Sports medicine specialists treat a wide range of physical conditions, including acute traumas such as fractures, sprains, strains, and dislocations.
Our Facilities & Services
Sports medicine is not a medical specialty in and of itself. Rather, it implies additional training focused on the medical aspects of sports and exercise after foundational certification has first been achieved. Non-medical professionals involved in sports medicine include:
· Physical therapists who help people recover from injuries
· Certified athletic trainers who provide rehabilitative programs to help athletes regain strength and prevent future injury
· Nutritionists who assist with weight management and nutrition in conjunction with physical training or recovery
Prosthetics & Orthotics
Education and Training
There are numerous job opportunities in sports medicine-related field. Those pursuing degrees in sports medicine or science often work in a clinical, academic, or service-oriented setting. Others are employed by sports organizations or practice on a freelance basis.
Colleges and universities have begun to aggressively add sports medicine programs to their curriculum. Only a few years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find much selection. Today, there are undergraduate and post-graduate degrees specific to sports medicine, exercise science, kinesiology, sports coaching, and a variety of other sports-related fields.
For a sports medicine physician, the educational track is much more intensive and can take anywhere from 12 to 13 years to complete.
"Friendly and professional staff all around! Physical Therapy and Ortho side!"
Beth Cordell, Age 18
"The attention and care was amazing! He did everything he could to address my concerns and pain! I am so glad I decided to go to Dr. Zahir!"
Tom Drake, Age 87
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sports medicine doctor? Is there such a specialty?
Anyone can call themselves a “Sports Medicine” specialist, and this can be very misleading. In the United States, “sports medicine” is not a recognized residency training specialty. However, a doctor can achieve special qualifications in sports medicine AFTER completing a residency program in another speciality.
What specialties are those?
There are two types of “sports medicine” doctors. Non-surgical, or primary care sports medicine doctors, and orthopedic surgeons. Most primary care sports medicine doctors choose family medicine as their baseline training, which means they first complete 3 years of a family medicine residency after medical school, before embarking on their additional sports medicine training. Although family medicine is the most popular choice, other choices for initial residency training prior to doing sports medicine include pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, neuromusculoskeletal, and rehabilitation medicine. Each of these are non-surgical specialties. Orthopedic surgeons must of course complete an orthopedic surgery residency.
So a family doctor can get additional training by doing a "sports medicine fellowship." But what about the orthopedic surgeon? Do such fellowships exist for them?
A doctor who completes an orthopedic surgery residency may also do a surgical sports medicine fellowship, which lasts anywhere from 12-24 months. Such fellowships allow the doctor to gain more experience in surgical techniques for a variety of sports injuries. However, some orthopedic surgeons elect to do a fellowship in a specific joint, such as a “shoulder fellowship.” Obviously, there can be quite a bit of overlap as to who would be the ideal surgeon to treat specific sports injuries. Your primary care sports medicine doctor can often be an excellent source of information regarding surgeon recommendations.
Is there an additional examination in "sports medicine"?
For orthopedic surgeons, there is not. For primary care doctors, there is, and it is called a “Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in sports medicine.” It is a rigorous examination that covers the medical and musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine.
Can my "regular" family doctor or "regular" orthopedic surgeon treat my sports injury?
Yes, and many of them do. It would be unfair to a family doctor or orthopedic surgeon to say that they cannot treat your sports injury just because they did not do a fellowship. However, the extra training that a sports medicine fellowship provides makes a primary care sports medicine doctor or orthopedic sports medicine surgeon an ideal choice for many active people.
Do orthopedic surgeons and primary care sports medicine doctors compete for the same patients, often creating an air of ill will?
No. Most orthopedic surgeons are more than happy to get assistance in managing the many non-surgical patients that would normally be referred to them. Sometimes, patients end up being referred to an orthopedic surgeon simply because the referring doctor was unaware that primary care sports medicine doctors exist.
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