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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, MinneapolisVIEW PROFILE
Elena (Ellie) Jelsing, M.D., is a physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in downtown Minneapolis — a state-of-the-art facility providing comprehensive world- class sports medicine care at Mayo Clinic Square. Mayo is the exclusive medical provider for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Minnesota Lynx. Both teams have practice facilities and corporate offices in Mayo Clinic Square.
Dr. Jelsing also is the head team physician for the USA Curling team, which is headquartered in Blaine, Minnesota, and a team physician for the U.S. Ski Team.
After she completed her sports medicine fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she practiced for two years at the University of Washington (Seattle) in the Sports and Spine Division in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. She returned to Mayo Clinic to practice in 2015. She’s an assistant professor of PM&R. And she just had her first child.
Minnesota is home, and so was Mayo. I grew up in St. Cloud and went to high school in Mora, Minnesota, where my immediate family remains. I graduated from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and did my PM&R residency and sports medicine fellowship at Mayo. I was excited to return — even more so because Mayo now has a presence in Minneapolis. That was a big draw — I could be in the Twin Cities and still work for Mayo Clinic. I started about a year after the clinic opened.
It was good to practice in a different system — the University of Washington — to get perspective and see how things work at another facility. I missed the very collaborative nature at Mayo. You can get a specialty consult so easily — just pick up the phone and call a colleague in another department.
I love working at Mayo in Minneapolis. Our facility will be doubling in size in the next year. Dr. (Nancy) Cummings (OR ’14), is a huge mentor for me. Her office is next to mine, and I can run radiographs and surgical plans by her at any time.
We see patients and athletes of all kinds across a broad spectrum — everyday people with musculoskeletal injuries as well as high school, college, professional, national and international athletes.
Professional athletes are exciting because of the publicity that surrounds their sports. You could have an impact on helping a well-known athlete get back on the court. But I also love high school and collegiate athletes. They also want to do anything possible to get back to play, and their passion is just as strong as the pros.
The curling and ski team athletes are exciting to care for, especially with the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea coming up.
I’ve always been an athlete. In high school I played soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball. In college I played soccer and softball. As a relatively out-of-shape adult, I still enjoyed soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball rec leagues. I’m pregnant now, so I’ve been practicing my bean-bag game.
Nash Jensen was born on Aug. 19. I also have stepchildren who are 8 and 6.
A lot of sports medicine involves coverage — on the practice field, in the training room and at games —often on nights and weekends outside of clinic hours. Similarly, research and education often take place after clinic hours. I realize this will be a challenge with a baby, but I’ve invested in a nice baby carrier so he can accompany me to the training room.
I hope to. Not every Olympic team gets to take along a physician. We’ll find out soon. I’m hoping to go to the curling Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, in November. Hopefully I will be able to take the baby along to the trials and the Olympics. My husband and I are going to Hawaii on vacation in November as a trial run of traveling with an infant.
It’s the most watched Olympic winter sport in the U.S. It’s booming in the Twin Cities. New leagues start and are filled up in minutes. It’s a sport that appeals to everyone. It doesn’t hurt that most curling centers have restaurants and bars, so there’s a lot of socialization around the sport. There’s actually a lot of strategy involved in curling. I still have a lot to learn about it.
I am, and I’m very excited about it. We’ve been busy optimizing the curriculum to make it the best experience in the country. I did my fellowship at Mayo Clinic, and we want to make this one just as good, if not better. I’m early enough in my practice to remember my fellowship year very vividly. I am eager to help make this fellowship experience the absolute best.
In addition to the fellowship, we also have family medicine, PM&R and emergency medicine residents from Mayo Clinic in Rochester and nationally rotate through our clinic regularly. We really embrace the education shield.
See past New Chapter stories here.