MSUToday
Published: June 12, 2014

Faculty conversations: Jeffrey Kovan

By: Katie Stiefel Media Communications katie.stiefel@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Sarina Gleason Media Communications office: (517) 355-9742 sarina.gleason@cabs.msu.edu

Spectators often observe team physicians on the sidelines, but don't see them when they are waking up at 7 a.m. or climbing into bed after work at midnight.

Jeffrey Kovan, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and director of Sports Medicine and Performance, said his typical workdays are all over the map.

“My day can be anywhere from seeing athletes in our training room for half a day, being at our other office practice just off campus or teaching and attending meetings,” Kovan said.

Throughout the school year, Kovan fills his weekends and evenings by covering games or travelling with teams. Since 1995, he has worked directly with the men’s and women’s basketball programs but oversees many physicians who work with other sports.

“As I have gone through the years, what I have learned to enjoy most is not the games and championships. Those are wonderful, but it is watching people grow up,” Kovan said.

Kovan said that watching an 18-year-old come out of high school, make the first steps on their own at MSU, and eventually seeing them graduate is one of the most rewarding parts of his job.

MSU physicians provide care for athletes in all aspects of their lives. They not only focus on an athlete’s game or injuries, but their academics, social and personal issues.

“Seeing people progress and hoping that you had a little part of that is really the best part of all of it,” Kovan said.

Kovan said that MSU is different than other universities because of the people.

“This place is about people,” Kovan said. “It is not about winning and losing games, it is not about just getting a degree; it is about the people within the program, school and teams that make it so special and I think it is a consistent personality the university has across all disciplines.”

Jeffrey Kovan, Michigan State University assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and director of Sports Medicine and Performance, talks about his work.

Jeffrey Kovan, Michigan State University assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and director of Sports Medicine and Performance, talks about his work.

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