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Bryan Heiderscheit, PhD, Awarded Gaenslen Professorship at Faculty Investiture Celebration

L-R Bryan Heiderscheit, PhD, Eric Gaenslen and Heidi Gaenslen (Frederick and Clara Gaenslen’s grandchildren), and Tamara Scerpella, MD, Interim Chair, UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

On October 12, 2022, UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Vice Chair for Research, Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, Ph.D was awarded the Frederick Gaenslen Professorship in Orthopedics at the inaugural School of Medicine and Public Health Faculty Investiture Celebration at the Fluno Center in Madison.

Established through a generous bequest from Clara F. Gaenslen in memory of her husband, Dr. Frederick J. Gaenslen – the first chair of Orthopedic Surgery at UW – the Gaenslen Professorship represents an investment in our talent and the Department of Orthopedic and Rehabilitation’s future, enabling us to recognize and advance the pioneering research being done by Dr. Heiderscheit and his team.

Named the Department’s Vice Chair for Research in January 2022, Dr. Heiderscheit is internationally recognized for his leadership and innovative research aimed at understanding and enhancing the clinical management of orthopedic conditions, with a focus on sports-related injuries.

Dr. Heiderscheit was among the 32 outstanding faculty members honored that evening with an endowed appointment. Dr. Robert Golden, Dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health served as host for the event.

Thank you to the Gaenslen family for your generous support – and congratulations Dr. Heiderscheit, on receiving this well-deserved, distinguished honor.


November 21, 2022

Dr. Ashley Mohan joins Rehabilitation Faculty

Ashley Mohan, DO, joined the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health as an Assistant Professor (CHS) on September 1, 2022. Dr. Mohan earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a one-year fellowship in Osteopathic Manual Medicine at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Iowa. She went on to complete her internship year at Indiana University and her three-year residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UW-Madison.

Dr. Mohan knew early on that she wanted to pursue rehabilitation medicine. Having grown up playing soccer and running on her high school varsity cross country and track teams, she experienced “almost every injury in the legs that you can imagine.” Not surprising, she did a significant amount of rehab under the care of an osteopathic physician. Over time, she grew fascinated by her treatment and found herself wanting to “learn the hands-on, manual therapy,” as she gained a better understanding of “how people can not only rehab injuries, but how they can prevent injuries from happening as well.”

A West Coast native from Lodi, CA (an hour south of Sacramento), Dr. Mohan “fell in love with Madison” when she and her husband moved here for her residency. She credits the supportive faculty at UW and the flexibility to pursue her specific areas of interest, including teaching, as major factors in her decision to stay in Madison.

Clinically, Dr. Mohan’s primary focus is neurological rehabilitation, including the treatment of strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations, adult cerebral palsy patients, and multiple sclerosis. She also performs Botox injections for spasticity, nerve conduction studies and EMGs to test for peripheral nerve injuries, and she manages intrathecal baclofen pumps. In addition, Dr. Mohan consults at the main hospital for acute injuries and new amputations, helping to manage rehab diagnoses and ensure that patients have the appropriate follow-up and care as needed.

Dr. Mohan’s research focus is tied directly to the osteopathic manual therapy she provides in clinic. Because there is a significant lack of research in this area – and because she has seen how well OMT works for her patients – she has initiated a project that examines using osteopathic manual therapy in stroke patients.

Ultimately, Dr. Mohan’s strives to help her patients regain as much function as they can and adapt to a new way of life.

“Rehab medicine is unique for many reasons but what really motivates me to do this work is the ability to connect with patients on a deeper level and truly understand where they came from, how they are doing now, and where they hope to be.”

Welcome to the team, Dr. Mohan – we are so glad you are staying in Madison!


November 21, 2022

Joseph Mitchell, MD, joins the UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

Joseph Mitchell, MD, joined the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on May 1, 2022. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Mitchell earned his BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He then completed medical school and residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Following his residency, Dr. Mitchell went on to fellowship for one year at the University of California-San Diego, where he broadened and further honed his joint replacement skills.

After completing his fellowship, Dr. Mitchell practiced with Aurora Orthopedics in Sheboygan, WI. However, not long after he had begun to practice outside of academics, Dr. Mitchell discovered that he missed the curiosity and engagement of the medical students, residents, and fellows he had worked with throughout residency and fellowship.

