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What are the different pathways to becoming a sports medicine physician?

I have a B.S in Biochemistry. love sports and I hope to combine my passion for sports with my desire to be a doctor. Are there other fields of medicine other than Orthopedic surgery that afford me the opportunity to work with professional athletes? #medicine #sports #sportsmedicine


Family Medicine followed by sports medicine fellowship is a very common path towards being a sports medicine physician. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) followed by sports medicine fellowship is also another pathway -- this is probably the more complete method into becoming a sports doc since physiatrist's have a background in physical medicine as well as a deeper understanding of the musculoskeletal and nervous system which gives them an advantage right off the bat. The PM&R path is a bit longer as PM&R residency is four years versus Family medicine's 3 but it is way more focused on physical medicine while family medicine is focused on a bit of everything from OB/GYN to psychiatry. Dan Nguyen, DO

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John’s Answer

Can't decide between medicine and sports Toluwanimi?

Do both with a career in sports medicine Toluwanimi. Professional sports teams often have sports physicians on staff to handle not just injuries and other medical conditions, but also to create healthcare plans to keep them healthy. These physicians evaluate injuries after they happen and create a treatment plan. Physical therapists often work with the team physician to help with the recovery and rehabilitation process after an injury. They may help athletes learn how to deal with an injury.

FIVE SPORTS MEDICINE PATHS TO KEEP CAREER IN SHAPE

1.) ATHLETIC TRAINER – Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who deal with the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries and their related conditions. While the majority of athletic trainers find work in public and private schools, they are commonly found providing sports-related healthcare in hospitals, offices of healthcare practitioners, recreational sports centers, fitness centers and spectator sporting arenas. Work with the other sports medicine team members to help prevent and sometimes treat injuries. They can take on different roles, including providing wraps and braces on athletes to prevent injuries or minimize additional problems. They're often the first ones on the field or court to evaluate an injury should one happen during a game. They sometimes help athletes carry out therapy plans, and they may work on creating exercise programs that support each athlete's development.

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) estimates that nearly 70% of athletic trainers have at least a master's degree, making advancement very competitive. However, a bachelor's degree is usually acceptable for entry-level positions in this field. Students who enroll in an undergraduate program should expect to receive both classroom and clinical training that may include courses such as biomechanics, physiology, human anatomy and nutrition. The average Athletic Trainer salary in the United States is $46,485 as of May 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $42,448 and $52,316. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

2.) BIOCHEMISTS – In short, a biochemist studies how people move. They use physics to determine and explain how exercise and physical activity works. Biomechanics explains how muscles, bones, and joints are injured under certain conditions and to improve performance using motion analysis techniques. That is why they are valuable to sports organizations. They can analyze the actions of players and see what strategies are best for improving performance and preventing injury. They can help players get better, faster, and stronger using techniques that focus on proper form and that are scientifically better than just lifting weights or running constantly; they can show them how to get the most out of their workouts and limit wasted energy and stress on the body. They also provide one-on-one fitness consulting services to sports teams, sportspersons, fitness academies, institutions, gymnasiums, sports centers as well as any persons in the fitness field. This includes presenting on Training, Nutrition and Supplementation and the scientific knowledge to back up.

Students may earn a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree in biochemistry to prepare for a career as a biochemist. Individuals holding an undergraduate or master's degree may work in product development, applied research or inspection. A Ph.D. is generally required to focuses on injury prevention by providing athletes for suggestions that help them avoid injuries related to the muscles, joints and bones. The average Biochemist salary in the United States is $67,501 as of May 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $61,501 and $73,801. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

3.) PHYSICAL THERAPIST – Physical therapists are who athletes go to after an injury or health issue. They are responsible for restoring a clients' overall fitness and health. This is a high-demand job in professional sports because players are constantly getting injured and need to be rehabilitated quickly. Of course, this isn't just a job in professional sports. There are all kinds of people who need physical therapy and a physical therapist can help them bounce back from injury or illness, too. In whichever realm a PT works in, they have to assess the needs of a patient and develop a treatment plan that suits them. You do need an advanced degree for this job, though. To become a PT, you'll have to complete a master's or doctorate degree program (Doctor of Physical Therapy or DPT) and get your license.

