When a player suddenly faints or is injured, there are very few people who can be of help. No untrained person is equipped or capable of instantly reviving them or putting them on a stretcher and taking them off the field. Only a doctor, an orthopedist or a fitness instructor can be of any help during such a crisis. All these fields are in the realm of sports medicine.
In the sports field, an athlete’s fitness and physical well being is of utmost importance – even his diet plays a major role in determining his career advancement.
o An individual with science background.
o 4 years bachelors’ degree in science or science as a subject within a curriculum.
o MDs and surgeons with additional qualifications, based on their area of specialty.
There are different fields of specialization possible in the field of sports medicine. There are sports nutritionists, biomechanics, physical therapists and orthopedics. All these specializations have different requirements.
Areas of specialization in this field includes:
o Athletic training
o Science of Exercise
o Health and Physical Promotion.
The curriculum and the names of the specializations differ by college and university.
Some of the well-known jobs in the field of sports medicines are:
o Dietician – A dietician plans a well balanced diet for an athlete and also plans their intake of essential nutrients. The basic eligibility required is an approved internship from the American Dieters Association and certification.
o Fitness Instructor - They must be an experienced instructor, who has worked with the sports athletes and knows about the importance and the results of vigorous exercise on an athlete.
o Medical Physician – They should be qualified enough to diagnose and treat an athlete in an emergency. They are hired on the basis of their qualifications. They usually work with a team of other doctors.
Occupational physiologist, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist and biomechanist are some other jobs that are available in this field.
Salaries differ with the specialization and the experience of the practitioner. Specialized professionals make more money in this field.
Some useful tips on the profession:
o Include science subjects and anatomy in your curriculum.
o Conduct background research on the best sports medicine courses and check on their availability in the colleges.
o Select a college depending on your area of specialization.
o Contacts with sports teams and the instructors can be very useful. A good network is always helpful in getting a trainee job in a sports club or team.
Like any career, sports medicine requires special education, experience and dedication to achieve an excellence in the field. The job offers you a lively work environment and if you love sports, then sports medicine is the right career choice.