Dr. Bruce J. Watkins, MD, is a fellowship-trained hand surgeon with over 11 years of experience. He began his career by graduating from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology. From there, Dr. Watkins completed his MS in Biochemistry through the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. Next, he completed his Doctorate of Medicine while attending the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine. Dr. Watkins completed his internship as a general surgeon at the University of Minnesota, his residency at Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and an orthopedic hand and upper extremity fellowship at the University of Colorado. Born north of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Watkins grew up exploring the Cascades. His father worked in construction, and his Mother worked for Boeing. His sister was a ballerina, while he spent his free time living his passions playing hockey, baseball, hiking, and fishing. In his teens, he became proficient in sailing and has since been a crew member on small and large races around Puget Sound and, more recently, in several regattas in the Caribbean.
Dr. Watkins taught swim lessons, CPR, advanced lifeguard training, and primary and intermediate sailing throughout college. He taught lab and lecture for undergraduate students in biology and biochemistry as a graduate student. In medical school, Dr. Watkins was a teaching assistant for anatomy, neuroanatomy, and microbiology. Dr. Watkins supervised Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioner students as a resident and staff surgeon. Dr. Watkins also oversaw the clinical course for medical students. He has lectured as a resident at the regional meetings of the American College of Surgeons. He has published multiple articles in various specialty journals and a poster presentation at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
Following fellowship training, Dr. Watkins was employed at Ashley Valley Hospital in Vernal, Utah, where he completed countless hand and general surgeries. After moving to Iowa, Dr. Watkins was named Partner at the CNOS in Sioux City. CNOS is an innovative Neuroscience, Orthopedic, and Spine center that employs highly-trained specialists to serve the greater Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota regions. CNOS is where Dr. Watkins, specifically as a hand and upper extremity surgeon. However, he also completed peripheral nerve repairs, periphery mass excisions, and various scar revisions on lower extremities. Dr. Watkins’ patients in Sioux City spanned all ages and included extensive trauma reconstruction, elective joint replacement, and correction surgeries.
Dr. Watkins is a renowned surgeon with multiple publications and notable achievements and is widely known as the first in the United States and Internationally to use a new, revised headless compression screw. Additionally, Dr. Watkins was the first surgeon in the state of South Dakota to complete a total wrist replacement. Dr. Watkins was the most experienced surgeon in his region in local anesthesia surgery and CMC semi-arthroplasty cases. Industry-leading orthopedic hardware companies utilize his published CMC Arthroplasty procedure to date.
Hockey and fishing are his passions, and he started both around the age of five. Throughout his childhood, he played in 5 National tournaments and was on tournament-winning teams twice; a year of Junior “A” hockey in British Columbia and a year of Junior “A” in Sioux City, IA. Dr. Watkins was recruited to play in college at Bemidji State University. While in college, he played in several Final Four tournaments and was on another national championship team in 1985. He was the first tournament MVP in the Kamloops international tournament, defense MVP as a rookie for the Cowichan Capitals in the BCJHL, team captain in Sioux City, and invited to play on the USHL all-star team in a tournament in Switzerland. I was invited to two US Olympic development camps as a teenager in Squaw Valley and Colorado SpringsAfter his college career, he coached youth hockey for 15 years.
Dr. Watkins is married to his wife, Sheila, and together they share Wyatt, Brynn, Beau, and Jake, along with a pack of dogs and a herd of horses. When Dr. Watkins is not in the clinic, he can be found outdoors hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Dr. Watkins and his wife enjoy river floats, back road exploring, and open water navigation, as his wife is passionate about photography.