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Meet Dr. Craig Olson, orthopedic surgeon

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Dr. Craig Olson stands near his race car

At a basic level, healthcare is a partnership between patients and doctors. As partners, patients must have as much of a say in their care as their doctor, says Dr. Craig Olson of BayCare Clinic.

Olson, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic in Manitowoc, takes pride in his focus on partnering with patients, not dictating from an authoritative position.

“I don’t want anything special. I want them to feel comfortable - that I’m at their level,” Olson says. “As a patient, you want the confidence that we care about you and whatever you need to get taken care of will be done.”

He enjoys his day-to-day work, meeting with his patients, and looks forward to unique procedures and opportunities to enhance the patient experience.

“I like doing most of the stuff I do now. If it’s an unusual procedure, I’ll look forward to that in a different way,” Olson says. “Our office-based procedures are probably some of the more challenging things that are also fun.”

There are times, according to Olson, where he has to reassure patients about the in-office procedures- that everything will be OK, he says.

“They might be nervous they’re not going to a hospital for surgery,” he says. But Olson assures them they’re in good hands with him, whether in clinic or in a hospital surgical suite.

Outside of work, you’ll likely find Olson racing his vintage 1985 Ford Mustang.

He’s been racing for 15 years. He started when he moved to Manitowoc to join the care team at BayCare Clinic.

“I knew this is what I wanted to do when I moved here,” Olson says about racing. “I was an engineer as an undergraduate before I went into orthopedics, and orthopedics is all mechanical stuff. I worked on cars growing up. It was more street cars and never anything like this, but I knew about the cars like this growing up.”

Olson believes the lessons he’s learned from years of racing help him to be a better orthopedic surgeon.

“When racing, I have to be mentally sharp, physically sharp, be able to react and be quick on my feet,” he says. “The things I have to do to be good at this are all the things required to be a surgeon. This makes me exercise a little more and eat a little better. As I say, it keeps me alive.”

Olson also loves spending time with his family.

Published: Friday, April 30, 2021