Sports Doctor

Community and Health

Menu

Sports Physician

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

There are two types of sports medicine practitioners in Australia; sports physicians and sports doctors. They both require different qualifications to practice. Future Growth Very Strong

The term ‘sports medicine practitioner‘ (or ‘sports doctor’) is used for all doctors with a qualification in sports, such as Master of Sports Medicine, Diploma of Sports Medicine, and/or interest in sports medicine. They are not Fellows of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians.

A ‘sports doctor’ is a medical practitioner with recognised medical qualification and a commitment to sports medicine. Sports doctors are usually a member of Sports Medicine Australia and a member of the Sports Doctors Association.

Specialisations: Raceday Doctor/ Racecourse Medical Officer


Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • an interest in the well-being of others

  • good communication and people skills

  • compassionate towards others

  • self-confidence

  • to work well under pressure, and in emergency situations

  • to be reliable and responsible

  • stamina to work long hours

  • a high degree of motivation and self-discipline

Injuries in sport
(Source: Sports Medicine Brisbane)

Duties and Tasks

  • Diagnose or treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders - evaluate and manage chronic pain conditions.
  • Order and interpret the results of laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Advise against injured athletes returning to games or competition if resuming activity could lead to further injury.
  • Record athletes' medical care information and maintain medical records.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Record athletes' medical histories and perform physical examinations.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Examine and evaluate athletes prior to participation in sports activities to determine level of physical fitness or predisposition to injuries.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
  • Coordinate sports care activities with other experts including specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or coaches.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Provide education and counseling on illness and injury prevention.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to improve and maintain knowledge and skills.
  • Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
  • Advise athletes, trainers, or coaches to alter or cease sports practices that are potentially harmful.
  • Advise athletes, coaches, or trainers on exercise regimens, nutrition, or equipment use.
  • Inform coaches, trainers, or other interested parties regarding the medical conditions of athletes.
    Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Examine, evaluate and treat athletes who have been injured or who have medical problems such as exercise-induced asthma.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
  • Supervise the rehabilitation of injured athletes.
  • Refer athletes for specialized consultation, physical therapy, or diagnostic testing.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Prescribe medications for the treatment of athletic-related injuries.
  • Inform athletes about nutrition, hydration, dietary supplements, or uses and possible consequences of medication.
  • Attend games and competitions to provide evaluation and treatment of activity-related injuries or medical conditions.
  • Develop and test procedures for dealing with emergencies during practices or competitions.
  • Develop emergency procedures.
  • Advise coaches, trainers, or physical therapists on the proper use of exercises and other therapeutic techniques and alert them to potentially dangerous practices.
  • Advise athletes, coaches, or trainers on exercise regimens, nutrition, or equipment use.
  • Observe and evaluate athletes' mental well-being.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
  • Select and prepare medical equipment or medications to be taken to athletic competition sites.
  • Select medical equipment for addressing patient needs.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Conduct research in the prevention or treatment of injuries or medical conditions related to sports and exercise.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
  • Prescribe orthotics, prosthetics, and adaptive equipment.
  • Prescribe assistive medical devices or related treatments.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Develop and prescribe exercise programs such as off-season conditioning regimens. Develop exercise or conditioning programs. Prescribe treatments or therapies.
  • Provide coaches and therapists with assistance in selecting and fitting protective equipment.
  • Advise athletes on how substances, such as herbal remedies, could affect drug testing results.
  • Advise patients on effects of health conditions or treatments.
  • Advising whether injured athletes should return to games or competitions if returning could lead to greater injury.
  • Consulting with athletes, trainers, or coaches regarding changing or ceasing practices that are potentially harmful

Hamstring injury in cricket
(Source: Sports Medicine Doctor)

Working conditions

Sports Doctors are expected to be at training sessions and at the game.

Although some sports doctors work in private practice, most work as employees. This means that they typically report to a department head, service chief, or similar mid-level administrator. Those employed by school or professional sports teams may report to an assistant coach or head coach.


Tools and technologies

Sports Doctors use instruments such as stethoscopes, thermometers, sphygmomanometers (blood pressure monitors) and reflex hammer. They also administer medicines, such as vaccinations. They regularly use computers to maintain client records and consult pharmaceutical manuals.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You must earn an undergraduate degree and complete medical school to become a doctor.

Did You Know?

Dr Lisa Elkington - Rowing Australia 
CAMEO

Lisa Elkington

Dr Lisa Elkington graduated from the University of Newcastle Medical School and spent 6 years working mainly in general medicine and emergency medicine before moving into full time sports medicine.

Lisa worked with a variety of sports in the Department of Sports Medicine at the Australian Institute of Sport [AIS] for four years and began working with the Australian Rowing Team during this time.

In 2017 Lisa was the medical service provider at the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre in Penrith and started as Rowing Australia’s PMO in January 2018.

Prior to taking on this role, Lisa has been working for Athletics Australia and was the Medical Lead for the Australian Athletics Team for the Rio Paralympics.

