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  • So you want to be a sports medicine physician.

  • You like the idea of working with top athletes and helping them heal from their injuries.

  • Let's debunk the public perception myths of what it means to be a sports medicine doctor,

  • and give it to you straight.

  • This is the reality of sports medicine.

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • Welcome to our next installment in So You Want to Be.

  • In this series, we highlight a specific specialty within medicine, such as sports medicine,

  • and help you decide if it's a good fit for you.

  • You can find the other specialties on our So You Want to Be playlist.

  • You guys voted for it, so here it is.

  • Make sure you're subscribed if you want to vote for future episodes.

  • What is Sports Medicine?

  • Sports medicine doctors are the non-surgical musculoskeletal specialists, taking care of

  • MSK injuries for athletes and active patients.

  • Think of them as doing everything an orthopedic surgeon does without any surgery, but with

  • procedural skills.

  • While orthopedic surgeons who undergo an ortho sports medicine fellowship are the experts

  • on surgical management of MSK injuries, they are less able to address other realms of the

  • patient's needs.

  • Since most sports medicine doctors have a primary care background, most commonly family

  • medicine, they're also well suited in addressing the full spectrum of patient and athlete needs.

  • They serve as a single hub and point person in the patient's management, including and

  • extending beyond their MSK injuries.

  • Sports medicine physicians provide the full spectrum of care for anyone that wants to

  • be active, whether an athlete or couch to 5k jogger.

  • For example, they'll work up a young type 1 diabetic patient who is interested in playing

  • sports, or determine when an adolescent can return to contact sports after a bout of mononucleosis,

  • as to minimize splenic rupture risk.

  • The age range of patients is wide, from school age to the elderly.

  • Younger patients often break bones and experience concussions, while older patients often develop

  • arthritis and other degenerative conditions which you'll help manage.

  • Compared to other specialties, in clinic there's less continuity, and a larger turnover of

  • new patients.

  • Sports medicine doctors see a high number of new patients who have acute MSK injuries

  • rather than chronic repeat customers.

  • As their sports medicine physician, your job is to diagnose, treat, and have them back

  • to normal or self-managing long term.

  • The main exception to this rule is arthritis.

  • While not surgical, sports medicine physicians still perform plenty of procedures, including

  • diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound guided injections for joints, tendons, nerves etc.

  • There are a few ways to categorize sports medicine.

  • Team vs Clinical A team physician is the sports medicine doctor

  • who is the provider for the athletes on a sports team.

  • For example, you could be the team doctor for a high school basketball team, watching

  • from the sidelines and taking care of any injuries that happen in the game.

  • Outside of game time, you'll be helping manage their acute and chronic injuries.

  • This isn't viable as a standalone business practice, and you'll also be seeing patients

  • in clinic.

  • In clinic, you'll work either for yourself in a private practice or a larger health entity

  • regardless, patients will be sent your way through referrals, or you'll create

  • a patient population where you're taking care of athlete-related problems, most of

  • which are musculoskeletal in nature.

  • Work In vs Out of an Orthopedic Practice If you want to do strictly sports medicine

  • without much primary care, you can work within an orthopedic practice, seeing the non-operative

  • patients.

  • You'll be employed by the orthopedics group or department, working alongside the surgeons,

  • and handling all the cases that don't require surgical management or acting as the gatekeeper

  • who sees all new patients to determine whether their issue is operative or non-operative.

  • You'll be an essential part of the team, helping boost everyone's productivity.

  • How to Become a Sports Medicine Doctor After four years of medical school, there

  • are a few different routes to become a sports medicine physician.

  • The overwhelming majority of sports medicine physicians first complete a family medicine

  • residency, but you can also go through emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or

  • PM&R.

  • The specialty you come from is important, as your practice will likely be a blend of

  • sports medicine and your primary specialty.

  • Fellowship is generally 1 year, although some are 2 year programs which are more research

  • or leadership focused.

  • In fellowship, sideline coverage of team games is required, as is training room time, meaning

  • clinic for the team.

  • This can be done on site for the affiliated college or nearby sports teams.

  • Some fellowships will provide opportunities to be the team doctor for higher level athletes

  • including division 1 college, olympic, or professional sports, while others will have

  • limited exposure to higher level athletes.

  • Almost all fellowships work with some kind of college athletics.

  • You'll also be spending the majority of your time rotating in primary care sports

  • medicine clinic, but also rotating with orthopedic surgery sports clinic to understand their

  • patients' recovery process and complications to be mindful of.

  • Note that as a medical student, you probably won't get exposure to the specialty unless

  • you actively seek it out.

  • It's not a core rotation, although you may be able to secure elective time on primary

  • care sports medicine, not to be confused with surgical sports medicine with the orthopods.

  • As a premed, see if you can shadow a sports medicine physician, and as a medical student

  • see if there are any preceptor opportunities with a sports med doc.

  • Explore the specialty and shadow physicians doing sideline coverage of games.

  • What You'll Love About Sports Medicine There's a lot to love about sports medicine.

  • Because being mobile and physically active is central to people enjoying their lives,

  • your job is incredibly rewardingyou'll take patients who are injured and help them

  • get back to living a fulfilling and active life.

  • You're generally seeing patients that have favorable outcomes, and experiencewins

  • every day.

