"I tell my kids that you have to be a part of the community, and that you have to give more than you take. You volunteer because it's who you want to be."
Since joining the Orthopedic Surgery Department in 1991, Dr. Burger has channeled his love of sports and his sports medicine fellowship training into numerous volunteer roles with a common focus -- the prevention and management of youth sports injuries.
Since 1992, he has served as Associate Team Physician at UC Davis, and over the years has given his time and talent to similar roles at California State University at Sacramento, American River College, Sierra College, and Yuba College – caring for hundreds of athletes, some of whom have become professional players. Dr. Burger provided exceptional care and same-day access, even on weekends and holidays, for injured athletes who are KP members, as well as consultations to non-KP physicians.
For younger athletes, he created the Little League Safety Course in 1995 – an annual event at which he teaches coaches in the Sacramento Valley about injury prevention, recognition and basic treatment. “I’ll always be a Little Leaguer,” says Dr. Burger, who also played baseball in college. His goal is to expand the Safety Course to junior high and high school coaches throughout California.
In 2006, at the suggestion of his teenage daughter, Dr. Burger launched his most recent project – arranging for the athletes participating in the Northern California Special Olympics to receive free pre-competition health examinations at KP. He is now working to make this an annual event.