Detailed Information on Sports Doctor
Sports medicine focuses on helping people improve their athletic performance, recover from injury and prevent future injuries. It is a fast-growing health care field, because health workers who specialize in sports medicine help all kinds of people, not just athletes.
Sports medicine professionals treat amateur athletes, those who want better results from their exercise program, people who have suffered injuries and are trying to regain full function and those with disabilities who are trying to increase mobility and capability.
The career path you take will depend on your interests, your educational goals and the environment in which you want to work.
A sports medicine doctor helps professional and amateur athletes stay healthy or recover from injury. Just like a general doctor, a sports medicine doctor will diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. They likely will spend time getting familiar with an athlete’s past injuries to better understand current injuries. They will develop treatment and therapy plans to help athletes recover as quickly and safely as possible. The following chart gives you an overview about becoming a sports medicine doctor.
Who is a Sports Doctor?
Sports medicine doctors are medical professionals who focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries related to athletic activities. These physicians generally focus on joint, bone and muscle health, although they also offer more generalized medical care to their patients. Sports medicine prepares these physicians for work in both traditional hospital and clinic settings, in addition to sporting events at both the professional and college levels. No matter where they choose to work, sports medicine doctors enjoy the deep gratification of helping active, often health-conscious people recover from sports-related injuries and return to the lifestyles that they love.
What do they do?
The main role of a Sports Medicine physician is to prevent and heal injuries, along with examining a player’s fitness level before any upcoming game. The role of the doctor may also extend beyond the usual sports related injuries. It can also involve handling illnesses like asthma and physiological issues.
Sports Medicine specialists can also work as counselors, consultants, and performance educators. Your scientific knowledge and guidance can help sportsmen/ women improve their fitness and performance.
Is it the Right career for me?
Individuals who have excellent knowledge about different sports related injuries, and are passionate about sports should be the ones who should consider a career in this field. Sports medicine physicians should also have good communication skills.
People who enjoy solving problems and dealing with other people should enter this field. They should also be able to put the needs of the injured athlete before the needs of the team when it is appropriate.
To become a sports medicine physician, you first need to determine if this career path is right for you. Ask yourself the following questions:
• 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?
The world of sports is highly competitive. Sports persons need to remain at the top of their fitness regimes at all times. This has naturally led to the immense and critical importance & necessity of Sports Medicine specialists in the lives of sports persons. In order to excel, the help and guidance of such specialists is essential nowadays.
Sports medicine has great scope. As sports get increasingly competitive, nothing short of 200% fitness can give the player the crucial winning edge. The opportunities are open as top-flight trainers, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists and masseurs who keep the sportspersons fighting fit.
The scope in this sector is quite huge in countries like India where cricket is extremely popular and more and more tournaments are being played round the year. So choosing cricket sports as a career is a wise option. Like most of the sports, it also involves a lot of travelling and being away from your home.
The latest trends like the introduction of smaller formats such as T-20 and numerous state and city level tournaments and more emphasis given by the schools and colleges are making cricket a better career option for the budding sports therapists. It has an edge over other sports in cricket-loving nations like India and this is the reason why students with sports degrees and diplomas are more interested in this lucrative segment with massive opportunity.
Also, it has become mandatory for physiotherapists to be associated with Ranji Trophy and state teams. Qualification as a sports therapist with a cricket background is an added advantage.
Salaries for Sports Medicine specialists vary according to their roles, experience, and location of job. With sponsorships getting bigger and better in the world of sports, players have to constantly maintain high levels of fitness.
Hence, Sport Medicine practitioners are also getting paid rather handsomely! The average starting salary in India is around Rs. 40,000 per month. With more experience, this increases to up to Rs. 1 lakh per month. An expert can earn as much as Rs. 3 lakh per month.
The field of sports medicine is relatively new, and continues to evolve. As with all physicians, sports medicine physicians can be found in varied clinical settings, from hospital-based practice to private outpatient clinics.
In addition to working with athletic teams, these doctors can also hold positions in fitness centers, large gyms, and at large athletic events such as marathons. Some further specialize on particular groups of patients and their specific needs as they relate to sports medicine (e.g. – geriatric populations or school-age children).
How is Life?
Most sports medicine physicians work at a private clinic or hospital so they have a comfortable environment around them with air conditioning and well lit rooms. They will work regular hours however; they may be called in if there is an emergency case.
However, there is also a portion of these doctors that work on the field with various teams. These sports medicine physicians may have to undergo any type of weather conditions as well as may have to travel with the team to the different cities they are playing in. They will also have to attend all the team practices.
Demand and Supply
Physicians and surgeons held approximately 661,000 jobs in 2008 in the United States. Their employment is expected to grow by 20%, and generate 260,500 more jobs up till 2018. Most sports medicine physicians work in private clinics or sports medicine clinics.
Moreover, because of the demand to prevent sports related injuries, there will be a greater number of sports medicine physicians needed. Also, because there is a greater number of people participating in sports, more sports medicine physicians will be needed.
- providing accurate diagnosis for individuals with musculoskeletal injuries or illness who would like to exercise, or for whom exercise would be beneficial
- overseeing and implementing rehabilitation programmes
- workplace wellness and vocational outputs
- making their clinical expertise available to other clinicians and allied healthcare professionals in the wider multi-disciplinary team
- providing support to sportsmen and women to assist them in maximising performance (within international rules), reducing injury time and minimising the co-morbidity associated with sporting participation
- promoting the highest level of ethical standards within sport by contributing to sporting organisations and teams
- promoting improvements in public health through encouraging physical activity and exercise in the general population
- developing and implementing public health policy for physical activity programmes
- liaising with and supporting the work of health authorities, sporting organisations and other community agencies involved in the promotion of healthy lifestyles and safety standards in sport
- participating in audits, research and training to contribute to development of SEM as a speciality.
For those intending to specialize in the field, a diploma or degree is the first step towards numerous roles such as that of a physiotherapist, top-flight trainer, psychologist, nutritionist, or physician.
As with all physicians, specialists and non-specialists alike, sports medicine physicians must possess and demonstrate empathy, compassion, strong interpersonal communication abilities, and proficient problem-solving skills in order to provide timely diagnosis and optimal clinical outcomes for their patients.
In addition, sports medicine physicians must also possess good physical health, dexterity, and stamina if they intend to perform physical therapy-related treatments.
The biggest perk of being a sports medicine physician is that they receive a large salary. Moreover, if the sports medicine physician is working for a professional team, then they have the chance to interact with famous celebrities.
Along with this, the working conditions of those sports medicine physicians are good if they are working in a clinic or hospital.
Sports medicine doctors may opt to base their practice in outpatient clinics, large hospitals, or academic medical institutions. Those in private practice can establish their own practices, or join current groups with the ultimate aim of becoming a partner.
Alternatively, a position in larger hospitals will provide the sports doctor with opportunities for advancement, depending on experience and continuing education.
For example, after several years of productive performance, staff physicians may take on supervisory or management roles, potentially becoming chairperson of a department.