Salary for Sports Medicine
Many students who are interested in going on to medical school complete a bachelor’s degree with a pre-med concentration that gives them a solid foundation in biology, chemistry and physics. Getting into medical school can be competitive, so students must complete the courses and have excellent grades to be a good applicant. Students will also be required to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to get into medical school. Those interested in sports medicine are usually sports lovers themselves, often involved in some kind of team or individual sports activity.
Most sports doctors complete a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) or a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. These degree programs generally involve four years of academic coursework in biology, biochemistry, anatomy, pathology, psychology, physiology, medical ethics and pharmacology. Medical students must also complete a clinical residency, which gives hands-on practice in a variety of clinical settings under the supervision of doctors and healthcare professionals.
Since sports medicine is a subspecialty, doctors must get a certification of added qualification (CAQ) in sports medicine. To prepare for this, doctors complete a two-year fellowship in sports medicine at a hospital, rehabilitation facility or university athletic department. These two years expose doctors to different types of athletic-related injuries and methods of diagnosing and treating them. Additionally, the fellowship provides experience with orthopedic surgeries, rehabilitative techniques, brain trauma, nutrition and performance psychology. Orthopedic surgeons can also apply for fellowships in this field but added qualification certification is not required.
A three-year residency in primary care, emergency, internal or rehabilitative medicine offers suitable training for a sports medicine specialization, though some students choose a five-year residency in orthopedic surgery. It may be possible to secure an elective rotation in sports medicine during this stage.
Licensing and/or Certification
In addition to a license, doctors may seek certification by a recognized professional organization. This certification will help make the doctor a better job candidate since it will show that he or she has met the organization’s professional requirements and is staying up-to-date in developments in this subspecialty through continuing education courses. Certification in sports medicine is offered by the following organizations:
Necessary Skills and Qualities
Sports doctors possess empathy, compassion and good communication and problem-solving skills in order to provide the best treatment to their patients. This medical specialty also requires good dexterity and stamina.
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although Most sports teams have employed Team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that Sport and Exercise Medicine has emerged as a distinct entity in health care.