People often ask, “What is a primary care sports medicine physician… what does that mean and what do they do?”
A primary care sports medicine physician is trained in a primary medical field such as family medicine or internal medicine who has extra training in non-operative medical fields like orthopedics and sports medicine.
All medical physicians have to complete a residency in their specialty of choice – like family medicine or internal medicine – after completing medical school and then pass a board exam in their chosen specialty. A primary care sports medicine physician has extra training, called “fellowship training,” that is an additional one to two years after residency. After completing fellowship training, another board exam is taken to give the doctor a certificate of added qualification in sports medicine.
Why would you see a primary care sports medicine physician? A primary care sports medicine physician sees patients for routine care like physicals or unexpected sick visits. Additionally, with sports medicine specialty training, the physicians can see patients for non-operative orthopedics and sports medicine needs like sports injuries, non-sports related injuries or concussions.
Primary care physicians provide medical services such as:
- Newborn care
- Yearly physicals for children and adults
- Women’s care
- Sports physicals
- Sick visits
- Management of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes
With the added training in sports medicine, primary care sports medicine physicians also provide medical services such as:
- Care of muscle, bone and joint conditions that do not require surgery
- Casting and splinting
- Concussion diagnosis and management for athletes and non-athletes
A primary care sports medicine physician is not just for athletes. As a family medicine physician, they care for people of all ages, from newborns to elderly, and have a special interest in fitness to get people moving or keep them active.
Whether it’s time for a yearly physical, an irritating rash, an unexpected sprained ankle or an accident during a game of golf or wrestling practice, patients can make an appointment with a primary care sports medicine physician
who has the training and expertise to care for all of those types of conditions.