A sport medicine physician is basically a physician who has a specialized training and is responsible for lifelong fitness and wellness of his patients, along with encouraging prevention of illness and injury.
The core function of a sports medicine physician is to maximize function and minimize disability and time away from sports, school and work.
In addition to tending to the athletes and sportspersons, the sports medicine physicians also cater to non-athletes and serve as training partners for individuals intending to become active or begin an exercise program.
Role and Qualifications
The roles of a physician and sports medicine are inter-linked as far as maintenance of health and prevention of illnesses is concerned.
A sports medicine physician mostly acts as a leader of the sports medicine team, which includes specialty surgeons and physicians, along with athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches and other personnel.
These professionals are basically experienced sports medicine physicians with a primary specialty in one of the below:
* Family Practice
* Internal Medicine
* Emergency Medicine
* Physical medicine
Most of the professionals functioning as sports medicine specialists have obtained 1-2 years of additional training in sports medicine through accredited fellowship programs in the subject. Furthermore, physicians who are once certified in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine or Pediatrics are then eligible to take a subspecialty qualification examination in the field sports medicine.
Physicians and sports medicine play an important role in the continual development of health and well-being. Most of the sports medicine physicians obtain additional training in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine. A few common instances of this include:
* Head injuries, such as mild traumatic brain injury
* Athletes with chronic or acute illness .e.g. infectious mononucleosis, asthma or diabetes
* Nutrition, supplements and performance issues
* Exercise prescription for patients aiming to enhance their fitness levels
* Injury prevention
Looking for a Sports Medicine Physician
Once the correlation of a physician and sports medicine has been analyzed and accepted, the next step is to look for a qualified and capable sports medicine physician.
Experts suggest that the most dependable and easiest way to look for a sports medicine physician is to seek referrals. It is always helpful to take the advice of the personal physician, friends and co-workers. The advice and recommendations taken from local athletes is especially always helpful.
Other sources that might guide you for useful resources on physicians and sports medicine are online listings, including the likes of the American Orthopedic Society, the Physician and Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association.