For people looking to make a career in sports medicine, it is important to understand more about this highly specialized field. The origins of this profession stem from the vital need of proper and effective medical treatment for sports person. Injuries during a sport are common and they need to be treated with urgency, sometimes even on the field. Alternately, if a player is suffering from a long term injury, his team has to provide him with a proper rehabilitation program and structure. It is the sports doctors who provide this service to a team and to specific players.
There are generally 2 categories that this career can be divided into. The first category deals with the treatment of a specific injury within a time span, and the other with the prevention of injuries and the improvement of general lifestyle of a player. Sports doctors are a revered lot in this industry and they command a lot of respect and adulation in all the sports circles around the world.
List of Careers
There are a multitude of possibilities open to individuals, once they choose to pursue a career in this field. Training high profile athletes and getting paid a lucrative package is something that appeals to many people and this has made it a very popular choice. Following are the career options you can pursue, if you are willing to pursue a career in sports medicine.
- Team Physician
- Primary Care Physician
- Exercise Physiologist
- Physical Therapist
- Massage Therapist
- Orthopedic Surgeon
- Athletic Trainer
- Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist
- Sports Nutritionist
- Sports Psychologist
- Group Exercise Instructor
The salary range for this profession is quite high and competitive. When you combine the salary with the facilities that a sports franchise provides to its doctors, it is quite an attractive package. The opportunity to work with a high profile franchise is good enough for most people, but the obvious monetary benefits also make it a very attractive choice. The average salary is $50,000 - $150,000 per year. The best doctors that work for the biggest sport franchises, can even receive around $500,000 or more per year.
A diploma in sports medicine is necessary if one wants to start practicing. There are many colleges and schools around the world that offer this diploma, and once it has been achieved, an individual is eligible to make a career. Since it is a highly specialized field, the professionals have to be highly trained and must have the necessary qualifications. The best professionals have an M.D. and have also served a specialized residency in a reputed hospital.
The following are the general courses that an individual must have studied to qualify for this career. A diploma usually covers all these fields.
- Orthopedic radiology
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Cardiac rehabilitative therapy
- Physiotherapeutic techniques
- Chiropractic applications
- Genetics and sports related injuries
People who wish to open clinics must have some suitable experience in the field, and mandatorily need to have practiced the profession for a few years. These clinics operate as specialized places where the more serious injuries are treated. As the reputation and experience of a sports doctor builds up, so does his mental satisfaction and pay package.
A career in this field will range right from the basic trainers that carry out everyday training programs, to the highest level surgeons who carry out reconstructive and rehabilitative surgery.