Sean M. Wheeler M.D.

Dr Sean Bio pic2Dr. Sean M. WheelerDr. Sean Wheeler has long been obsessed with pain.

How pain affects the function of the human body. And how pain, or lack of it, affects human behavior, competitiveness, and quality of life.

This obsession turned passion is what provoked a career investigating pain, which led to a new way of thinking about – and treating – low back pain, as described in his soon to be published book, UPRISE.  

His fascination with pain, and how to effectively treat it, had its beginnings when he began speaking of becoming a doctor in the third grade. Later as an Eagle Scout, he was drawn to merit badge areas of study such as medicine and public health. With role models such as his mother, a teacher, and his father, a breakthrough thinker recognized by President Ronald Reagan during a career with the federal government, Dr. Sean’s ability to narrow in on and rethink a topic fueled by curiosity was pre-ordained.

As an undergraduate student, Dr. Sean attended Texas Christian University and Kansas State University, playing NCAA football at both, before receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Kansas State.

Awarded a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Dr. Wheeler completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where he later completed fellowships in Sports Medicine and Pain Management. He also spent time in training with Dr. James R. Andrews, a well known orthopedic surgeon and consulting physician for a number of professional and college athletes.

Early in his career, a mentor shared with Dr. Wheeler a simple, career-changing mantra. Before making a diagnostic or treatment decision, his mentor would ask:

Is this about you, or is this about the patient?

As he quickly understood, confronting this simple question removes physician ego out of decision-making, and instead frames every decision on what is best for the patient, prompted by an in-depth Q&A with the patient and thorough patient examination. The "is this about the patient" principle remains the touchstone of Dr. Wheeler’s approach to patient care today.

Today a sports medicine and back pain expert, Dr. Sean Wheeler serves or has served as a team physician for several member institution National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and National Junior College Athletic Association - NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA - athletics programs, and is an invited speaker to venues such as the Athletics Department of the University of Notre Dame.

Among the first medical doctors board-certified in both Sports Medicine and Pain Management, Dr. Wheeler has earned four board certifications from the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Subspecialty of Pain Medicine, the American Board of Family Medicine - Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine, and the American Board of Pain Medicine

Dr. Wheeler’s fascination with how the body works, his disciplined patient exam skills, an ego-less approach to patient needs, a career of surgical expertise and sports medicine immersion led to his rethinking of the commonly accepted ways to treat back, neck and shoulder pain, feeding his professional passion to change the way musculoskeletal pain and injuries are treated – forever.

Beyond his career focus and patient care practice, Dr. Wheeler’s passions remain his family, including his wife, Susie, and their six children. He enjoys playing guitar – he has three – and is a devout fan of Kansas State University football.