Sports Medicine Jobs and Career Descriptions

If you have an interest in practicing medicine and want to work with athletes and fitness professionals, consider the benefits of sports medicine careers. Sports medicine professionals are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent sports-related injuries. A quick look at a sports medicine job description can give you an idea of what a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or sports physician might do on a day to day basis. Sports medicine careers actually encompass a variety of different positions and career paths, and many professionals in this field specialize in an area early on in their careers.

Here's a closer look at what this career path entails, and whether you may be a good match for a position in this field.

Overview of Sports Medicine Careers

Sports medicine careers aren't limited to working as a medical doctor or sports physician. Some of the sub disciplines and career paths for those who major in sports medicine include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Sports medicine research
  • Sports dietetics and nutrition
  • Nursing
  • Athletic training
  • Doctor of Osteopathy

Many positions in this field require at least a bachelor's degree but almost all of the positions that involve practicing medicine or doing any type of research require a master's degree or a doctoral degree. Certification in a certain specialization can increase your chances of securing your dream job in this field. One of the best ways to find the most attractive job opportunities in this field is to volunteer with the medical personnel on a sports team at some point during your educational track. Volunteering or completing an internship can put you in a better position to pursue several sports medicine careers and job opportunities after graduation.

Sports Medicine Job Description - A Closer Look

Taking a close look at a sample sports medicine job description can give you a better idea of what to expect within this field or in a position you are applying for. The primary responsibilities of a sports medicine professional are to diagnose, prevent, and treat athletic and exercise-related injuries, and to ensure patients are able to sustain their fitness level. Sports medicine professionals may work with sports medicine organizations, order diagnostic procedures, and use different therapeutic techniques to treat or prevent injuries.

Educational requirements listed in a sports medicine job description will vary by position. Some positions may only require a bachelor's degree plus certification in a specific field, while others will require extensive graduate training and hands-on work experience. Sports medicine physicians, for example, must complete a fellowship for specialized training in the field. Medical school curriculum is usually divided into pre-clinical and clinical training where students have the chance to do simulation labs and replicate some real-life experiences.

A sports medicine job description will also include any work experience requirements or volunteer experience expectations. Many students can get some work experience while completing their graduate studies, or they may work in the field under the supervision of licensed medical professionals immediately after graduation.