Schools for Sports Medicine
Training and Schooling Requirements and Recommendations
It is common for sports medicine professionals to be actual physicians. Many take specialized sports medicine courses in medical school and complete residencies or fellowships in this discipline. Medical students often find fellowships with orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitative clinics or physical therapy groups.
However, individuals not interested in attending medical school can find undergraduate and graduate degree programs in sports medicine at schools across the United States. These degree programs prepare individuals to find entry-level healthcare employment with fitness centers, health clubs and athletic departments in schools, colleges and universities.
Sports medicine professionals may choose from undergraduate, graduate or medical degree programs. All of these programs emphasize athletic training, sports medicine, fitness technology and the prevention and rehabilitation of sports injuries.
Sports medicine certificate programs focus on rehabilitative therapies and provide students with foundational knowledge and skills. Coursework includes sports medicine, sports nutrition, basic life support, personal health and weight training. Students also learn medical terminology and exercise science principles. Certificate programs demonstrate proficiency in sports medicine and may take 1-2 years to complete.
Associate's Degree Programs
Many personal trainers complete associate's degree programs in sports medicine and fitness technology. This undergraduate degree program teaches students how to assess individuals' health and fitness, recommend appropriate exercise routines and create customized nutrition and fitness plans. It also teaches them to recognize health risk factors, prevent injuries and suggest sports medicine therapies.
Students take courses in human anatomy, sports medicine, nutrition, first aid, sports psychology and strength training. Associate's degree programs take two years to complete and are geared towards entry-level sports medicine professionals.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in sports medicine emphasize athletic training and conditioning, sports nutrition, injury evaluation and exercise physiology. Many 4-year undergraduate degree programs offer courses in biomechanics, human anatomy, clinical exercise physiology and personal health and wellness. Students also learn to evaluate sports injuries and provide rehabilitative treatments.
Many undergraduate students blend theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience by participating in clinical sports medicine internships at local rehab clinics or physical therapy groups. Some continue their education by pursing related graduate degrees programs.
Master's Degree Programs
Graduate degree programs in sports medicine often focus on sports injury research and studies. Students gain comprehensive knowledge in musculoskeletal injuries and common health-related sports conditions.
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