David R. Clawson has always been enamored of the Coachella Valley; for years he and his family visited from Washington state over long weekends and school breaks.
But it wasn’t until Eisenhower established a dedicated physical medicine and rehabilitation program that he jumped at the chance to move here full time to practice the kind of medicine he loved. Now, he swims almost every day and exercises outdoors whenever he likes. He does not miss the cold and rain of Seattle.
And, in between workouts, he got to help build a much-needed clinic.
“Given the demographics here, I think there’s a real strong need for our specialty,” Clawson says. “You might have someone who has had a stroke and wants to keep going. You also have a lot of older patients who want to stay active, but they’re prone to the injuries that tend to come along as we age.”
Although sports medicine is not his practice’s main focus, Clawson is board-certified in that field, and also treats people in their 20s who want to maintain their athletic performance and remain injury-free. They’re different types of patients, but Clawson keeps his eyes on the individual’s physical prize.
“We focus on whatever a patient’s goals are. Being able to get to the bathroom by themselves, that’s a goal, or run 100 miles, that’s a goal. And to optimize human performance, we have to look at it holistically: How are they doing with their sleep, their nutrition? All of those things are of interest to me.”
Clawson grew up playing team sports. “We’re working with psychologists, therapists, and other doctors,” he explains, “And there’s a good energy that comes from working with a patient and a team of people.”
VIDEO: Dr. David Clawson talks about the impact of his youth on becoming a doctor.