Becoming a Sports Medicine Doctor

The Sports Medicine Doctors treat athletes and other sportspersons who sustain injuries through physical activities. Their main focus remains on treating the patients to prevent injury, improve their performance and enhance overall health conditions. They respond to both professional athletes and amateurs.

They mainly work in schools, colleges, universities, fitness clubs, gyms, sports bodies, hospitals and research facilities.

Key Responsibilities:

Conduct diagnosis for all treatments related to injuries and illness of sportspersons
Use proper techniques to prevent and treat muscular conditions
Focus on injury prevention and rehabilitation
Plan nutritional guidance to build strength and endurance within the athletes.

Education Requirements:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: It’s mandatory for the aspiring Sports Medicine Doctors to apply for the bachelor’s degree program. As there is not specific degree related to sports medicine, students may choose biology, chemistry or related major based in science. Coursework in chemistry, biology and physics are also advisable.

2. Medical School: After the completion of Bachelor’s Degree, the aspiring Sports Medicine Doctors may go for medical school programs that have both pre-clinical and clinical years. Students learn basics and foundation concepts in medicine and other systems related to medical conditions. They also learn patient care, consultation strategies etc.

In the clinical years, they work under the supervision of licensed medical professionals to learn more about diagnosis, treatment and other issues related to well being of athletes. Students may opt programs that are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

Residency Programs: The American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM) offers three-year family medicine residency programs that consist of advance clinical rotations. The Resident Doctors also get stipends and other benefits during the program.

Fellowship: The Sports Medicine Doctors must complete a fellowship to earn specialization in their field. The course duration is normally 1-2 years. During the fellowship, they may require to provide support to athletes and sportspersons during an athletic event. The Fellowship programs can be obtained from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Sports Medicine Doctors remain excellent and may grow at 18% during the period of 2012-22. Their average salary was $204,813 per year in 2013.