A sports medicine doctor is a primary care doctor who is specially trained to diagnose and treat injuries that are sustained while playing sports and any other type of musculoskeletal injury.
What is the difference between a Sports Medicine Doctor and an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Both are well trained in musculoskeletal medicine. Sports Medicine Doctor specialize in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedic surgeons are also trained in the operative treatment of these conditions. However, approximately 90% of all sports injuries are non-surgical. The Sports Medicine Doctor can maximize non-operative treatment, guide appropriate referrals to physical and occupational therapies, and if necessary, expedite referral to an orthopedic/sports surgeon.
Sports Medicine Doctors’s Training:
- Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics or Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation.
- Has obtained one to two years of additional fellowship training in Sports Medicine.
- Has passed a national Sports Medicine certification examination allowing them to hold a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine.
- Participates in continuing medical education activities and recertification via re-examination every 10 years. This rigorous process was instituted to distinguish certified Sports Medicine Physicians from other physicians without specialized training.
- Is a leader of the Sports Medicine team, which also may include specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches, other personnel and the athlete.
- Sports Medicine is a recognized subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties and by Medicare.
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