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Career profile: Sports medicine

Careers in sports medicine

Sports medicine offers a challenging field of work varying from injury prevention to treatment and recovery. In addition to the many medical career choices, there are several developing fields of alternative sports therapy.

When a player suddenly faints and falls while playing, there are a few people who try to revive him or put him in a stretcher and take him off the field. This job is little known by spectators. Among the group could be a doctor, a fitness instructor or an orthopaedist. All are branches of the same stream of medicine, known as sports mediicne. In the world of sports, an athlete’s fitness and physicial wellbing play a major role in his or her sports career. It is not only diet and fitness, but also medical capabilities to overcome stress that are winning factors. Diagnosing the right ailment and taking care of the performance of the athlete is the basic job of the sports medical professional. Let’s take a look at this career in a broader perspective.


Preferably an individual with science background with additional knowledge of sports — High school diploma (with science subject) — four years bachelor’s degree in science of science subject in the curriculum — MDs are surgeons have additional requirements based on their specialty.

Specialization in sports medicine

There are different specializations in the filed of sports medicine; for example, exercise physiology, physical therapy, orthopaedics, sports nutrition, biomechanics, etc. These specializations have different education requirements. For example, in orthopaedics a master’s degree is required.

Major areas of specialization include

Coaching — science of exercise — physical, as well as athletic, training — health and physical fitness promotion

The name of the course and its curriculum varies among colleges and universities.


Some of the prominent jobs in the field of sports medicine or exercise science are as follows:

Dietician – The job of a dietician is to plan the diet for an athlete and decide on his intake of essential nutrients. The dietician should have an American Diabetics Association (ADA) approved internship and a certification.

Fitness instructor – A fitness instructor can work either in the gym or for a sports team. He or she works along with the fitness team, which includes the physical therapists, coaches, exercise physiologists, etc.

Exercise physiologist – They are the individuals who monitor the effect of exercise on the athlete’s body. The exertion good and bad effects of the same are responsible for the athlete’s health.

Medical physician – A medical physician is qualified to diagnose and treat an athlete in case of an emergency. Depending on their qualifications, medical physicians are hired. They mostly work in the medical team or are practicing doctors in hospitals.

Bio-mechanist, occupational physiologist, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist are some of the other jobs available.


Salary varies depending on the profession and the experience on has in the field. Generally, professionals make more money when they specialize in specific areas of practice.

Tips on a career in sports medicine

  • Be sure to include science subjects like biology, physics and anatomy as part of your school/college curriculum.
  • Do background research on the available colleges and their costs.
  • Decide on the college according to your area of specialization.
  • Develop contacts with sports teams and instructors; it is easier to know about the various streams of sports medicine through them. It is also good for networking purposes, which will be helpful while getting an internship/trainee job with a sports club or team.
  • If you enjoyed playing the sport, you will also enjoy attending to the players.

Like any other career, sports medicine requires education, experience and dedication to excellence. The field of sports medicine is growing, and although it is a part of the discipline of medicine, it is different and offers a lively work environment. If you enjoy sports, you should consider a career in sports medicine.

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