Lisa is dedicated to provision of best practice medicine in high performance sport, including injury rehabilitation and management, and illness prevention.


Dr Elkington’s role sees her develop and revise protocols for the best practice management of common rowing related injuries and illnesses, provide ongoing rowing specific ‘world’s best’ education to the RA preferred provider network and act as an advisor to the Board of Rowing Australia on all medical and anti-doping matters. She is also responsible for the oversight of the medical services to the two National Training Centres, and as the Team Doctor for major tours and competitions.

Dr Elkington ensures the compliance of RA with the AIS Sports Medicine Best Practice Principles and advises the RA High Performance Unit on the selection and appointment of appropriate clinicians for all Australian Rowing Teams (U19, U21, U23 and Senior A).

The primary roles of the RA Principal Medical Officer are to:

1. Coordinate the medical care of priority Australian Rowing Team (ARTeam) athletes through the daily training and team environments

2. Monitor the progress of any injury or illness in a priority ARTeam athlete and provide expert advice to athlete, coach and managing medical practitioner as required

3. Provide ongoing rowing specific “world’s best” education to the RA preferred provider network

4. Develop and revise protocols for the best practice management of common rowing related injuries and illnesses

5. Act as an advisor to the Board of Rowing Australia on all medical and anti-doping matters

6. Advise the RA High Performance Team on the selection and appointment of appropriate clinicians for all ARTeams

7. Ensure compliance of RA with the AIS Sports Medicine Best Practice Principles


Sports Physician
Community and Health

Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

The title ‘sports physician’ is reserved for Fellows of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSEP). A sports physician is a medical practitioner who has gained specialist standard qualifications in sport and exercise medicine (SEM). They hold the qualification of ACSEP - the post-nominal that identifies this qualification is FACSP. Future Growth Very Strong

Sports physicians provide medical attention to athletes, either offering medical treatment or counseling. They need a Doctor of Medicine degree and must pass all licensing and certification requirements for the area in which they want to work. 

Sports physicians can be either primary care doctors or orthopedic surgeons. Their patients are predominantly professional and amateur athletes, and their focus is on promoting fitness and wellness. Completion of a medical degree and residency program are required to work in the field.

Sports physicians treat musculoskeletal injuries that occur as a result of participation in sports, such as knee and shoulder injuries, ankle sprains, head injuries, tendonitis and fractures. Additionally, primary care sports physicians may treat chronic health conditions that can affect athletic performance, such as asthma and diabetes.

These specialists are trained in nutrition, sports psychology and substance abuse, and providing advice to athletes on injury prevention is a big part of their job.

Sports physicians counsel athletes, helping them maximize performance, prevent injuries and lead a healthy lifestyle. They may suggest supplements, diet plans or exercise regimens to address performance issues. They may also help athletes with psychological or substance abuse issues related to sports. Sports physicians collaborate with physical therapists, athletic trainers and other healthcare professionals to plan courses of treatment and rehabilitation plans for their patients. They also work with athletic trainers to develop exercise regimens and training plans.

Sports medicine orthopedic surgeons perform specialized surgeries, while primary care sports medicine specialists consult, advise and refer to a surgeon as necessary.


Alternative names: Sports Medicine Physician

Knowledge, skills and attributes           

  • Degree in Medicine
  • 3 years of residency in sports medicine. (essential)
  • 2 years of specialty training in an accredited sports medicine fellowship program (essential).
  • Two years of experience as a Sports Medicine Physician.
  • Thorough understanding of sports culture and the ability to display sound judgment.
  • Ability to communicate and interact closely with all patients.
  • Tailor strategies that assist athletes in overcoming difficulties, improving performance and preparing for competition.
  • Work with a multidisciplinary team including other psychologists, nutritionists, GPs, coaches and physiologists.
  • Deliver counseling that focus on goal setting, visualization and relaxation.
  • Equip athletes with mental strategies to cope with and overcome setbacks or injuries.
  • Innovative thinker with strong conceptual and problem-solving skills.
  • Superb research and counseling skills.
  • Profound listening and planning skills.
  • Passionate about enhancing the self-efficacy of athletes.

Sports Physician
(Source: Better Team)

Duties and Tasks

Sports Medicine Physicians diagnose, treat, and help prevent injuries that occur during sporting events, athletic training, and physical activities. They also diagnose or treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system. ACSEP fellows specialize in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Approximately 90% of musculoskeletal injuries are non-surgical, and the ACSEP fellow can help maximize and tailor non-operative treatment, guide appropriate rehab programs and therapies, and when necessary expedite referral to our surgical colleagues. In addition, extensive training is also undertaken in broader disciplines such as:

  • Concussion and other head injuries
  • Diagnostic and interventional use of ultrasound to guide treatment
  • Athletes with acute or chronic illness (including diabetes, asthma)
  • Nutrition, supplements, and performance optimization
  • Exercise prescription for those wanting to increase their fitness and focus on preventative health
  • Injury prevention
  • “Return to play” decisions
  • Healthy lifestyle promotion
  • Record athletes’ medical care information and maintain medical records.
  • Prescribe medications for the treatment of athletic-related injuries.
  • Refer athletes for specialized consultation, physical therapy, or diagnostic testing.
  • Inform coaches, trainers, or other interested parties regarding the medical conditions of athletes.
  • Provide education and counseling on illness and injury prevention.

