Monday, July 2, 2012

So You Want to Major in Sports Medicine

If you dream of being able to work in a field where you can make a difference and improve the health of athletes, then you may want to consider a career in the field of sports medicine. Professionals who work in this field are committed to diagnosing and treating the physical and emotional injuries that athletes and many other people experience when they injure their limbs or suffer from a deficiency in their muscular skeletal motor functions. Since athletes make their living training and playing sports, they often find themselves under a lot of pressure and stress when they become injured, which can further impact the success of their treatment and even delay their progress. The best way that sports medicine professionals can help their patients is to provide them with proper treatment and teach them how to reduce their risk for subsequent injuries in the future.
Surgeons that work in this field are actually orthopedic surgeons who have undergone additional training learning all about sports and the many injuries that can be sustained. The surgeons learn about all of the surgical and nonsurgical ways they can successfully treat their patients to help them regain full use of their limbs and joints after an injury. In the United States, it is not unusual for an orthopedic surgeon to complete at least fourteen years of education and training just to enter the field.
Sports medicine is a highly competitive field. If you want to become a professional in this field, you need to take a very serious approach to showing you are the best early on in the educational aspect of your career. In order to get a good start, you will need to get a bachelors' degree from an accredited college or university. You need to make sure that you get the best grades possible while earning your degree. Since you will need to apply to medical school, you need to meet medical schools' standards. Once you are accepted to medical school, you still have a way to go before you can start practicing as an orthopedic specialist.
Don't just bury your head in the books while you are in medical school. Make sure you make time to get out and network. The relationships you make now will help you in the long run when you gradtate from medical school. Once you have successfully finished medical school and earned your medical license, you can then proceed to finding a sports medicine residency program that will help you gain the experience you need to be able to practice on our own someday. Get recommendations from every professional you come in contact with. Remember that it will take you five years to complete your residency program before you can be viewed as a sports medicine and orthopedic specialist in your own right. Once you have finished your training you have the option of working in a hospital or starting your own practice. Even though you can make more money with a private practice, it is a good idea to work in a hospital until you have spent several years building up your patient base.

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