Former 49er John Frank, Now A Doctor, Tries To Reconcile With The Game
After working in an Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) practice and serving a fellowship at Columbia in New York, Frank was inspired by one of his mentors to move from head and neck surgery to become a hair restoration surgeon. He enjoys the precision of the work and the ability to make people happy. Though the field once conjured images of doll-plugs and hucksters, a lot has changed. Frank is board-certified in ENT and hair restoration, speaks often at conferences and is an assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Frank, from turf to tufts, by Dan Evens in the San Francisco Examiner
From the gridiron to the operating table, Dr. John Frank has seen a multitude of things. As a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers until 1989, Frank lived the boyhood dream of catching Joe Montana passes in the Super Bowl. But after Super Bowl XXIII, Frank went to medical school, and now specializes in hair transplants for balding San Franciscans.
Dr. Frank Has the Hands of a Surgeon, 49ers Weekend
John Frank was blessed with many things growing up: A love of football, a competitive drive to excel and a pair of great hands. The love of football and his competitive drive ultimately brought him to the NFL, but it was his hands that took him out of the game and into medical school.
‘I know from an early age that I loved football,’ Frank said recently. ‘But I also know that I loved medicine and helping people. There really was no choice for me on becoming a doctor, the only real question was when.’
“And it was the ‘when’ that surprised most people. After five seasons with the 49ers, including two Super Bowl Championships, Frank abruptly retired from the league in 1989 to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
“And after four years of medical school at Ohio State, six years of residency at Loyola University (Chicago) and stints of training in Israel and Switzerland, Frank has realized his dream of becoming a surgeon.
“The extensive schooling is standard training for specialists Frank says, and with an office in San Francisco and a growing patient list, his is gaining a reputation as one of the finest plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the Bay Area.
“’I think people should know that I was a passionate football player and I’m a passionate surgeon as well,’ said Frank. ‘I miss the game, in fact I dream about the game now more than I ever did. But as much as I loved the game, I love helping people more.’
You Are a Wonderful Role Model
Dr. John E. Frank
203 Willow Street
San Francisco, CA 94109-7733
Dear Dr. Frank,
I read with great interest a recent San Francisco Chronicle article detailing your transition from football to plastic surgery. Your volunteer work with Delancy Street in San Francisco is a great and valuable service to that community, and I commend you for your good work. You are a wonderful role model, especially for student athletes, and Ohio State is pound to count you as an alumnus. Please accept my best wishes for continued success.
William E. Kirwan