ACSEP fellows often act as the primary contact for elite sports teams and athletes

  • Assessing and diagnosing injuries or illness

  • Close integration with the team and understanding demands of training and the game

  • Devising and coordinating a comprehensive management program

  • Understanding the intricacies of drug testing in elite settings, and the unique physiological demands on high demand athletes

  • Ensuring the injury is corrected, but also to help ensure once the athlete returns to their sport they stay playing their sport – prevention programs are integral

ACSEP fellows also have extensive competency in "exercise is medicine"

  • Management of the ‘lifestyle’ diseases in the community, such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, and heart disease and integration of “exercise is medicine” approach

  • Non-surgical management of musculoskeletal injuries such as Achilles tendonopathy, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and osteoarthritis

  • Dive and altitude medicine

  • Medical screenings and health assessments, including on-site ECG’s and spirometry

  • Travel medicine and vaccinations

Besides their typical day, Sports Medicine Physicians also develop and prescribe exercise programs such as off-season conditioning regimens. They may also attend games and competitions to provide evaluation and treatment of activity-related injuries or medical conditions.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Sports Medicine Physicians advise coaches, trainers, or physical therapists on the proper use of exercises and other therapeutic techniques and alert them to potentially dangerous practices. They might also participate in continuing education activities to improve and maintain knowledge and skills.

In addition, they prescribe orthotics, prosthetics, and adaptive equipment.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them provide coaches and therapists with assistance in selecting and fitting protective equipment.

Working conditions

Sports Medicine Physicians are expected to be at training sessions and at the game.

Although some sports medicine doctors work in private practice, most work as employees. This means that they typically report to a department head, service chief, or similar mid-level administrator. Those employed by school or professional sports teams may report to an assistant coach or head coach.

Sports medicine physicians may have significant supervisory responsibilities. They may be expected to oversee and/or evaluate trainers and other sports medicine staff, and are typically responsible for supervising residents or less-experienced colleagues.


Tools and technologies

Sports Medicine Physicians use instruments such as stethoscopes, thermometers, sphygmomanometers (blood pressure monitors) and reflex hammer. They also administer medicines, such as vaccinations. They regularly use computers to maintain client records and consult pharmaceutical manuals.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You must earn an undergraduate degree and complete medical school to become a doctor. After medical school, new physicians have to undertake a three to five year clinical residency program working closely with experienced colleagues in their specialty area.

You must apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians if you want to earn a fellowship in sports medicine.​ An RACP fellowship in sports medicine requires completing a typically four-year general practice or orthopaedics residency, followed by at least two years of additional training in sports medicine.

 

 

Did You Know?

Sports medicine qualifications in Australia

ACSEP
Fellow of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians

ASMF
Fellow of the Australian Sports Medicine Federation

Health Professionals with a minimum of 7 years full membership of the Sports Medicine Association (SMA) with higher tertiary qualifications, attended Australian and international conferences and with research published in national or international journals.

SDrA
Fellow of Sports Doctors Australia
Medical Practitioners who hold a postgraduate qualification in Sports Medicine and are members of Sports Doctors Australia

Sports medicine post-graduate qualifications in Australia

M Sp Med – Masters in Sports Medicine
Dip SEM – Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine
GradDip SEM -Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine
GradCert SEM -Graduate Certificate in Sports and Exercise Medicine
(Source: Health Engine)

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs  
(Jobs not linked are currently being worked on)

 

Counsellor

Counsellor
Exercise Sports Scientist

Exercise Scientist
Fitness Instructor

Fitness Instructor
Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical Imaging Technologist
Medical Practitioner

Medical Practitioner
Nutritionist

Nutritionist
Orthopaedic Surgeon Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist
Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist
Sports Administrator

Sports Administrator
Sports Coach

Sports Coach
Sportsperson

Sportsperson

 

Material sourced from
Health Care Link [Sports Medicine Jobs]
My Plan [Sports Medicine Physicians]
Study [Sports Physician]
Career Planner [Sports Medicine Physician]
Health Engine [Sports Physician]
SPARC [Sports Physician]
Better Team [Sports Medicine Physician]
Owl Guru [Sports Medicine Physician;]
JobOutlook [Sports Physician]



Sports Doctor

Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Paramedic

Midwife

Teacher

Dentist

physio

Optometrist

Chaplain

Nurse

Early Childhood Educator

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

Special Care Worker

Chiropractor

Medical Practitioner

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Cardiologist

House Parent

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon

Medical Radiation Therapist

Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Paramedic

Teacher

Dentist

Chaplain

Nurse

Midwife

Child Care Worker

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

physio

Optometrist

Special Care Worker

Medical Practitioner

Chiropractor

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

  Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Cardiologist

House Parent

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon

Medical Radiation Therapist