Along for the Ride With Dr. Rick Morgan
From the first encounter with Dr. Rick Morgan, it’s clear he exudes the kind of laid-back persona and humble demeanor that make for a great doctor. And while this active, easy-going, good-natured guy is a Northern Colorado native, his medical career has definitely kept him on the move—from attending medical school in Denver, Colorado, and practicing family medicine in Seattle, Washington, to completing a fellowship in Greenville, South Carolina, and finally returning to his roots to join the Associates in Family Medicine team last year.
It was during his stint at Steadman Hawkins in South Carolina that Morgan ultimately discovered his true passion within the medical field—sports medicine. “I did a fellowship there, and a one-year program turned into four,” he recalls fondly. Now, Morgan brings that passion back to his home state, where he helps patients of all backgrounds and stages stay in motion.
“Most of my patients are not athletes,” Morgan explains. “They are all ages, and the goal is to keep them moving, keep them working, and help them stay active.” Whether treating an acute injury or problems with arthritis, it’s all interesting and worthwhile to him. “I like having the range,” he says. “I have fun getting people going and keeping them going, especially around here where people are active and there’s a lot to do.”
There’s certainly no lack of motion or activity in Morgan’s life. When he’s not treating patients at AFM or spending time with his wife, Cate, and the couple’s two young daughters, he pursues yet another passion—cycling.
While Morgan enjoys frequent two-wheeled excursions through the foothills of Fort Collins, he has become especially enthusiastic about applying his love for cycling to his work—helping professional cyclists stay on the bike. “I worked with the Hincapie Development cycling team during my fellowship in South Carolina and caught the bug working with those guys,” he laughs.
“Running and walking are great exercise because you can do them anywhere, anytime, in any weather, but I tend to like cycling because it’s easier on the body. I actually have a patient who does like four or five thousand miles a year on a bike, all to prep for one run. Cycling helps him stay in shape so he can do what he loves best.”
This year, Morgan is working with the Cannondale-Drapac team on the professional cycling tour. “The ProTour is different,” he says. “Big team, more requirements, quarterly lab testing, lots more travel, and the races are more difficult.” Along with the reward of keeping the athletes going strong, he appreciates the youth and energy of his team, which is the youngest professional cycling team in the world.
And though working with cyclists from 15 countries all speaking different languages certainly comes with its challenges, the fun definitely outweighs the difficulties for Morgan. “The adventure for me is to find the pharmacy in Italy,” he quips while talking about his recent three-week trip abroad. “Luckily, ‘Tylenol’ is ‘Tylenol’ wherever you are.”
When it comes to his own cycling adventures, Morgan doesn’t pretend to have the same level of dedication as his ProTour patients. “I went up the west side of Rist Canyon once. I’m pretty sure I could have walked the bike up faster,” he confesses with a smile. “Only pride kept me in the saddle.”
For Morgan, cycling offers a fun way to stay fit, with minimal impact to the body. “Running and walking are great exercise because you can do them anywhere, anytime, in any weather, but I tend to like cycling because it’s easier on the body,” he explains. “I actually have a patient who does like four or five thousand miles a year on a bike, all to prep for one run. Cycling helps him stay in shape so he can do what he loves best.”
Whether it’s with his patients, his pro cycling team, or his family, Morgan is clearly committed to encouraging healthy habits that keep people doing what they love. We can definitely get on board with that!