Sports Medicine Physician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses, treats, and helps prevent injuries that occur during sporting events, athletic training, and physical activities.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Diagnoses or treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Orders and interprets the results of laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • Advises against injured athletes returning to games or competition if resuming activity could lead to further injury.
  • Records athletes' medical care information and maintains medical records.
  • Records athletes' medical histories and performs physical examinations.
  • Examines and evaluates athletes prior to participation in sports activities to determine level of physical fitness or predisposition to injuries.
  • Coordinates sports care activities with other experts including specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or coaches.
  • Provides education and counseling on illness and injury prevention.
  • Participates in continuing education activities to improve and maintain knowledge and skills.
  • Advises athletes, trainers, or coaches to alter or cease sports practices that are potentially harmful.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Orthopaedic Surgeon -- Diagnoses and treats diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Athletic Team Physician --
  • Director of Sports Medicine --
  • Family Medicine/Sports Medicine Specialist/Team Physician --
  • Head Orthopedic Team Physician --