Thus, when he learned of an opening for a joint replacement specialist in our department, he was thrilled at this opportunity to return to what he feels is his “medical home.”

An orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee, Dr. Mitchell is highly skilled in both primary and revision hip and knee replacement surgery. He has specific expertise using the anterior approach for hip replacement – a technique known to have a steep learning curve. Dr. Mitchell has performed over 800 joint replacements, using the anterior approach in many of these cases. In fact, because of his extensive training and experience – and because this approach expedites patient recovery by as much as three months, according to some studies – Dr. Mitchell uses this technique almost exclusively when performing a hip replacement.

Also certified to do robotic knee and hip replacement, Dr. Mitchell is trained in patient-specific instrumentation, or patient-specific implants, using their own anatomy to create the ultimate implants that are used.

Reflective of his goals and passions, Dr. Mitchell’s research interests include comparing the advantages of anterior approach hip replacement vs. the traditional posterior approach. He is also investigating the use of robotic navigation vs. traditional instruments (manual instrumentation) to determine if computer navigation makes a difference in patient outcomes. In addition, he plans to both study and work toward increasing diversity within the orthopedic field.

The factor that initially drew Dr. Mitchell to the orthopedics specialty – and why he is so passionate about both practicing and teaching in the field today – is that “more than any other specialty, orthopedics enables a physician to quickly improve a person’s quality of life with a short procedure.”

“What really drives me is knowing that, although the surgical procedure itself is the same every time, for that individual, you are putting them back to a place they were 10, 15, maybe 20 years ago, in terms of their mobility and their quality of life. You give them back their ability to get out and just enjoy the things they enjoy doing. Seeing those patients at follow up and having them do very well, that is what motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing.”


June 13, 2022

Don’t delay if you want to play: UW Health urges families to schedule sports physicals now


MADISON, Wis. – Experts with UW Health are encouraging young athletes to schedule their pre-participation sports physical exams with their primary care provider now to avoid a last-minute scramble before the start of school sports this summer.

Pre-participation physical exams have long been used in the United States to detect conditions that predispose the athlete to injury or illness. The exam, which typically includes a review of health history and examination of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, is required by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) before athletes are allowed to participate in high school sports. Failure to complete the required exam on time can prevent athletes from starting their sport.

But according to Dr. David Bernhardt, pediatrician and sports medicine physician at UW Health, athletes should approach these exams with more than just sports in mind. He says routine sports physicals, though useful, are too narrow in focus and can sometimes neglect other issues that could be critically important to a high schooler’s wellbeing.

“Pre-participation physicals are a great opportunity for high schoolers to have a more comprehensive well visit with their primary care provider,” said Bernhardt. “Sports physicals are often the only time that adolescents schedule time with their pediatrician outside of visits for injuries or illness, so it makes sense that we use this time to evaluate these kids for more than just their readiness to engage in sports. There are many other topics that we should be discussing, like mental health, which can be just as important to a child’s short- and long-term wellbeing.”

Bernhardt says athletes should always go to their primary care provider for these exams because it ensures continuity of care and allows the athlete’s physician to identify changes over time and react appropriately. He also says physical exams that are performed in retail-based clinics or in schools often lack privacy, which can make it less likely for adolescents to disclose private or potentially embarrassing concerns during the exam.


UW Health News | April 28, 2022
Contact: Emily Kumlien
(608) 516-9154 |

National Women Physicians Day

Today we celebrate the fifth annual National Women Physicians Day on the 201st birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell – the first woman to earn a medical degree in America.

Not surprising, the road to that degree was not an easy one; Blackwell was rejected by 29 programs before finally being accepted by a small New York college in 1847. Two years later, she graduated first in her class, a monumental personal and historic achievement. Despite being the lone female physician in the country at that time, Blackwell stared down society’s prejudices, going on to build a medical practice, establish a medical college for women, and campaign for reform in the medical profession.

An inspiration and a true pioneer, Blackwell’s perseverance and dedication blazed a trail for countless women.

In honor of this important day, we would like to recognize and thank the women physicians on our faculty and in our residency programs for their strength, determination, and leadership – and for the outstanding care they provide to our patients every day.