Skip to main content
Update Location

My Location

Update your location to show providers, locations, and services closest to you.

Enter a zip code
Select a campus/region

Physician Spotlight: Gators’ Top Doc on Journey From Playing Sports to Treating Athletes

Kevin Farmer headshot with UF Health and Olympics logos

Kevin Farmer, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon and a professor at the University of Florida Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. He also serves as a team physician for the UF Athletic Association. Recently, Dr. Farmer was named the 2023 SEC Team Physician of the Year, an award bestowed by his peers at Southeastern Conference schools.

We sat down with Dr. Farmer to learn more about his journey to becoming an orthopaedic surgeon and how his experience as an athlete shaped the way he practices medicine.

Kevin Farmer helping a football player down on the field
Kevin Farmer, MD, was named the 2023 SEC Team Physician of the Year. (Photo courtesy of

How did you become interested in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine?

I was an athlete growing up and I played college baseball at Duke University. Once I realized I probably didn't have a career in professional baseball, I had an interest in finding a way to stay involved with people who were involved in athletics.

My father was a primary care physician, so I grew up seeing how physicians could impact the lives of the people they cared for. It was important to me that I found something where I could impact the lives of people but stay involved with people who are active and athletic. Getting back into athletics was a confluence of my interest as I got toward the end of college and was thinking about attending medical school.

What is your patient philosophy?

I approach each patient individually, let them have autonomy in their care and provide them with as much information as I can so they can make an informed decision on what their preferences are. I try not to dictate care and treatment plans. I aim to provide a compassionate approach so my patients can make their own decisions and choose the direction they want to go with their care.

How did your experience as an athlete shape your patient philosophy?

As an athlete, you have others guide you as you find your path to success, so it's very much a team approach: working with athletic trainers, physical therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches. Bringing that approach and concept to patient care has made it mutually beneficial to me and the patients. It allows for patients to have the information they need to be an active participant in their care.

What are the most common injuries you see?

We see a lot of ACL injuries. That's a very common sports medicine injury. We also see a lot of shoulder instability and shoulder dislocations in the younger population. In the older population, we see a lot of rotator cuff tears and shoulder arthritis.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

Certainly, my biggest accomplishment is being named SEC Team Physician of the Year. I grew up as a Florida Gator fan and SEC sports fan. So I think back to the little kid who was watching games on Saturdays, living and breathing the SEC; to be named in this position really brought my career full circle.

Rapid-fire questions

If I were not a doctor, I would be: Probably a baseball coach. I would love to say a professional baseball player, but I'm not sure I had the skills to do that.

One little-known fact about me is: I grew up collecting baseball cards. I recently got back into it and have collected all of the cards that I wanted as a kid.

Favorite activity to do with my family: I'm from Daytona, Florida, and still have family and friends there, so we love to get to the beach and spend time there when we can.

Favorite color: Blue.

Favorite food: If I had to choose one thing, probably Chick-fil-A.

About the author

For the media

Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620