The majority of physical therapy programs result in doctorates. Students can complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which includes clinical experience, within three years. In many programs, experiential learning begins in the first year. Some required courses include anatomy, orthopedics and pharmacology. Students also learn about treatments for a variety of conditions, from cardiovascular issues to sports injuries and muscular problems. Some programs may require that students attend at least one summer term. The average Sports Physical Therapist salary in the United States is $78,250 as of May 28, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $72,000 and $84,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

4.) SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY – Sports psychology encompasses both sports science and psychology. It is an interdisciplinary field that involves counseling, teaching, coaching and conducting research related to psychology and sports. Applied Sports Psychologists instruct individual athletes and sports teams on the various methods of mental conditioning, including visualization, concentration and relaxation techniques. Many sports psychologists work onsite with sports teams alongside coaches, trainers and managers. Others practice independently and perform consulting services on an as-needed basis. sports psychologists combine a passion for psychology and sports to conduct research and apply findings to the mental and emotional betterment of athletes. These professionals require extensive knowledge and training that usually results in the acquisition of a doctoral degree.

Entry-level positions for licensed sports psychologists typically require a master's or doctorate degree in clinical psychology, sports psychology or counseling. Very few schools currently offer full sports and exercise psychology programs at the undergraduate or graduate level. Undergraduate students may consider pursuing double majors in psychology and exercise science, or a major in one discipline with a minor in the second. Graduate and post-graduate students typically complete advanced coursework in exercise science, kinesiology and clinical psychology. A one-year internship through a program approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) may be an additional requirement for graduation. According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA), the salary for sports psychologists can vary significantly. Most experts who are employed in university athletic departments can expect to earn between $60,000 and $80,000 a year, with some annual salaries reaching $100,000.

5.) SPORTS PHYSICIAN – This is one of the sports medicine jobs that takes more schooling and time than some of the others. A sports physician is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in the prevention and treatment of injuries and conditions related to sports activities. Sports physicians work with professional sports teams and are usually their primary medical resource. They develop healthcare plans and decide the best routes of treatment for players and staff. A sports physicians main duty is to evaluate players and decide their well-being and eligibility to play. Sports physicians do whatever necessary to prevent and treat injuries while working with physical therapists and trainers to ensure proper care.

Undergraduate students interested in becoming sports physicians should take courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology. An undergraduate degree is generally required for medical school. It is also important for undergraduate students to participate in extracurricular activities and demonstrate leadership abilities in order to be competitive applicants for medical school. After completing their undergraduate education, aspiring sports physicians must complete four years of medical school. They must then pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) before they may practice medicine. Sports Medicine make in the United States? The average Physician – Sports Medicine salary in the United States is $230,000 as of May 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $199,900 and $298,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Thank you so much, John. I'll be referencing this answer for a long time. Toluwanimi O.

Your Welcome Toluwanimi, It was my Pleasure. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. John Frick

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Dan’s Answer

Family Medicine followed by sports medicine fellowship is a very common path towards being a sports medicine physician. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) followed by sports medicine fellowship is also another pathway -- this is probably the more complete method into becoming a sports doc since physiatrist's have a background in physical medicine as well as a deeper understanding of the musculoskeletal and nervous system which gives them an advantage right off the bat. The PM&R path is a bit longer as PM&R residency is four years versus Family medicine's 3 but it is way more focused on physical medicine while family medicine is focused on a bit of everything from OB/GYN to psychiatry.

Sorry I posted this in the wrong area I think.

Best of luck,

Dr. N

To clarify. You have to go to medical school (4years) then go into residency (Family medicine it is 3 years, PM&R it is 4 years) then go into sports medicine fellowship (1-2 years). Link to PM&R: https://www.aapmr.org/about-physiatry/about-physical-medicine-rehabilitation Dan Nguyen, DO

Thanks, Dr. N Toluwanimi O.

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Quenten’s Answer

Hello,

The Industrial Psychology Field could be an option.

Sports Psychology has grown in the last 25 years and organizations are looking for individuals with that expertise.


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Kaylee’s Answer

Hello My friend is doing this in school right now and first she just got her bachelors in physical therapy so I think that could help.

