Wise students will follow this doctor’s orders. “My advice to students is to decide what you really want to do and then do what it takes to achieve it,” said Dr. Bill Primos (BA zoology ’80, MD ’85). “Do not be concerned that the preparation and training may take a few more years than you want to go through. Do what you want to do and you won’t regret it.”
With a keen interest in science, he chose his vocation early. “I decided in junior high I wanted to be a doctor,” Primos said. “I selected pediatrics and sports medicine because I enjoy being around and helping children and adolescents. I also have always liked participating in, watching, and learning about sports and athletic activities.”
The pediatrician has spent the last 18 years in private practice specializing primarily in sports medicine and musculoskeletal medicine with stints as physician at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta and volunteer physician at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “Travel to athletic events in other countries with sports teams and getting to know the coaches and team members and to experience the different cultures has been gratifying,” Primos said. “Especially trips to Argentina, Germany, and England with the U.S. boxing team.
“My career has been very rewarding because I have been able to help individuals recover from injuries and return to the sports activities that they love. Being able to treat patients who really want to get better, try hard to get better, and do all they can to get better…that’s rewarding. I get to help people, but I also get to talk about sports during the day, so it’s fun.”
The avid athlete—a runner, cycler, archer, and skier—was physician for three Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, and currently is head physician for the Suwanee Sports Academy and Dunwoody High School.
Primos recalls fondly his time at UM and two professors in particular—Wil St. Amand, biology professor emeritus, who taught genetics and Dwight Ball, his criminal law teacher. “Both gentlemen were excellent teachers with a great sense of humor. They made learning fun.”
After a pediatric residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Primos completed a fellowship in primary care sports medicine and adolescent medicine while serving as team physician for Badger athletics at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.