Bill Mealer, MD
& Brad Thomas, MD

  • Owners

    Beach Cities Orthopedics
    & Sports Medicine 

  • Address

    400 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 200
    Manhattan Beach

  • Phone

    310-546-3461

  • Website

    beachcitiesortho.com

  • Special Section

    Men in Business

Beach Cities Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is a full-service sports medicine and wellness clinic offering integrative primary care, pediatric orthopedics, chiropractic, 3D MRI imaging, stem cell therapy/PRP, acupuncture, massage, cold laser therapy, orthopedic urgent care and an on-site surgical center. Dr. Brad Thomas and Dr. Bill Mealer started Beach Cities Orthopedics in 2008 and have both been working in orthopedics for more than 20 years.


How has your practice changed in the last 10 years?

“Medicine has changed drastically in the last 10 years. Most physician groups are now owned by large hospital systems, which forces patients into a single care pathway, much like an HMO. These hospital systems are also much more costly than outpatient care. 

Beach Cities Orthopedics (BCO) has been committed to remaining sovereign in an effort to preserve independent thinking and customized patient care. We never want our patients to feel like they are part of an impersonal system. Many challenges have arisen on this path, and it has become surprisingly difficult. Hospital systems refer to hospital doctors, whereas our referral system is word-of-mouth and based on our excellent outcomes and patient experience. 

BCO is one of the few independent orthopedic groups in Southern California, and we hope to maintain that amidst an ever-increasing push for a more socialized health care system.”


Tell us a few of your best secrets to success.

“There is no substitute for hard work. Learn and improve every day. Each day and every patient is different in orthopedics, and we never take that for granted. Hard work for us means treating each day like it’s the most important day. Continued learning and staying ahead of our peers with techniques and treatment options is part of the BCO culture. 

We also realize that work ethic and integrity are hard to come by. The future of medicine must strive to uphold these unique qualities in order to achieve both physician and patient success.”


What are the biggest difficulties you encounter in your business?

“Insurance companies have become increasingly difficult to deal with. Their payments are slow and often inaccurate, their authorization processes are long and they don’t cover many treatments that dramatically improve outcomes. BCO has tried to help our patients by offering low-cost, cash-based treatments. Occasionally we provide full treatment plans including surgery for less than a patient’s deductible. For some patients, paying cash is less expensive than using insurance—and a much faster way to achieve results.”


What are some ways you and your team help patients feel they are in good hands?

“Many people who come in are scared, especially if it’s a pediatric injury. They don’t know what is wrong, and they are afraid they are going to have a really bad problem. Giving our patients and families clarity quickly is very important. At BCO we offer diagnostic ultrasound and same-day MRI when necessary to quickly diagnose a problem and bring relief to anxious families. We also give our patients a variety of treatment options, which further helps alleviate their fear. 

BCO truly looks at each patient holistically, helping individuals solve their body’s problems as a whole—not just correcting a single piece. We also combine Eastern and Western treatment modalities to better meet our clients’ needs. We can confidently treat people through several avenues including chiropractic care, acupuncture, EMSculpt, physical therapy, stem cell therapy, PRP and sometimes surgically. With such a wide range of treatment options available under one roof, we can save our patients time and streamline their experience.”


How do you give back to your community?

“We have fostered strong relationships with local schools, providing care to young athletes. We spend many Friday and Saturday nights volunteering our time on the football field and at other athletic events. As a service to these kids, we routinely evaluate injuries—regardless of ability to pay—to help quickly diagnose and initiate a treatment plan. 

Another exciting and fulfilling program BCO offers is providing mentorship opportunities to individuals seeking careers in orthopedics and related fields. Several of our young athletes show an interest in medicine, and we offer shadowing experiences in the office and surgery. We have many ‘BCO graduates’ who have gone on to med school, chiropractic, PT and PA careers. There is nothing better than inspiring young adults to pursue a career in medicine.”


What makes BCO special?

“We have built our practice on trying to make our business special and unique. We set out over 12 years ago to drastically change the patient experience in orthopedics. We didn’t like the concept of a drab, stale doctor’s office with grumpy front desk staff sitting behind a glass window. Our goal is to welcome people to a space that is inviting, beautiful, vibrant and full of energy. 

People often come to our office in a lot of pain and leave with hope and energy for the future. We give hope where there is hopelessness, relief to those in pain and a smile or a hug to nearly every patient we see.”