Wiemi Douoguih '92Back on the Field Washington, D.C.
As much as Wiemi Douoguih '92 wanted to be a doctor, he also wanted to stay close to his love of sports.
An All-American and ODAC Conference Player of the Year in lacrosse at Washington and Lee, Douoguih noticed that injured teammates were able to take some time off and return to play again. What happened to them during that interim period — being treated by doctors — made him realize that he could specialize in sports medicine and combine both of his passions.
Now an orthopedic surgeon, Douoguih has been the medical director for the Washington Nationals baseball franchise for the past seven years. Recently he added the same title with the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. In addition, he sees collegiate, high school, adolescent and professional and recreational athletes at his private practice at MedStar Orthopedic Institute at Washington Hospital Center.
After majoring in chemistry at W&L, Douoguih earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond and did his residency at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. A fellowship in sports medicine and orthopedics at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, one of the world's leading clinics in the diagnosis and treatment of sports medicine injuries and illnesses, "exposed me to athletes affiliated with the Dodgers, Angels, Kings (hockey), Galaxy (soccer), and USC Trojan football," he said.
"I was exposed to the full gamut of sports medicine and also the nuances of dealing with management," he said.
Prior to joining the Nationals, he was assistant team doctor for the Washington Redskins, where he worked under world-renowned senior consultant James Andrews. Recommendations from Andrews and Frank Jobe (a co-founder of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic) led to his hire by the Nationals at age 34.
Douoguih is on site for about 70-75 percent of all Nationals' home games, where he treats any injuries from both the home and away teams. At the ballpark, he has an office and treatment area, and he supervises the trainers, physical therapists, a chiropractor and the strength and conditioning specialists.
A specialist in elbow, shoulder and knee injuries, Douoguih said the most common injuries he sees are hamstring and oblique injuries and elbow injuries to pitchers that require "Tommy John" surgery, a reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow. Douoguih is one of only five doctors who have performed three or more Tommy John surgeries on major league pitchers.
Following an injury to a player, Douoguih and his staff can recommend placing a player on the disabled list or "DL," but the final decision is made by the general manager.
Douoguih came to W&L on an academic scholarship. A native of suburban New Jersey, Lexington was a bit of a culture shock to him, but after some adjustment, "I found it to be a special place that helped shape the rest of my life."
His advisor in the chemistry department, William Watt, encouraged him in his quest to be a doctor and also to play lacrosse. "It was a challenge to do pre-med and play a varsity sport," Douoguih said. "He encouraged me and gave me tips on study and discipline."
Other mentors were Michael Pleva, emeritus professor of chemistry, "a lacrosse fan," and Lisa Alty, professor of chemistry, who "kept me in line and made sure my work was done."
He credits his lacrosse coach, Jim Stagnitta, with being "like a father away from home." The coach "taught me life lessons that still serve me to this day."
As a busy alumnus, Douoguih takes time to talk to W&L student athletes who are interested in medical careers. "I encourage them and sometimes write letters of recommendation" for them, he said.
He is living proof that medicine and sports do mix and that pursuing your dual passions can lead to success in a career.
- by Linda Evans. Photo by Gary Landsman.
In Action People and Programs
W&L's motto, "not unmindful of the future," underlies the University's commitment to providing a liberal arts education that is vital and relevant in the 21st century. By combining the benefits of a liberal arts foundation with emerging technologies and interdisciplinary perspectives, our students head into life after college equipped with the habits of mind, strength of character and essential knowledge needed to pursue lives of consequence.
For over 250 years, Washington and Lee graduates have been making landmark contributions to the world. Its alumni are leaders in business, journalism, medicine and many other fields. The number who have held top posts in government--27 U.S. senators, 67 U.S. representatives, 31 state governors and four Supreme Court justices--is testament to the University's commitment to fostering the ideals of visionary leadership.
And our graduates maintain a lifelong connection to the University. Through W&L's strong alumni network, composed of over 25,000 graduates in 81 chapters worldwide, current students experience the benefits of this tight-knit community in the form of financial support, meaningful internships and career mentors.
As President Kenneth P. Ruscio stated in his 2009 convocation address, "What has distinguished us, I firmly believe, is not a rhetorical commitment to character, but a deeply effective history of students becoming aware of their responsibilities to others, and later leading lives of service that bring distinction to themselves and to this University."
At a Glance Facts and Figures
Visit, Interview, Apply See Yourself Here
Ready to learn more? Come visit us in Lexington for a campus tour and class visit, or connect with one of our admissions counselors in a city near you. We look forward to meeting you.
Visit Tours and Interviews
Schedule your visit with a campus tour and/or info session online.
Call our office to schedule your interview and/or class visit (for high school seniors only). We will coordinate your interview and class visit with your already scheduled visit. (540) 458-8710.
There are various ways in which you can still connect with Washington and Lee University and the Office of Admissions:
Apply Quick Guide
Early Decision is a binding commitment; enrollment is required if you are accepted.
- ED-1: Nov. 1
- ED-2: Jan. 1
Regular Decision is for students who want to maximize options.
- Deadline: Jan. 1
Johnson Scholarship (additional essay required, instructions on the W&L Writing Supplement to the Common Application.)
- Deadline: Dec. 1
Financial Aid and Scholarships
We seek to ensure that the cost of attending W&L does not prevent outstanding students from choosing to enroll. A generous need-based aid program and merit-based scholarships can make that investment more manageable than you may think. Visit Financial Aid for more information.
The Johnson Scholarship Program awards over 40 full tuition, room and board scholarships annually. Read More
Admitted students who meet financial aid deadlines and are found to have need will have their full need met with grant funds and a work-study job -- no loans.
The W&L Promise guarantees free tuition to any undergraduate student admitted to Washington and Lee with a family income below $100,000. Learn More