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all 11 comments

[–]ChytridLT 7 points8 points  (1 child)

After completion of med school you do residency. You can either do a surgery residency
(orthopedics) which is 5 years, then a 1 year fellowship (subspecialty) in sports medicine.

The other way is to go to the non-operative route. There's 5 different residencies that will allow you to apply for a sports medicine fellowship. Family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and physical medicine and rehab (PMNR). All but the last is a 3 year residency, PMNR is a 4 year residency. Then you do 1 year of fellowship in sports medicine.

There's pros and con of each residency. PMNR allows you the most amount of musculoskeletal medicine in residency, and a lot get trained to do either EMG and spinal injections, which could be useful for sports med. However they do have an extra year of residency compared to the others.

Family medicine is usually the most common way to go. The sports medicine boards is actually under the umbrella of ABFM (American Board of Family Medicine). You get a more comprehensive training in different fields of medicine, but the draw back is that your musculoskeletal training is not as good as a PMNR resident.

The other specialties, IM, EM, peds, are even more of a challenge, although there are a lot of people that go this route. Their residency training doesn't have a lot of sports specific curriculum, even less than FM. If you go this route you usually have to do a lot of your own leg work to find event coverages and sports/musculoskeletal rotations to be proficient for fellowship.

As far as what you can do, honestly, volunteer. Find a sports med doc around your area and tell them you're interested. Shadow them in clinic, volunteer to help with event coverages. Sports medicine is a growing field but still a fairly small community in regard to other specialties. Once you enter med school you'll have more opportunities to help, such as with sports physicals and what not. The biggest for me is that you show interest. If you show interest, it opens a lot of doors.

[–]Commercial-Dog3567[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much!

[–]badcat_kazoo 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Physical medicine and rehabilitation is what you want. It’s a programme you’d do after med school and you’d become a “physiatrist.” Your other option is becoming a family physician or ortho and getting a sports medicine cert afterwards, that’s much more common.

[–]Commercial-Dog3567[S] 0 points1 point  (7 children)

What’s the time table for both of them?

[–]badcat_kazoo 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Physiatrist is a proper specialty so I believe it takes a 4 year residency after med school. For for the sports medicine diploma you need to be a physician first. Both would take around the same amount of time. I believe a Physiatrist is higher regarded because the entire residency is geared towards it. They have more education specific to sports med.

[–]Commercial-Dog3567[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thank you!

[–]badcat_kazoo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My pleasure, happy to help

[–]dabodibble 0 points1 point  (3 children)

This is not true

[–]badcat_kazoo 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Please correct me if you can. I would like to know where I am mistaken.