMI staff in 2000 after completing a fellowship in sports medicine at ISMI. This created the first permanent staff position for a “non-operative” sports medicine physician at ISMI. Dr. Jennifer Miller, originally from Boise, joined the staff in 2004 following completion of a sports medicine fellowship at Congress Medical Associates in Pasadena, CA.

The current staff of four orthopedic surgeons and one primary care physician hold either Clinical Faculty or Professorship positions at Boise State University, University of Washington School of Medicine or University of California Davis School of Medicine. ISMI provides formal coverage as team physicians for Boise State University Athletics and several area high schools. The clinic also has affiliations with Snake River Rugby, Idaho Special Olympics, Boise State club sports and numerous high school programs throughout southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. ISMI serves not only as physicians and consultants for these teams, but also for individuals with active lifestyles throughout the region.

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“You don’t play sports to get fit, you get fit to play sports.”