With subspecialty training in orthopedic sports medicine and orthopedic trauma, Dr. Gastel’s career has focused on the non-surgical and surgical treatment of the injured athlete of all levels as well as injured non-athletes of all ages who aspire to regain full use and function after injury. Although he devotes a great deal of professional time and effort to the care of high-level competitive athletes, he has an equal interest in the treatment of patients of all ages – whether it’s the teenaged ballet dancer with knee pain, the 60-year-old golfer with shoulder pain, or the retired teacher with joint pain from arthritis.
His approach to patient care begins with listening to the patient and understanding what brings him or her in. Careful collection of the facts and the story behind each individual’s specific physical complaints is the most important step, followed by a methodical, thorough physical exam. Then, together, patient and doctor decide upon any further diagnostic tests that may aid in a definitive diagnosis. Most tests (MRI, X-ray) can be done right in one of ORI’s many offices. With an accurate diagnosis, he will discuss the best and most efficient path to recovery, with the hope that only a small fraction of patients will ever end up needing surgery to correct his or her problem (statistically, only about 15% of his patients will require surgery for their orthopedic problems).
He has served as the head of the Orthopedic Sports Medicine for Bryant University’s varsity athletic programs for the last 15 years, caring for the surgical and non-surgical injuries of all of their Division I athletes. He has also served as the team physician for Rhode Island College. Earlier in his career of sports medicine training, he served as part of the sports medicine teams that provided on-site game coverage for teams including the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Providence Bruins. The experience and skills gained from treating these high level athletes carries over into the care of all his other patients such as those in youth sports, scholastic sports, or weekend warriors.
He works hard to balance his professional life with his personal life, believing this makes him a better and more level-headed doctor in the long run and allows him to better understand the challenges his patients face in their daily and recreational activities. Outside of work, he gets tremendous satisfaction by testing himself physically and mentally. His terrific wife and three tremendous children are always there to push him to the next level and he enjoys backpacking adventures in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Glacier Park, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire with them. He enjoys skating every winter on their backyard ice rink and playing hockey weekly in the men’s leagues. When the ice melts, he turns to cycling the back roads of South County and paddle-boarding/surfing in Narragansett. He also enjoys cooking with his family and gardening with his two Boxers by his side.