Physicians who practice in sports medicine are the same type of doctors you see running out onto the field to assist an injured player. These specialized physicians’ scope of care is not limited to athletes, however – they also care for anyone with sports-related injuries, including retirees and weekend warriors.
physicians specialize in quickly diagnosing and properly treating musculoskeletal injuries and high-impact injuries that typically come with playing sports. These doctors are adept in handling everything from sports psychology to abuse of pain substances to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
What Does a Sports Doctor Oversee?
When a player is injured, a sports medicine physician will perform a physical exam and order diagnostics to accurately assess the extent of an injury. Sometimes, a player may need surgery; the sports medicine physician will not perform that surgery unless they completed their residency in orthopedics or another type of surgical residency.
Typically, they also advise athletes on injury prevention and proper nutrition. Sports medicine specialists may be based out of orthopedic centers, but they may be employed by high schools, colleges, or professional sports programs.
Benefits and Responsibilities of Sports Medicine Specialists
Because sports medicine is not yet recognized for residency training, most of these physicians spend their residencies in orthopedics, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, or some other field that supplants nicely into a sports medicine fellowship – which is generally a year, but varies from program to program.
Sports medicine has many benefits, including traveling with the team or athlete and always being on the sidelines of a competition. Sports doctors deal with active patients and help them achieve their personal best.
Sports Medicine and Ethics
Oftentimes, a sports medicine physician for an athletic team becomes a devoted fan of the team. They travel and attend all games, and their work is to get injured players back to their pre-injury level as quickly and safely as possible.
The normal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) medical-privacy regulations don’t normally apply, thanks to legal athletic agreements. The entity or team that is paying the doctor, and each player, have waived this privacy requirement when it comes to certain injuries or health conditions.
These physicians walk a fine line between performing a short-term injury fix versus possibly creating a long-term disability for the player. In many cases, the athlete’s health interests and the team’s winning interests are at odds with each other, as the team wants the athlete to play – but the athlete may not be 100% able to play. The team’s sports doctors may be tempted to clear the player for play because they want the team to win.
Sports Physicians in Maryland
If you have suffered a sports-related or musculoskeletal injury and it is putting you in danger of offsetting the gains you’ve made in your sport, contact our skilled team at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder today. We can quickly diagnose your injury and put you on the path to a speedy recovery.
Call us at (410) 296-6232 or request an appointment online now, and schedule a visit with one of our highly experienced orthopedic doctors at any of our locations across Maryland. Let us help you get back in the game!