Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, MD – The secret of the irreplaceable

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He is a phenomenon. You can only grasp it if you have been a patient yourself. “Mull”, as his friends call him, has treated me for the past few months. I got to experience this amazing aura that surrounds him, which, along with his expertise, has made him the most successful sports medicine specialist in the world. The treatment room is furnished with a beige leather seating arrangement, a huge bookshelf with lots of medical literature and a treatment table. It’s 7:30 pm and the next patient waiting is Sebastian Schweinsteiger. From afar you can hear the doc approaching because of his energetic stride. When he enters the room he is cheerful and full of energy and greets me with a high-five. I ask myself: “How can he be so full of energy after a 10 hour workday? Does he come with a built-in Duracell battery?”

Then he runs through the routine like he does with every patient, whether it’s a football player, golfer, sprinter or tennis player. Unlike most doctors, he doesn’t ask me for CAT scans, x-rays or sonograms let alone findings. He is merely interested in the patient and the injury: his detailed questions almost feel like an interrogation: what happened during which movement? Which area hurts most? Does the pain radiate, and if it does where to? And much more. He palpates the injury with his hands, first standing up and then lying down. Now something unbelievable is happening. His hands really seem to feel my body while his assistant is taking short notes of his findings. The examination takes 30 minutes, his hands constantly palpating the injury and the tissue around. No disruptive phone calls, no one enters the room. It’s just me, my body and “Mull” in a cosmos-like environment. Then he makes a diagnosis. It matches exactly the findings from the pictures that I had brought from the hospital. Is it magic? No, it’s sensory power.

Just to name a few, Jose Olazabal, Tyson Gay, Steven Gerrad, Felix Neureuther, Christiano Ronaldo, Bode Miller and Bono, lead singer of the band U2, are among the celebrities who, due to his treatment methods, got back in shape. Being able to compete again after the treatment, Usaim Bold, one of the world’s best sprinters, dedicated his gold medal to Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt. The doc tells me: “Just one day after he won the gold medal he showed up in my office and gave me the golden shoes he had run in. This was a wonderful gesture I’ll never forget.” Every three months, the world record athlete flies in from Jamaica to get a check-up by him.

You can imagine what loss it must be for the FC Bayern football club not having him as a club doctor anymore. For most of the players he was more than just a club doctor. He was a friend, a counselor and he was the person whom they trusted unconditionally with their most important assent – their health! His hands and his aura are irreplaceable. I really wonder why now FC Bayern coach Pep Guaradiola is being confronted by the Italian press with his past as a football player.

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