  • It's quite satisfying to have a patient with knee pain secondary to arthritis limp

  • into clinic and then watch them walk out pain free after you perform an injection.

  • And speaking of favorable outcomes, another underappreciated aspect is that the vast majority

  • of patients are generally healthier and highly motivated to get better.

  • In some other specialties, you may experience frustration with a non-adherent patient whose

  • condition could improve, but has more difficulty following the treatment plan.

  • If you're a big sports fan, you'll love that you get paid to attend sports games and

  • tend to the athletes.

  • And if you're lucky, you can even work with high level athletes who are at the top of

  • their game and are the epitome of peak human performance.

  • It's fun and inspiring to be a part of that.

  • If you're the type of person that enjoys working with your hands but doesn't want

  • to go all in with surgery, then sports medicine provides a procedural mix that makes for a

  • great middle ground.

  • And unlike surgery, family medicine has a fantastic lifestyle, with regular 9 to 5 hours

  • and minimal overnight call for most.

  • For those who have broad interests, you'll get to do 2 specialties in one.

  • As a primary care sports medicine physician, you'll always have the option to fall back

  • on your primary specialty, whether that be family medicine, emergency medicine, peds,

  • internal medicine, or PM&R.

  • Depending on your interests, lifestyle, and practice preferences, you can adjust the balance

  • to be more heavily sports medicine or more heavily your primary care specialty.

  • And finally, it's an accessible specialty to most medical students as it doesn't require

  • supremely competitive board scores to get into one of the feeder primary care specialties.

  • Additionally, fellowships are readily available to those interested in the specialty.

  • What You Won't Love About Sports Medicine While sports medicine is an awesome specialty,

  • it's not for everyone.

  • Many hopeful students are drawn to the specialty, imagining an exciting career working with

  • top professional athletes.

  • The reality is that getting a job with a professional sports team is very rare and requires a lot

  • of work to secure.

  • And while most people assume that team docs are paid handsomely, the truth is that most

  • are either on a volunteer basis, or the compensation is far lower than what you'd be making in

  • clinic.

  • It makes sensesports docs are willing to take a pay cut for the opportunity and

  • prestige to work with such elite athletes.

  • Sometimes, healthcare systems will even pay the teams for advertising and provide free

  • healthcare for the athletes.

  • While the lifestyle is generally favorable, if you want to do sideline coverage with high

  • level teams, your hours will be far less predictable, and you'll often be on the road depending

  • on where games are located.

  • The line between beingonand beingoffis blurred, and it becomes harder

  • to lead a normal 9 to 5 life or even take vacation.

  • Compensation for sports medicine is also on the lower end compared to other specialties,

  • with an average of $235,000 per year.

  • And if you're working with teams, you'll likely be taking an additional pay cut or

  • volunteering additional hours outside of clinic.

  • As a younger specialty, it can be frustrating that sports medicine doesn't have a robust

  • body of scientific evidence to guide management.

  • For something like cardiology, there's a double blinded randomized controlled trial

  • for just about everything, but for sports medicine, the body of evidence is far less

  • developed.

  • Last, for those who know that they only want to do sports medicine in their future career

  • it can feel frustrating to do 3 years of a primary specialty that you may not use much

  • before getting to do a 1 year fellowship in the specialized area of medicine you want

  • to practice.

  • Should You Become a Sports Medicine Doctor?

  • How can you decide if sports medicine is the right field for you?

  • The stereotype is that if you're active, enjoyed playing sports, but aren't a huge

  • jock, primary care sports medicine may be for you.

  • Think of sports medicine as attracting the ortho bros who don't identify with bro culture.

  • But in all seriousness, anyone can find joy in sports medicine.

  • If you enjoy musculoskeletal medicine but don't enjoy the operating room, primary

  • care sports medicine may be a good fit.

  • If you enjoy working with your hands with clinic based procedures and value lifestyle,

  • sports medicine has a fantastic balance.

  • Sports medicine is also unique in that the physical exam truly remains the cornerstone

  • of diagnostic approach.

  • Whereas some other specialties are moving more towards imaging and lab tests, sports

  • medicine has a heavy emphasis on the physical exam.

  • If you're the student that took pleasure in learning the nuances and intricacies of

  • the anterior drawer test versus Lachman's test, look no further.

  • In short, if you love sports, MSK, and working with athletes but don't want to dedicate

  • your life to the operating room, primary care sports medicine may be for you.

  • Big shout out to Dr. Jean-Pierre Valette, current attending sports medicine physician

  • and my good friend from medical school.

  • You can find 2 papers in the description, one on the financial implications of being

  • a team doctor, and one on factors associated with sports medicine fellowship selection.

  • For anyone who wants to take their medical school or residency application to the next

  • level, Med School Insiders has your back.

  • Thousands of students have used our services and courses, and we have over a 95% success

  • rate for our comprehensive packages.

  • But don't just take our word for it.

  • Our customers have left hundreds of glowing reviews, and we have an industry leading 99%

  • satisfaction rating.

  • Visit MedSchoolInsiders.com to learn more.

  • Thank you all so much for watching!

  • If you enjoyed this episode, you'll also enjoy our orthopedic surgery video, which

  • covers surgical sports medicine.

  • Much love, and I'll see you guys in that next one.

So you want to be a sports medicine physician.

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So You Want to Be a SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR [Ep. 15]

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/12
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