Dr. Eric Nelson Recalls Active Duty Service in University of Minnesota Feature

Dr. Eric Nelson, board-certified sports medicine surgeon at Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, was featured in an article published by the University of Minnesota on April 30. Titled “U of M Orthopaedic Residency Prepares Eric Nelson, MD, for Service as Combat Zone Medic,” the article details Dr. Nelson’s time as a military medic and surgeon — from humanitarian deployments to providing medical care in combat zones and serving as an orthopedic surgeon at the busiest aeromedical evacuation hospital in Iraq. To read the story, visit www.med.umn.edu/ortho/news-events.

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and University of Minnesota Medical School alumnus, Dr. Nelson’s profile serves as a helpful message for current and future medical students and orthopedic residents. Coverage of the article includes his nine-year service in the United States Air Force, where he gained valuable trauma experience during a combat tour in Iraq. Dr. Nelson also discusses his continued career at Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, where he employs his experience and expertise in his dedication to improving the quality of life for the people of west central Minnesota.

“It’s an honor to be featured by my alma mater. The educators at the university should know that they are doing it right. I felt very equipped with the knowledge that I gained, even if I had to use it in an outside-the-box fashion,” says Dr. Nelson. “Those skills are invaluable in the combat casualty situation because there isn’t someone there telling you what to do or how to do it; you have to figure it out on the spot. From my residency training and experience serving in the Air Force, I have been able to make a difference in people’s lives, and I am truly grateful for that.”
Dr. Nelson completed undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate training at the University of Minnesota, worked as a medic and orthopedic surgeon in the Air Force and earned certification in orthopedic surgery as well as subspecialty certification in sports medicine from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In addition to coaching youth hockey and serving on the hospital board working on community healthcare solutions, Dr. Nelson sees patients in Alexandria at 111 17th Ave. E., Suite 101, and in Willmar at 2800 First St. S., Suite 220.

The University of Minnesota Medical School has a network of more than 17,000 accomplished alumni. Their graduates play an important role in improving the medical profession, changing public policy and advancing health care. 

To learn more about Dr. Nelson or to schedule an appointment, please call (800) 762-1177 or schedule an appointment online.