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Sports Medicine Physicians Career

Career Description

Diagnose, treat, and help prevent injuries that occur during sporting events, athletic training, and physical activities.

What Job Titles Sports Medicine Physicians Might Have

  • Director of Sports Medicine
  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • Physician
  • Sports Medicine Physician

What Sports Medicine Physicians Do

  • Diagnose or treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Order and interpret the results of laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • Advise against injured athletes returning to games or competition if resuming activity could lead to further injury.
  • Record athletes' medical care information and maintain medical records.
  • Record athletes' medical histories and perform physical examinations.
  • Examine and evaluate athletes prior to participation in sports activities to determine level of physical fitness or predisposition to injuries.
  • Coordinate sports care activities with other experts including specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or coaches.
  • Provide education and counseling on illness and injury prevention.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to improve and maintain knowledge and skills.
  • Advise athletes, trainers, or coaches to alter or cease sports practices that are potentially harmful.
  • Inform coaches, trainers, or other interested parties regarding the medical conditions of athletes.
  • Examine, evaluate and treat athletes who have been injured or who have medical problems such as exercise-induced asthma.
  • Supervise the rehabilitation of injured athletes.
  • Refer athletes for specialized consultation, physical therapy, or diagnostic testing.
  • Prescribe medications for the treatment of athletic-related injuries.
  • Inform athletes about nutrition, hydration, dietary supplements, or uses and possible consequences of medication.
  • Develop and test procedures for dealing with emergencies during practices or competitions.
  • Attend games and competitions to provide evaluation and treatment of activity-related injuries or medical conditions.
  • Advise coaches, trainers, or physical therapists on the proper use of exercises and other therapeutic techniques and alert them to potentially dangerous practices.
  • Observe and evaluate athletes' mental well-being.
  • Select and prepare medical equipment or medications to be taken to athletic competition sites.
  • Conduct research in the prevention or treatment of injuries or medical conditions related to sports and exercise.
  • Prescribe orthotics, prosthetics, and adaptive equipment.
  • Evaluate and manage chronic pain conditions.
  • Develop and prescribe exercise programs such as off-season conditioning regimens.
  • Provide coaches and therapists with assistance in selecting and fitting protective equipment.

What Sports Medicine Physicians Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

What Sports Medicine Physicians Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Sports Medicine Physicians Need to Learn

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $206,920

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.