There are hundreds of joints and bones in the human body. Add in muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage and you’ve got quite a complex system. Sometimes those systems don’t operate like they should. That’s where Michael Eslava comes in.
“I like the excitement of surgery and being able to fix people, to get them back to normal,” Eslava says about his calling to orthopedic surgery.
A self-described “Army brat,” Eslava was born in New York to a Korean mother and a father whose family ties to Baldwin and Mobile Counties date as far back as the 1800s. The Eslavas settled back in Magnolia Springs when he was 11, and to this day he still calls the same piece of property on the Magnolia River home.
Eslava followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Army, which paid for him to go to college and on to medical school. His military service brought him all over the world, including stints in South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, Germany and a deployment to Kosovo. “I moved from one of the hottest places in the country to the coldest,” Eslava jokes about his move from El Paso, Texas to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Being stationed in Europe gave Eslava the opportunity to travel to many countries most people only dream of seeing. “I’ve been to Spain, Rome, Scotland…I’ve been all over the world.”
While Eslava says it’s “nice to visit” these far off places, there’s only one place he wanted to make his permanent home. When he retired from the army after 24 years, he was able to do exactly that. “This is family,” he says about Magnolia Springs. “My first cousin lives next door, my aunt lives down the road,” Eslava says. “I love this place. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Working with one of the largest orthopedic medical groups in Baldwin County allows Eslava to contribute to the community he grew up in. “I treat family members, friends, even people I went to high school with. I love taking care of people,” he says.
It’s not all work, work, work for the busy doctor. When he’s not treating patients or on call at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, he enjoys playing golf, fishing, boating and cutting his grass. “I get out there with my lawn mower and put my headphones on and nobody can bother me.”