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By Nsim Team
To become a sports medicine physician, you first need to determine if this career path is right for you. Ask yourself the following questions, If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then a career as a sports medicine physician may be well suited for you!
• Are you intrigued by the ways medicine can be used to treat athletes?
• Do you excel in science and enjoy learning?
• Do you have a passion for sport?
• Do you have a strong memory and a genuine interest in people’s health?
• Are you able to put an athlete’s health before the needs of his or her team?
Who is a Sports Medicine Physician ?
Sports medicine physicians are responsible for treating musculoskeletal injuries that occur as a result of participation in sports, such as knee and shoulder injuries, ankle sprains, head injuries, tendonitis and fractures.
Education Needed to Become a Sports Medicine Physician
To become a sports medicine physician, you must begin with a bachelors degree typically in a field such as biology.
Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete three or four year Medical Doctor (MD) degree program at an accredited university.
Once you have earned your MD degree, you must complete post-graduate training in family medicine or another specialty such as family practice, paediatrics, emergency medicine or orthopaedics.
Characteristics of Successful Sports Medicine Physicians
It is very beneficial to have the following personality traits in order to become successful as a sports medicine physician, and not just one who is mediocre:
• Strong intellect, necessary to successfully complete the rigorous requirements of medical school and continued lifelong learning
• Keen interest in sports
• Confidence; a sports medicine physician’s confidence can instill confidence in their patients
• Physical, intellectual and emotional stamina needed to work long hours
• Emotional strength and maturity
• Able to work effectively with other healthcare practitioners, such as physical therapists
• Enjoy finding solutions to problems
• Empathy for a patient’s physical pain
• Caring, compassionate and kind
• Able to communicate in clear and plain language to the athletes they treat
Who Hires Sports Medicine Physicians?
Sports medicine physicians typically work in sports medicine clinics. They may also be employed or contracted by sports teams and organizations. They may also volunteer their services for amateur sports teams and organizations.
Sports medicine physicians may work either in solo practices, or multi-disciplinary team clinics with physiotherapists, athletic therapists, sports psychologists, kinesiologists and other professionals.