Peter Kriz, MD, was a general pediatrician in private practice in 2005 when he saw a patient who changed the trajectory of his career. As Kriz stood outside the exam room and read the high school hockey player’s medical chart, he overheard the boy’s father coaching him on how to pass a test that is administered to patients who suffer concussions; this concussion was the boy’s third. “Think of it as a phone number” was the advice the father provided to recall the reverse digit spans used to assess concentration on the concussion assessment testing.
“I thought, ‘This is crazy.’ The most important thing to this father is trying to get his kid back into the game,” Kriz says. “I realized that we needed more doctors trained in managing sports concussions and their effects.”
Today, he’s an associate professor of orthopaedics and of pediatrics, and an assistant team physician at Brown, where his research interests include injury prevention in youth sports and sport-related concussions. Kriz is particularly interested in studying what happens when youth and high school sports teams are organized by skill level rather than age, size, and physical maturity level, especially in ice hockey.