Today he works in family medicine but for Dr. Steven Knapik it was his time spent in the ring with some of boxings biggest names that are some of his most interesting career highlights.
From the squared circle to a well-rounded doctor
A former boxing ring physician, Dr. Knapik remembers being wowed during fights
Dr. Steven Knapik views himself as a well-rounded physician, but it was his time spent in the squared circle that recalls some of his most interesting career highlights.
Given that Big Bear is a training site for professional boxers, Knapik has been able to work with some of the best, including Oscar De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis and “Sugar” Shane Mosley.
“I would clear them for their fights,” Knapik says.
After another boxer requested that Knapik act as a ring physician, Knapik says he submitted an application to a credential commission and was approved, setting off a new set of experiences that heightened his involvement in the sport.
He found the action from ringside to be far more intense than when simply watching it on television.
“I thought, ‘whoa,’ I would not like to get in the ring with any of these guys,” he remembers.
Today, Knapik has traded in the fierce intimacy of being a ring doctor and finds the less action-packed general and Osteopathic practices equally rewarding. And he’s still working in Big Bear, where both his kids were born.
“When you practice in a smaller community,” he explains, “rather than just being internal medicine, I have to do family practice and other things. You play more of a role as a generalist.”
He enjoys the mountain community where he’s worked full time since the mid-1990s because he has gotten to fully know his patients and their families.
For 22 years, he was also the team doctor for Big Bear High School, and he says that the younger athletes might heed his advice more knowing he once worked with some of boxing’s biggest stars.
Knapik has an athletic background as well, having went to University of California-Riverside on a basketball scholarship. It’s where he met his wife, who was a cheerleader there.
Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group (HVVMG) offers its members award-winning coordinated care with a speedy referral system. HVVMG has 45 primary care physicians and a panel of two hundred medical specialists across Southern California’s High Desert, as well as the mountain communities. HVVMG has a locally based members service team and is dedicated to a spirit of excellence. HVVMG is part of the Heritage Provider Network.