Jeremiah Ray
Jeremiah  Ray

Head Team Physician

Feature Story - Dr. Jeremiah Ray: Two Decades Later

A former student-athlete at Occidental College — he was a team captain for the Tigers’ men’s soccer program — and one-time nationally-ranked snowboarder by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, head team physician Dr. Jeremiah Ray, MD, received his formal education at the Stanford University School of Medicine (where he graduated with honors), performed his subsequent residency at the University of Utah and held fellowship positions at both schools before arriving to UC Davis.

Specializing in emergency medicine and sports medicine, Dr. Ray’s professional background also includes experience gained at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.

While at Stanford, he served as the team physician for the football, women’s soccer and wrestling teams; he also applied his expertise with the United States Golf Association, United States of America Snowboard Association and Winter Dew Tour, college hockey and high school football teams.

In addition to his publications and published abstracts, Dr. Ray has conducted numerous lectures, both across America and abroad, and and presentations for regional and national audiences.

Since his first day on campus, which took place on July 1, 2017, Dr. Ray implemented three major additions to the Sports Medicine program within his first year. 

The first integrates a urine specific gravity algorithm to detect and manage the health of student-athletes affected by the sickle cell trait, a genetic allele that can cause death due to dehydration. 

The Sports Medicine program is also moving forward with having all physical examinations on campus and conducted by a board certified sports medicine doctor, which has never occurred before at UC Davis. 

Third, the program is instituting pre-participation electrocardiograms. 

"Sudden cardiac death in student-athletes is a real issue nationwide. A Division I men's basketball athlete, particularly of African descent, is more likely to die of sudden cardiac death on the court than they are in a motor vehicle collision. That is just absolutely insane. So we need to do everything in our power to keep these kids safe, happy, and doing the things that they love,” Ray said.

Starting in December, 2017, UC Davis Medical Center residents will rotate, and participate in the first elective for college sports medicine. It will later evolve into a full-time fellowship, training physicians to become the next generation of cutting-edge sports medicine doctors.

In five-to-10 years, Ray envisions something much greater: a sports medicine institute, not just a sports doctor checking in, checking out and calling it a day.  

Dr. Ray's goal is to have undergraduate and graduate programs involved in sports medicine, conducting research, executing high-quality studies and publishing data. He wants people at UCLA, Stanford and UC Berkeley quoting literature derived from the sports medicine institute on how Davis is getting concussions asymptomatic in seven instead of 10 days, or how UC Davis is able to grade hamstring strains based on their ultrasounding abilities, which will allow student-athletes to return to competition in a more timely manner.

Ray is a member of six different professional associations: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association and the Wilderness Medicine Society.