OrthoCarolina Welcomes 5 New Physicians

OrthoCarolina is proud to welcome five new physicians to our team – Briggs M. Ahearn, MD; Samuel E. Ford, MD; Mark A. Katz, MD; Michael O’Connell, DO; and Benjamin M. Wooster, MD.


Dr. Briggs M. Ahearn, MD

Briggs M. Ahearn, MD, joins OrthoCarolina Pineville specializing in hip & knee, shoulder & elbow and sports medicine with a focus on minimally invasive shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle surgery.

Dr. Ahearn received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Emory University and his Sports Medicine and Shoulder Reconstruction fellowship at Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas.

 “I enjoy every aspect of orthopedic patient care,” Dr. Ahearn said. “There’s no greater feeling than seeing a patient who was previously suffering with significant pain and dysfunction walk into your office pain free and back to their baseline activity level.”

Dr. Ahearn and his wife Ashley, a Charlotte native and practicing physician assistant, both grew up in the Carolinas and are excited to be back home. In his free time, Dr. Ahearn enjoys tennis, golf, fishing and all types of water sports.


Dr. Samuel E. Ford, MD

Samuel E. Ford, MD, joins the OrthoCarolina Foot & Ankle Institute, Gastonia and South Park locations as a foot & ankle surgeon.

His practice focuses on arthritis of the foot and ankle, arch deformity, adolescent foot & ankle conditions, trauma & fracture management, limb salvage, forefoot reconstruction, spots and cartilage injuries, paralytic conditions, lower extremity weakness and foot drop.

“It means the world to me to see patients doing well and getting back to their prior level of function,” Dr. Ford said. “Orthopedic surgeons often have an opportunity to improve the quality of their patients’ lives more than any other physician. That’s the core of what drew me to orthopedic surgery.”

Dr. Ford earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He then completed his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at Atrium Musculoskeletal Institute & OrthoCarolina and his fellowship in Foot & Ankle Orthopaedic Surgery at Baylor Scott & White Orthopaedic Associates of Dallas.

“In addition to taking the best care of my patients that I can, I want to help lead the next generation of foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons,” Dr. Ford said.

Dr. Ford and his wife are expecting their first child this fall. They both attended college in North Carolina, with Dr. Ford graduating from Wake Forest and his wife a proud Morehead-Cain scholar from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. They met in Charlotte as young adults and are thrilled to start their family here.


Dr. Mark A. Katz, MD

Mark A. Katz, MD, joins OrthoCarolina Hickory specializing in the treatment of hand and upper extremity disorders, including worker compensation injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures and microsurgery for hand, wrist and forearm trauma.

Dr. Katz received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his Orthopedic Residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Fellowship in Hand, Upper Extremity & Microvascular Surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

"Orthopedic surgery really has an incredible impact on improving one’s quality of life," Dr. Katz said. "I truly enjoy treating musculoskeletal injuries and helping people regain their function, whether it be for daily activities of living to returning to sports."

"My most memorable experience was reattaching and revascularizing a severed hand of a manual laborer who was days away from retiring," he said. "Being able to save his hand to allow functional use was incredibly gratifying for me.  The one thing I will never forget after his months of rehabilitation is the smile on his face when he told me that he was able to return to the golf course."


Dr. Michael O'Connell, DO

Michael O’Connell, DO, joins OrthoCarolina Concord as a pain medicine physician. He specializes in physiatry, interventional spine, electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction study (NCS).

Dr. O’Connell received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas campus. He then completed a transitional year internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

He completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a fellowship in interventional spine and pain medicine at Allegheny Health Network.

“I chose physiatry because it emphasizes developing a comprehensive treatment plan in treating a variety of musculoskeletal and spine conditions,” Dr. O’Connell said. “It is very gratifying to help our patients improve their function so they can return to a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Dr. O’Connell joins the Charlotte region with his wife Meagan and their two sons Christopher and Matthew.


Dr. Benjamin M. Wooster, MD

Benjamin M. Wooster, MD, joins the OrthoCarolina Hip & Knee Center as a hip & knee surgeon. He specializes in lower extremity adult reconstruction of the hip and knee.

“It is an honor to be able to practice orthopedic surgery with the incredible team at the OrthoCarolina Hip & Knee Center,” Dr. Wooster said.

Dr. Wooster received his Doctor of Medicine from Wake Forest School of Medicine. He completed an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Duke University Medical Center and a Lower Extremity Adult Reconstruction Fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

“I enjoy working with each patient to come up with a personalized game plan that will allow them to get back to doing the activities that they love to do,” he said.

In his free time, Dr. Wooster enjoys spending time with his family and their 100-lb Labrador retriever. They are “huge” Wake Forest Demon Deacon and Carolina Panther fans and love exploring Charlotte and the Carolina coast.


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