The viability of sports medicine academies

Recently, a high school classmate who has become a successful orthopedic surgeon approached me about becoming involved in establishing a sports medicine academy within our alma mater.

The concept of sports medicine academies has arisen from the increased number of people participating in athletic activities and subsequent sports-related injuries. Several recent surveys project a growing need for health care professionals with a background in sports medicine.

Sports medicine is generally associated with professional and collegiate sports teams. Interestingly, although highly publicized, these high profile injuries make up a relatively small percentage of the sports injuries evaluated each year.

Medical studies continue to demonstrate that many chronic illnesses can be more effectively treated with a regimen that includes regular exercise. Among these are vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and dementia.

Health professions involved in sports are physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, psychologists, nurses, exercise physiologists and conditioning specialists. The goal of sports medicine academies is to provide fundamental education with transferrable skills that allow students to enter any of these areas of study.

In addition to a basic liberal arts high school course load, students are required to study anatomy, physiology, biology, biostatistics, sports conditioning and marketing. All students are also required to work in a variety of sports medicine settings to gain clinical and practical experience.

Although sports medicine is often associated with the treatment and prevention of athletic injuries, one of the most exciting areas of sports medicine involves the study and improvement of human performance.

Making the human body more efficient is one key to improving health and avoiding disease. A foundation in sports medicine may provide the necessary skills for future health care professionals.

1 comment:

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