Spencer M. Wheeler, M.D.

Spencer M. Wheeler, M.D. graduated from the University of Georgia before receiving his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Wheeler then attended the University of Florida where he completed his internship and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery. He has also completed two Sports Medicine fellowships after residency. His fellowships were at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and at North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre in Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Wheeler has been intimately involved in local, state, national and international Sports Medicine, including the 1996 Olympic Games and 7 World Championship events. He has served as team physician for Armstrong Atlantic State University for 18 years and at Savannah College of Art and Design for 16 years. He continues to treat many Olympic and professional athletes, as well as “weekend warriors.” Dr. Wheeler specializes in arthroscopy of the knee and shoulder, but also continues to treat general orthopaedic problems.

Education & Certifications


  • Armstrong State University
    Savannah, Georgia
  • University of Georgia
    Athens, Georgia


  • Medical College of Georgia
    Augusta, Georgia


  • University of Florida
    Jacksonville, Florida


  • University of Florida
    Jacksonville, Florida


  • Sports Medicine - Union Memorial Hospital
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Sports Medicine - North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre
    Sydney, Australia


  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professional Accomplishments

  • Team Physician for multiple athletic teams in Jacksonville, Florida – 1985–1990
  • Team Physician for Baltimore Orioles – 1990
  • Head Team Physician for Armstrong State University Athletic Program – 1991–2010
  • Head Team Physician for 14 Greater Savannah Area public and private high schools – 1991–present
  • Head Team Physician for Savannah Rug Rats Professional Indoor Soccer Team – 1998–2000
  • Head Team Physician for Savannah College of Art and Design – 1995 – present
  • Director and Head Physician, Savannah Sports Medicine – 1991–1993; Candler Sports Medicine – 1993–2000; and Memorial Sports Medicine – 2000–2021
  • Head Team Physician, USA Weightlifting – 1992–2002
  • Team Physician, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs – 1994, 1996
  • Medical Director, Savannah Olympic Sailing Venue – 1995–1996
  • Team Physician, 1996 Olympic Games, in charge of World Congress Center venue
  • Team Physician at 7 world championships, 2 Olympic games, 14 national championships, 2 Pan-American Games and 2 World Masters games
  • Faculty Member, Mercer Medical School – 2005–present
  • Affiliate Graduate Faculty Member, Virginia Commonwealth University – 2015
  • Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame – 2018
  • Head Team Physician, Men’s and Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Teams – 2013–2022; Consulting Team Physician – 2022-present

Professional Affiliations

  • American Medical Association
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Southern Medical Association
  • Georgia Orthopaedic Society
  • McCue Sports Medicine Society


  • University of Georgia School of Pharmacy Waters Award for Outstanding Senior Student – 1978
  • University of Georgia School of Pharmacy Bristol Award for Outstanding Achievement and Personal Contribution to the School of Pharmacy – 1978
  • Commencement Speaker, UGA School of Pharmacy Class of 1978 Graduation
  • Savannah Magazine “Best Orthopaedist” – 2012, 2014
  • Armstrong Athletic Hall of Fame – 2002
  • Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame – M. A. Spellman Award – 2018

Physician Assistants

Daniel Vacala, PA‑C

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Daniel Vacala, PA‑C

Daniel received his Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. Through the years, Daniel has acquired a litany of real-world experience, especially in the realm of sports medicine. He has worked with the 1996 Atlanta Committee of Olympic Games, United States Weightlifting Federation, and numerous college, high school, and club teams. He has been a lecturer for Armstrong Atlantic State University, South University, and Memorial’s medical training programs, as well as a speaker for the Georgia Physician Assistant conferences where he has served as president of the association. He was the program developer of the Candler Sports Medicine and Wellness Program and has been with COA since 1991.