Sports Medicine

Job Description


Primary care sports medicine specialists (PCSMS) work to provide medical care and counseling to physically active people, ranging from amateur fitness enthusiasts to professional athletes.

While sports medicine still involves injury treatment, it now also encompasses preventing injuries, boosting performance, and assisting active individuals in maximizing their lifestyle's health benefits, all with the guidance of a primary care sports medicine physician.

Surgical care is one branch of sports medicine, concerned with repairing joint, tendon, and ligament damage, according to the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM).

The alternative path, primary care, involves all kinds of health care not involving surgical procedures.




A primary care sports medicine specialist finds themselves called on to assist with diagnosing and treating sports related injuries, providing advice on athletic conditioning, working to prevent injuries or rehabilitate a patient following one.

They even offer nutritional guidance for maximum physical success in people with an active or athletic focus, covering all aspects of keeping physically vigorous people healthy and injury-free.

PCSMS are responsible for developing comprehensive health care plans for an active lifestyle patient. They diagnose and treat sports injuries, monitor activity, and gauge impact on the body.

PCSMS use hands-on techniques to prevent and treat muscular and skeletal conditions common in athletes.

They focus on injury prevention and rehabilitation, and incorporate nutrition, endurance and strength training to support and improve athletic performance. 




Sports doctors must posses a variety of physical skills since they work in a active, hands-on environment.

They also must have great analytical and professional skills, since they are physicians and determine and treat patient injuries and illnesses.

Their skills include, but are not limited to, the following: 


Must be able to apply facts and principles to issues to determine conclusions and solve problems. They must use knowledge and logic to find patters in injuries and determine causes and provide solutions.


Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to gauge patient's issues and convey to them the best path to treatment.


Must be compassionate and able to empathize with a patient's pain and other difficulties. They are able to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves and let people know they care.


They must understand it takes time to see results and be willing to put in that time. They also must help their clients have patience--especially if they are trying to overcome a difficult injury.

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to use knowledge to gauge issues and determine the best route to recovery.


Must work well with your hands and be nimble. You will be put in situations where physical therapy is a must.


You work in mostly physical, athletic situations, so you must be able to endure the trying environment and keep up with the people you treat.


Working Conditions


Primary care sports medicine specialists are in greater than ever demand, due to increased focus on physical health, steadily growing enthusiasm for an active lifestyle, and higher public awareness of the benefits of using primary care sports medicine to avoid or, if necessary, treat injuries.

A primary care sports physician may work at a private or group practice, accepting all patients, or may be employed by a fitness club, a university sports department, or even a specific athletic team.

Sports medicine specialists also furnish consultative services to athletic trainers, athletic directors, and sports coaches. Their input helps prevent injuries related to vigorous physical activity before they can even happen.



Salary Outlook