Sports Medicine Physicians

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About the Job

Diagnose, treat, and help prevent injuries that occur during sporting events, athletic training, and physical activities.

It is also Called

  • Team Primary Care Physician
  • Team Physician
  • Sports Physician
  • Sports Medicine Specialist
  • Sports Medicine Physician
  • Sports Doctor
  • Physician, Primary Care Sports Medicine
  • Physician, Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
  • Physician
  • Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist
View All

What They Do

  • Advise athletes on how substances, such as herbal remedies, could affect drug testing results.
  • Provide coaches and therapists with assistance in selecting and fitting protective equipment.
  • Develop and prescribe exercise programs such as off-season conditioning regimens.
  • Evaluate and manage chronic pain conditions.
  • Prescribe orthotics, prosthetics, and adaptive equipment.
  • Conduct research in the prevention or treatment of injuries or medical conditions related to sports and exercise.
  • Select and prepare medical equipment or medications to be taken to athletic competition sites.
  • Observe and evaluate athletes' mental well-being.
  • Advise coaches, trainers, or physical therapists on the proper use of exercises and other therapeutic techniques and alert them to potentially dangerous practices.
  • Attend games and competitions to provide evaluation and treatment of activity-related injuries or medical conditions.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ISR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $197,250


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 16,390 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 18,060 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 167 openings due to growth and about 443 replacement openings for approximately 610 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation

Pennsylvania Department of Education