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Prashanth’s Answer

Hi Toluwanimi ,

Becoming a doctor and even being a good one takes dedication, passion and a lot of hard work. Here's what you need to get through:
• Graduate secondary school - undergraduate/pre-medical degree
• Graduate medical school
• Complete residency
• Complete a fellowship
• Be proud

Step 1: Graduate secondary school
Building knowledge to become a sports doctor is similar to building a durable and safe house - you need to choose the correct materials and ensure you have a solid foundation. For a budding sports physician, those materials include secondary school and/or pre-medical degree subjects. To start your career, you need to graduate a secondary school. There are two potential pathways you can take from here: the undergraduate or the pre-medical degree route followed by a postgraduate medical degree.
• Undergraduate medical degree
The majority of medical universities worldwide offer undergraduate degree programs for students who completed secondary school. These are usually either five or six years. Some of them require specific subjects as entry requirements, usually a combination of the basic sciences like biology, chemistry and physics. Choosing to study those in secondary school not only gives you the opportunity to enter medical school but it provides a stepping stone for future courses taught during medical degrees.
• Pre-medical degree
Other medical universities, especially those in the United States of America, but not exclusively, require a pre-medical degree. Such a degree can be in any major desired, as long as it is accredited and the required subjects for medical school are studied. After all, having a business or engineering acumen as a doctor is never a disadvantage.
Pre-medical education lasts approximately three to four years. The specific subjects often asked for by admission teams are general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, calculus or statistics, humanities, social science and behavioural science subjects. Alternatively, there are pre-medical degree programs specializing in sports medicine, kinesiology or exercise science, which offer candidates a solid background for their career that lies ahead. Such programs typically include the subjects required by medical programs. Both pathways require hard work, dedication and excellent grades. In the end, a house can only stand the test of time if its materials are durable and solid.

Step 2: Graduate medical school
After acquiring the materials, you need to build good foundations, for strength and stability. For an evolving sports doctor, the base consists of graduating medical school, which takes between four and six years. You will need to first obtain either a medical (M.D.) or an osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree. Although both are equally accepted, osteopathic programs emphasize the musculoskeletal system and preventative medicine. In both programs, the focus is on the general science subjects of biochemistry, anatomy , physiology, microbiology and pathology, while performing clinical rotations through various specialities during the final years. Since a high number of sports doctors are orthopedic surgeons, a high competency of anatomy is important. Even if surgery is not your cup of tea, you will deal with musculoskeletal injuries very frequently working with athletes and understanding biomechanics and being able to differentiate your rectus femoris from your vastus medialis is essential.

Step 3: Complete residency
With the house having a strong foundation, it is now the perfect time to start building it. Upon graduation, you must obtain a licence from the respective country where you wish to practice and then begin the residency training. At this point, the road of aspiring sports doctors splits once again into primary physicians and surgeons. Those who desire to practice primary care sports medicine can chose residencies like family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics or emergency medicine. Alternatively, orthopedic surgery can be the path of choice. The duration of those can vary from three to five years, in case of surgical specialities.
Step 4: Complete a fellowship
With the entire structure of your house built, now you need to add the finishing touches. This is the time when you turn the house into your vision, according to your heart’s content. The final step to become a sports doctor involves the completion of a fellowship. Candidates who specialized in primary care must complete a primary care physician fellowship, while those specialized in orthopedic surgery need to complete a surgical sports medicine fellowship. Such a program lasts between one and two years and involves specializing in the assessment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries, such as those of the head or spinal cord. Doctors also learn the prescription of protective equipment.

Good Luck

Thanks,
Prashanth TM

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sushma’s Answer

Sports medicine physicians work with athletes and sports teams at all levels to help heal athletic injuries. These physicians are specialized in either surgical or non-surgical procedures. In order to become sports medicine physicians, candidates must complete medical school, earn a license, complete a residency and fellowship, and earn board certification in sports medicine.

Education Requirements
Becoming a sports medicine physician requires obtaining a bachelor's degree and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. During their undergraduate years, students will need to take pre-med classes in biology, anatomy and chemistry. Medical school is a 4-year program in which the last two years include clinical rotations.

Typically, sports medicine physicians have primary specialization in either orthopedic surgery or primary care with sub-specialty in sports medicine. During the clinical rotations, students can take electives in one of these specialty areas. Following the completion of medical school, graduates enter into residency programs. No residency programs exist that allow for specialization in sports medicine, but rotations can include sports medicine procedures.

Training Requirements
Residency programs begin the in-depth primary specialty training. During this time, a resident can begin to focus on surgical or non-surgical areas. After completing a residency, a physician can apply for a sports medicine fellowship program, which is typically one year in length.

Orthopedic surgeon fellows in sports medicine receive focused training on surgical techniques relating to sports injuries, such as knee or shoulder reconstruction. Many orthopedic sports medicine fellowships include research opportunities coupled with extensive clinical care.

Primary care sports medicine fellowships are open to physicians who have completed residencies in emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine or family practice medicine. This fellowship focuses on evaluating and treating orthopedic sports injuries by learning orthopedic rehabilitation procedures. Primary care sports medicine fellows work with various levels of team sports and practice the duties of an attending sports medicine physician. Much like surgical fellowships, primary care sports medicine physicians have the opportunity to develop research skills.

Physicians with sub-specialties in sports medicine can pursue the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. Primary care sports medicine physicians must also be board certified in family medicine, pediatrics or internal medicine. Surgical sports medicine physicians are also eligible for board certification in sports medicine and typically hold Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon designations.

0
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Quenten’s Answer

Hello,

The Industrial Psychology Field could be an option.

Sports Psychology has grown in the last 25 years and organizations are looking for individuals with that expertise.


0
Updated Translate

Prashanth’s Answer

Becoming a doctor and even being a good one takes dedication, passion and a lot of hard work. Here's what you need to get through:
• Graduate secondary school - undergraduate/pre-medical degree
• Graduate medical school
• Complete residency
• Complete a fellowship
• Be proud

Step 1: Graduate secondary school
Building knowledge to become a sports doctor is similar to building a durable and safe house - you need to choose the correct materials and ensure you have a solid foundation. For a budding sports physician, those materials include secondary school and/or pre-medical degree subjects. To start your career, you need to graduate a secondary school. There are two potential pathways you can take from here: the undergraduate or the pre-medical degree route followed by a postgraduate medical degree.
• Undergraduate medical degree
The majority of medical universities worldwide offer undergraduate degree programs for students who completed secondary school. These are usually either five or six years. Some of them require specific subjects as entry requirements, usually a combination of the basic sciences like biology, chemistry and physics. Choosing to study those in secondary school not only gives you the opportunity to enter medical school but it provides a stepping stone for future courses taught during medical degrees.
• Pre-medical degree
Other medical universities, especially those in the United States of America, but not exclusively, require a pre-medical degree. Such a degree can be in any major desired, as long as it is accredited and the required subjects for medical school are studied. After all, having a business or engineering acumen as a doctor is never a disadvantage.
Pre-medical education lasts approximately three to four years. The specific subjects often asked for by admission teams are general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, calculus or statistics, humanities, social science and behavioural science subjects. Alternatively, there are pre-medical degree programs specializing in sports medicine, kinesiology or exercise science, which offer candidates a solid background for their career that lies ahead. Such programs typically include the subjects required by medical programs. Both pathways require hard work, dedication and excellent grades. In the end, a house can only stand the test of time if its materials are durable and solid.

Step 2: Graduate medical school
After acquiring the materials, you need to build good foundations, for strength and stability. For an evolving sports doctor, the base consists of graduating medical school, which takes between four and six years. You will need to first obtain either a medical (M.D.) or an osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree. Although both are equally accepted, osteopathic programs emphasize the musculoskeletal system and preventative medicine. In both programs, the focus is on the general science subjects of biochemistry, anatomy , physiology, microbiology and pathology, while performing clinical rotations through various specialities during the final years. Since a high number of sports doctors are orthopedic surgeons, a high competency of anatomy is important. Even if surgery is not your cup of tea, you will deal with musculoskeletal injuries very frequently working with athletes and understanding biomechanics and being able to differentiate your rectus femoris from your vastus medialis is essential.

Step 3: Complete residency
With the house having a strong foundation, it is now the perfect time to start building it. Upon graduation, you must obtain a licence from the respective country where you wish to practice and then begin the residency training. At this point, the road of aspiring sports doctors splits once again into primary physicians and surgeons. Those who desire to practice primary care sports medicine can chose residencies like family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics or emergency medicine. Alternatively, orthopedic surgery can be the path of choice. The duration of those can vary from three to five years, in case of surgical specialities.
Step 4: Complete a fellowship
With the entire structure of your house built, now you need to add the finishing touches. This is the time when you turn the house into your vision, according to your heart’s content. The final step to become a sports doctor involves the completion of a fellowship. Candidates who specialized in primary care must complete a primary care physician fellowship, while those specialized in orthopedic surgery need to complete a surgical sports medicine fellowship. Such a program lasts between one and two years and involves specializing in the assessment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries, such as those of the head or spinal cord. Doctors also learn the prescription of protective equipment.

Good Luck

Thanks,
Prashanth TM

0