20 Under 40: Nicholas Strasser, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon; Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Age: 39

“Through all my years of medical school, residency, and fellowship, rarely have I come across a more outstanding individual who has made such a commitment to the growth of our organization and our community.”

Brian Jewett, MD, Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine


Dr. Nicholas Strasser is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle at At Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. He and his wife, Joy, are foster parents providing a safe place for children for the past two years. He is also Orthopedic Division Chief for Sacred Heart Medical Center. Strasser uses his skill to help others, including providing orthopedic coverage at high school football games and volunteering on the medical team for TrackTown USA and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. He continues his work to help kids by volunteering for Safe Families for Children of Lane County.

Get to know them

Q: How has your community involvement impacted your work and life?

Our community work has made a dramatic impact on my life. I think being a foster parent is the most difficult thing I have ever done and has changed the way I parent, how I interact with my peers and partners and how I approach my patients. It has opened my eyes to more fully understand the challenges my patients face on a day-to-day basis. I think it has made me more empathic to factors that affect care with limited resources or limited support systems. It has changed my understanding of the negative effects trauma has on development.


Q: What motivates and inspires you?

“Becoming is better than being” is one of my favorite quotes from the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. I grew up with a natural internal drive to succeed with a heightened focus on the end goal. Authors like Dweck have made me appreciate the process of striving for something and recognizing it as a valuable phase of growth. As a result, my motivation has changed to seeking out the challenge as opposed to looking forward to the finished product.


Q: What mentors, colleagues, and partnerships have inspired you in your career development? 

I feel extremely fortunate to have had multiple mentors throughout my life. My wife Joy has taught me how to prepare and plan ahead which has really led to a great portion of my success.  She has taught me the importance of reading and research even outside my medical profession.  Her drive for learning and caring is contagious and there is no question my success is deeply rooted in her support and advice.

I feel that each one of my partners has been so critical in providing advice and feedback for questions that come up on a daily basis. This could be medical, business or personal advice. It’s been fun to look back at the last six years in Eugene and see how I have grown and what I have learned. I feel like I have been through multiple “mini-fellowships” which has expanded my knowledge of specific areas of orthopedic surgery, medical economics, and business governance.  I feel fortunate to be part of a group which takes pride in the career development of our younger partners. I hope to be able to continue to foster that with my younger and future partners.