A Rewarding and Challenging Career: Sports medicine

Sports Medicine: A Growing Field with Diverse Career Opportunities

Sports medicine is a fast-growing health care field that focuses on treating athletes and other physically active patients. It involves a wide variety of career paths and requires advanced education and certification. Professionals in this field help athletes and other active people improve their performance, prevent illness and injuries and treat athletic-related injuries.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM): Promoting Active Living

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is a group of physicians, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists and other professionals whose work focuses on the positive benefits of sports and physical activity for healthy people of all ages. This interdisciplinary approach to health promotes prevention and treatment of injuries and illnesses associated with active living, and it encourages the integration of sports and physical activity into all aspects of life.

A Rewarding Career in Sports Medicine

A career in sports medicine is a wonderful way to combine your love of fitness and your passion for medical science, as it allows you to practice medicine while also helping people live healthier lives through physical activity. It is a rewarding and challenging career that offers you the opportunity to help others reach their full potential through education, training, and specialized skills.

Diverse Career Opportunities

Typical jobs in this field include certified athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and team physician assistants. While the exact requirements for each career vary, most require a bachelor’s degree and some certification. Other positions, like those in athletic training or exercise physiology, typically require a master's degree.

Key Skills for Sports Medicine Professionals

In addition to having a strong desire for a healthcare career, aspiring sports medicine professionals need to be good communicators and have excellent organizational skills. This is important because they often work with dozens of patients at a time and must be able to manage the day-to-day tasks involved in their job.

For example, a physical therapist who works with athletes will need to communicate effectively with coaches, teammates, and parents. They will also need to have the ability to provide patient care without hurting or injuring the patient.

Another common skill a sports medicine professional needs is physical dexterity, which allows them to manipulate the body without causing pain or injury. This is especially critical for a kinesiotherapist or a physical therapist who works with athletes in a clinical setting. Internships and supervised mentoring help students develop this skill.

Commitment to Quality Care and Recovery

Regardless of the specific area in which they work, sports medicine professionals are known for their commitment to providing high-quality care. They are also committed to helping their patients get back to their regular activities as soon as possible after an injury.

Most of the patients they see are referred from their primary care physicians because their conditions are not serious enough to require surgery. However, some injuries, such as a sprained ankle or torn ligament, are so severe that they need surgery.

Many patients will be seen by a sports medicine doctor before seeing an orthopedic surgeon because the sports medicine doctor has a deeper understanding of how to manage sports-related injuries, as well as how to diagnose them. This gives the doctor the knowledge to determine whether the patient will benefit from non-surgical treatments or should be referred to a surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.

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