Dr. John Drawbert MD’80 never intended to stay in Wisconsin. He spent much of his childhood in Florida, and after a few years in Madison during high school, he returned to the Sunshine State to attend the University of Florida. Attending medical school at UW-Madison brought him back to Wisconsin.
“I was accepted to medical schools in the South,” says Drawbert, “but when I asked doctors I respected, they said that UW–Madison offered more opportunities, and the reputation was stellar.”
After an internship and residency at the University of Kentucky, and a fellowship in Salt Lake City, he returned to Wisconsin to work in Eau Claire.
“I meant to stay for only one year,” says Drawbert. He and his wife have now been in Eau Claire for 30 years. “We fell in love with this community.”
I’ve always had a great relationship to UW–Madison. They are colleagues of mine.
Drawbert is a highly accomplished surgeon who specializes in knee and shoulder surgery and replacements. He is also an important figure in the local athletic community: with a group of five athletic trainers, he serves as the team doctor for 15 area high schools. Drawbert is also the team physician for UW-Eau Claire.
But Drawbert’s accomplishments go beyond his day-to-day medical work. He chairs the board of Oak Leaf Surgical Hospital, a facility he started 20 years ago with a group of independent physicians from the area. The hospital ranks as one of the country’s finest, with patient ratings unmatched by other facilities of its kind.
Throughout his career in Eau Claire, Drawbert has maintained a close connection to the medical school at UW–Madison.
“If I need information or a second opinion,” he says, “there are people I know down in UW orthopedics in Madison whom I will turn to. I’ve always had a great relationship to UW–Madison. They are colleagues of mine.”