F. Ray Nickel, MD
Meet Dr. Nickel
F. Ray Nickel, MD was raised in Southern California and participated in track, football and volleyball at the high school level and diving and volleyball at the University of California, San Diego. He was a member of the 1971 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes National Championship men's volleyball team and graduated with a degree in biology. Dr. Nickel subsequently obtained a master's degree in microbiology and laboratory management at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. The year following graduation, he was the Regional Laboratory Director for the Texas State Department of Public Health in Midland, Texas. Dr. Nickel went on to attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, where he was class president and graduated with honors in 1979.
Dr. Nickel performed a five-year residency in orthopedics at the University of California, Irvine during the development of the use of the arthroscope for surgery of the knee. In 1983, he presented one of the early papers demonstrating the accuracy of the arthroscope for diagnosing knee problems at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Arthroscopic surgery and sports medicine has been a primary focus of Dr. Nickel’s professional career ever since.
Following residency, Dr. Nickel completed a University of Southern California affiliated fellowship in foot and ankle surgery at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, an internationally renowned rehabilitation facility. Upon completion of his formal training, Dr. Nickel joined Ventura Orthopedics in 1985 to build a practice in foot and ankle problems, sports medicine and reconstructive surgery, including joint replacement surgery. His Board Certification was completed in 1987 with re-certification occurring in 1996, 2006 and 2016.
Since his arrival in Ventura, Dr. Nickel was an instructor in the UCLA affiliated Family Practice Residency at the Ventura County Medical Center for 20 years. He has served on multiple local hospital committees, including the chairmanship of the orthopedic and procurement committees at Community Memorial Hospital and Chief of Medical Staff at Ventura County Medical Center. He also has been president of the county chapter of the Christian Medical Dental Association. Dr. Nickel has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and lectured nationally on such topics as arthroscopic surgery of the ankle and running and skiing injuries. He has reluctantly had to call a halt to his own running activities but has been able to assist with the medical care of the runners of the first and several subsequent Los Angeles Marathons and is the team physician of the football and other athletic teams at Ventura College.
Dr. Nickel is a member of several medical organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, California Medical Association, California Orthopaedic Association, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and is a charter member of the Surfer's Medical Association. He is currently the medical director of Ventura Orthopedics.
Dr. Nickel has made trips to El Salvador and Mexico to provide orthopedic care and instruction. In “real life”, he is an avid surfer who also enjoys alpine skiing, fishing and backpacking when the surf is flat. Dr. Nickel and his wife have raised three young adults in Ventura and continue to live there with their dog.
Education & Training
University of California, San Diego
University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio
General Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center
Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center
Orthopaedic-Diabetic Reconstructive Surgery, University of Southern California / Rancho Los Amigos Hospital
General Orthopaedics/Sports Subspecialty, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons