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What college courses should I look into if I am thinking about pursuing a career in sports medicine?

I have high interest in becoming either an athletic trainer or a physical therapist. I think it would be really beneficial if I had an idea on what classes to take. #sports #medicine #athletic-training #physical-therapist

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Erin’s Answer

For an individual who would like to become a physical therapist or athletic trainer, a general track in kinesiology or exercise science degrees would be appropriate. If physical therapy is most likely the career path to choose, I would encourage a biology, pre-med track. Both professions will require education beyond a bachelor’s degree. It is important to understand what is required for higher level education (masters or doctorate).

If you are unsure about what route to take, spend time shadowing an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. This will help identify not only which profession is of greater interest but also provide opportunity to ask questions about schooling.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Sophia
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Beth’s Answer

If you strictly want team sports at a high school or college level, athletic training is the way to go. With physical therapy, you will learn orthopedic and sports care, but also neurological problems like strokes, spinal cord injuries or head injuries - but also concussion, pediatrics, cardiopulmonary, oncology, wound care, and the physiology of why we do what we do, and research to prove it.
There are many PT/ ATC professionals out there who work in a clinic treating injuries and also work on the field for injuries during a game. pT’s treat injuries and facilitate return to max. Function.
The ATC’s are going to work closely with a team to prevent injuries specific to that sport as well as acute injuries with the team. After surgery or major injuries the PT and the ATC work together for the athletes.
You might also consider do you want a non- conventional sport like swimming, marathon, dance, gymnastics- they usually do not have a trainer and seek out a PT instead, or a masters level sport like over 50 year old softball. They also do not have atc’s.
PT school has a higher grade expectation and is more competitive to get in. You will have exposure to a larger variety of ages and conditions to treat.

Beth recommends the following next steps:

Visit Apta.org for university programs
Observe/volunteer with a PT and a trainer
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Carl’s Answer

Hello Sophia. You may want to consider focusing on a pre-med track in college. You will take a lot of biology, chemistry, and calculus. It also depends if you want to be a team physician or a trainer. I'll have some guidance in the next steps that should help you find what you are looking for.

Carl recommends the following next steps:

Contact a college sports team, preferably a football team because they will have more people to tend too. Ask them about their sports medicine program. I'm sure they will be happy to assist.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Sophia
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Jenna’s Answer

Since athletic training is switching to a Masters from a Bachelors look at a variety of Athletic Training Masters programs and see what credits you need to apply and go from there. A bachelors degree in exercise science or kinesiology will give you a strong base.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Sophia
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