There are various types and branches of medicine practiced by many different types of medical doctors. All MDs who wish to continue their education and specialize in a particular field will apply for a residency and specialist courses over the next 4–6 years. One of those courses is related to medical aspects of sports and yields sports medicine specialists.
A sports medicine physician is a highly trained individual that has specialized in preventing or treating sports injuries. This article will shine some light on what exactly sports doctors do and how to become one. Read on!
How to Become a Sports Medicine Specialist?
Before becoming a specialist, every doctor needs to finish a comprehensive medical school that usually lasts six years. Here is where a general training in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Physical Medicine is provided.
What comes next is two years fellowship programme in Sports Medicine with additional training in musculoskeletal issues that include acute injuries such as sprained ankles, muscle strains, knee and shoulder injuries, and fractures.
What follows is a Sports Medicine certification examination that allows doctors to perform the duties of a sports specialist. Also, the certificate is renewed every ten years, so sports medicine experts need to be involved in continuous education by visiting seminars and attending additional courses.
Who Needs Help from a Sports Medicine Specialist?
It is a common misconception that only professional athletes need help and assistance from a Sports Medicine Specialist. Any injury caused by a physical activity involving some sports can be looked into and treated by a sports medicine doctor. So, if you happen to be running down the street and twist your ankle, you should visit these specialists to receive proper treatment.
Although professional athletes are prone to sports injuries due to their work and training, it is not excluded that people who do recreation sports can’t get injured, too. Also, the job of sports medicine doctors includes monitoring the progress of one’s rehabilitation process, together with the physical therapist.
What Does a Sports Medicine Specialist Do for a Professional Sports Team?
To become fully effective for a professional sports team, a sports medical doctor needs to go through additional medical training. Such training needs to include treating non-musculoskeletal injuries that include concussions, as well as acute and chronic illnesses, nutrition, etc. Sports doctors give recommendations on safe training methods and the exercises that should be used for improving the shape of players, as well as warn about the ones that might lead to injuries. Also, all “return to player” decisions rest with sports physicians that need to make sure a sick or an injured is ready to play again.
The importance of sports medicine doctors is much bigger than one would think, as they are helping us stay healthy and in motion. In a time when people are just too busy to train and keep their bodies in shape, injuries are prevalent and occur even with the simplest of movements. This is when sports medicine specialists come into play and help you heal your injury.