Meet Dr. Warren Lawless, the newest member of our team at Central Indiana Orthopedics! Dr. Lawless is a fellowship-trained primary care sports medicine physician, specializing in fracture care/broken bones, sports injuries, work-related injuries, ligament and tendon tears and sprains, strains and pulled muscles. He helps run the Walk-In Clinic in the Anderson office where patients can receive same-day orthopedic care for recent injuries.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Lawless moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, when he was 10 years old. He says that over time, his Buckeye persona faded away and he now considers himself a full-blown Hoosier, especially since he attended Indiana University for his undergrad. Dr. Lawless remained in Indiana, earning his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completing residency in Family Medicine at IU Health Ball Memorial Family Medicine in Muncie, Indiana. Later, he went on to complete a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Community Health Network.
Dr. Lawless knew he wanted to be a doctor at a very young age. “My father was an emergency room nurse, and so I was initially exposed to medicine from having conversations with him,” Dr. Lawless said. “Once I got into my medical training, I was introduced to what a career would be like in sports medicine, working with elite athletes in mass-participation sporting events such as the Muncie Iron Man and the Monumental Marathon. Additionally, during my fellowship, I assisted with sports coverage for the Indianapolis Fuel, Indy Eleven and University of Indianapolis, as well as being Team Physician for Perry Meridian High School.”
Dr. Lawless says he’s thrilled to help run the Walk-In Clinic at Central Indiana Orthopedics, as it gives him the opportunity to see a variety of orthopedic injuries and conditions, something that his previous experiences caring for athletes at various levels prepared him for. “I saw a number of high-impact injuries as well as injuries where treatment needed to be initiated right on the sidelines,” Dr. Lawless said. “I look forward to applying the knowledge I learned from those experiences in a community-based setting like Central Indiana Orthopedics.”
What Dr. Lawless says he loves most about being a primary care sports medicine physician is the fact that he gets to engage with a very broad and diverse patient population. “I get to see a vast array of patients – anything from young kiddos who are playing soccer to grandparents and weekend warriors to elite athletes. I feel very privileged to build relationships with them,” Dr. Lawless shared. Dr. Lawless believes that building relationships with his patients based on collaboration and partnership are important parts of providing satisfactory outcomes. “I want to understand my patients’ goals and values as it pertains to their treatment, so I can incorporate those into their treatment plan with evidence-based medicine,” Dr. Lawless said. “My goal is to educate patients on their condition and the pros and cons of treatment, allowing them to take ownership of their treatment plan.”
Dr. Lawless says his approach to patient care has changed over the last few years, going from an algorithmic mindset to being more patient centered. “Of course, I want to have a satisfactory outcome – the bone to mend or the injury to heal, but ultimately, I want patients to feel heard and understood, while receiving holistic care in the midst of treatment,” Dr. Lawless shared. Leading with a “mind, body and spirit” philosophy and whole-person continuity of care, Dr. Lawless believes in addressing mental and spiritual health through vulnerability, compassionate care and wise counsel. “Patients often have goals and expectations as it pertains to their medical care and seek the most appropriate way to return to their job, sport, family or independence following an injury or acute illness,” Dr. Lawless said. “Overall, the aim is for my patients to go back to their previous level of function and achieve their desired outcomes, whether that’s once again enjoying hobbies that previously caused them pain, or returning to elite level of activity.”
As a part of Central Indiana Orthopedics, Dr. Lawless is involved in a number of community activities outside of working in clinic, including providing Team Physician coverage for Anderson University and a number of local high schools. Outside of medicine, Dr. Lawless enjoys many hobbies. “I’m not only a nerd in the office, but a nerd outside of the office, so I really enjoy reading and playing video games,” Dr. Lawless said. “Hiking, running, lifting and spending time with my wife, Cait, and cat, Rory, are also at the top of my list.”
For sudden injuries or pain, visit Dr. Lawless at our Anderson Walk-In Clinic, no appointment needed. To request an appointment for more chronic issues, call 800-622-6575 or visit ciocenter.com/contact-us/.