When Dr. Erik Nilssen recognized the anxiety and frustration patients were dealing with as they sought medical care through the traditional system, he decided to create a state-of-the-art facility centered around the patient: It is this vision that led to the creation of Nilssen Orthopedics.
Upon creating this facility, Dr. Nilssen’s goal was to provide patients from Pensacola and around the world with a center of excellence offering them an array of orthopedic services at a single location. Moreover, he is expanding Nilssen Orthopedics by inviting additional physicians to practice in his facility. One of these physicians is Dr. Sonya Ahmed.
Dr. Sonya Ahmed—Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Orthopedic Surgeon
Welcome Dr. Sonya Ahmed
My mission as a surgeon is to put people back as close to the way they were prior to their injury or incident or whatever has harmed them. I think our true goal as surgeons is to think of our work as sort of artwork, and each surgeon has an autograph, and every time we look at that X-ray or a picture of their foot or ankle to know that we’ve basically impacted them for the rest of their lives, and our mission is to know that we’ve put them back to the way they were before anything ever happened to them.
To be able to create that quality of life that they need, to get them back to the activities they like to do, whether it’s walking with their wife on the beach or getting back to some professional sport. Our true mission is to help people get back to the quality of life they need.
Dr. Ahmed is a valuable addition to Nilssen Orthopedics because she brings expertise in the treatment of disorders related to the ankle and foot. She performs open as well as arthroscopic surgery. She uses her surgical skill to address disorders of the ankle and foot, including sports-related injuries, reconstruction, and cartilage transplant procedures. Her mission as an Orthopedic Surgeon is to correct the foot and/or ankle issue negatively affecting her patient’s life. Ultimately, her goal is to return the patient to the condition he or she was in prior to the onset of the foot and/or ankle problems being experienced.
Firsthand Knowledge Allows Dr. Ahmed to Understand How the Patient Feels
Dr. Sonya Ahmed’s passion for becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon stems from her love of track and field as well as gymnastics. Due to her own experiences with ankle and foot problems, she has firsthand experience with every level of recovery. Furthermore, these experiences have given her an intimate understanding how these injuries impact an individual’s life, which has sparked her desire to help improve the lives of those suffering from ankle and foot problems.
Instant Gratification Through Providing Patients With Immediate Treatment
Dr. Ahmed appreciates the aspect of Orthopedic care that provides her with instant gratification: She enjoys diagnosing and then treating a patient who was initially unable to walk upon arriving at Nilssen Orthopedics but after receiving treatment has the ability to walk out the door.
Dr. Sonya Ahmed is a member of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) as well as the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). These prestigious organizations have invited Dr. Ahmed to author multiple publications and teach about various aspects of the ankle and foot.
Dr. Sonya Ahmed’s Education, Residency, and Fellowship Background
- Dr. Ahmed completed a 6-year program before graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Upon graduation, she was awarded her Doctor of Medicine (with Distinction) and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry degrees.
- Following her graduation from UMKC, Dr. Sonya Ahmed completed her residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). At UTMB, her dedication and hard work were recognized, which led to her receiving the Hutchings Endowed Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence in Orthopedic Surgery.
- After Dr. Ahmed finished her residency at UTMB, she completed a Fellowship at the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI). During her ankle and foot Fellowship at ASMI, she had the pleasure of receiving guidance from numerous prestigious doctors.
- These doctors included:
- Dr. James Andrews
- Dr. Angus McBryde
- Dr. John Gould
- Dr. John Kirchner
- These doctors included:
It was during her Fellowship at ASMI that Dr. Sonya Ahmed gained the knowledge necessary to care for those sustaining sports-related injuries at every participation level (i.e., high school, college, and professional). Additionally, she had the opportunity to refine her surgical skills.
Personal Athletic Background
During her tenure at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Dr. Ahmed earned a Track and Field scholarship. She also achieved success as an elite level gymnast and became the first competitive, conference-winning female pole vaulter at UMKC. In addition, she is the first female pole vaulter to receive the honor of being inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Sonya Ahmed’s Accolades
Dr. Ahmed’s accolades speak volumes regarding her reputation and expertise. Due to her skill in treating ankle and foot disorders, she has had the pleasure of serving as a professional advisor for the San Diego Padres as well as the Los Angeles Chargers (aka San Diego Chargers). She has also served as the physician for teams of several universities and high schools.
Besides consulting for professional baseball and football teams, Dr. Ahmed was elected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as the U.S. Olympic Team’s Regional Medical Provider, during which time she cared for Olympic athletes participating in figure skating, volleyball, track and field, the Paralympics, and rugby. It was her success that led to the honor of her being selected to serve as the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games’ Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Sonya Ahmed’s Personal Life and Hobbies
When Dr. Ahmed has free time, she enjoys participating in numerous sporting activities including hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, and working out. Dr. Sonya Ahmed also enjoys traveling with her family as well as her friends. She and her husband currently live in the beautiful Pensacola suburb of Gulf Breeze.