Meet Marc: Jewish Sports Doctor of the Week!

by Rachel Kriegsman / October 14, 2020

Meet Marc Gruner, DO, MBA, RMSK. Marc is a sports medicine physician who grew up in Bethesda and is is excited to connect with the DMV community as he dreams up ways to help people through his work in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His dream day includes exploring some of DC’s best trails and restaurants. Read on to learn more about Marc and his passion for health and community!

Rachel: What brought you to the DC-area and what made you stay?

Marc: I was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. I went to Virginia Tech for medical and business school and returned to DC for my residency at Georgetown, and just finished my fellowship at Mayo Clinic. I’m fortunate that my family and close friends still live in the DC area. I’m thrilled to be back in Bethesda practicing medicine and taking care of my community! 

Rachel: I hear you’re starting a new sports medicine practice in Bethesda, tell me more! How did you get into that?

Marc: My interest in sports medicine stemmed from my love of basketball. I played high school basketball and, unfortunately, had a number of sports injuries growing up. I used to research ways to treat and prevent my injuries to keep me on the court. I continued to play basketball in college, and became an assistant athletic trainer for other sports teams. Then I went to medical school with the goal of becoming a sports medicine physician. I did my residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Georgetown, followed by a sports medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where I learned the latest advances in non-surgical orthopedic conditions at the #1 hospital in the US.

At the beginning of October, I joined Point Performance in Bethesda, Maryland where I specialize in the prevention and treatment of sports medicine injuries. Some of the procedures I offer include musculoskeletal ultra sound to diagnose and manage injuries, evidence-based regenerative medicine as an alternative to invasive surgeries, and more general sports medicine.

I also started a digital health company called Limber with my brother and a physical therapist named Teddy. Our app is designed to reduce costs and improve the care of people with musculoskeletal conditions, such as low back and knee pain. The app features a robust assessment, proprietary risk stratification, tailored at-home exercise therapy video programs (think Peloton meets Physical Therapy), and clinically validated outcomes tracking. 

Rachel: Describe your dream DC day from start to finish.

Marc: I love being outdoors and enjoying great food! My dream DC day would start with a coffee and scone from the Wydown Coffee Bar on 14 St. My wife Rachel and I would then head out to Potomac to hike the Billy Goat Trail and enjoy the views of the C&O canal. 

We’d then stop by my parents’ home in Bethesda and join them for lunch. In the afternoon, I would play a competitive game of tennis with my brother at our local tennis courts. For dinner, I would join a few close friends at my favorite DC restaurant, Zaytinya, where we would feast on their whole branzino, pita & hummus, and lots of tapas! After dinner, we could come home and play board games while watching basketball on TV. 

Rachel: Do you have a Jewish role model who inspires you?

Marc: My Jewish role model is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was brave, persistent, and brilliant, and her winning attitude was key to overcoming so many obstacles. My favorite Justice Ginsburg quote on leadership is “fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” I also applaud her for the strenuous workout routines she did regularly to keep healthy, even going through her cancer treatments!

Rachel: What’s at the top of your life bucket list or where are places you’d love to travel? Why?

Marc: The top of my bucket list right now is Greece, Croatia, and Israel. My wife and I were supposed to travel there this summer, but due to COVID we were unable to go. I was really looking forward to visiting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As the grandson of a late Holocaust survivor, I would have honored my grandfather’s life by visiting Yad Veshem

Rachel: If you could live anywhere else in the world for a year, where would you live and why?

Marc: Israel. The health system is supposed to be amazing and there is a thriving community of digital innovation there. Also, the culture, community, and beaches would be a great place to spend a year of my life. 

Rachel: Anything else you’d like to share with the DC Jewish community?

Marc: I had my bar mitzvah at Washington Hebrew Congregation. I was so lucky to have the late Rabbi Weinberg as my teacher and mentor. He was a fabulous role model and was so compassionate to me as I dealt with my grandfather’s passing right before my bar mitzvah. I also was so pleased to represent Washington DC at the Maccabi basketball games in Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Rachel: Complete this sentence – “When Jews of DC Gather…

Marc: They are looking to build lasting relationships while noshing on delicious food!