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Sports Medicine


 What is primary care sports medicine?

• Physicians who care for active people, from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete.

• Those physicians coordinate care of athletes and athletic teams with athletic trainers, surgeons, physical therapists, coaches.

• Primary care sports medicine physicians specialize in the non-operative management of musculoskeletal sports injuries and sport related medical conditions such as concussion.

Do you have to complete a fellowship to care for athletes as part of a primary care patient population?

• Many physicians care for athletes in their practice without completing a fellowship in sports medicine.

• The fellowship offers additional training and a level of expertise that would not typically be achieved through completion of a primary care residency.

•  A Certificate of Added Qualifications is frequently required to work with professional and NCAA Division 1 teams.

What is a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship?

•  An additional 1-2 years of training completed after residency.

•  Most fellowship programs require prior completion of a primary care residency: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

•  A list of accredited primary care sports medicine fellowships is available at

•  Residents typically apply for fellowship positions at the beginning of their third year of residency.

• Fellowship positions for Primary Care Sports Medicine are competitive.

What is an Area of Concentration in Sports Medicine? (AOCSM)

• Curricular guide exposing the resident to focused activities in sports medicine.

• Mentoring program.  We have three faculty members associated with Cone Family Medicine who have Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine (CAQSM) who mentors our fellows. We also have several graduates of our fellowship in the area who precept at external sites for clinical experiences.

Goals of the AOCSM

1)  Develop advanced examination skills of the musculoskeletal system.

2)  Expose the resident to primary care sports medicine and help facilitate the resident’s decision about further training.  It will also help prepare the resident to be a competitive applicant for fellowship, should that be their ultimate decision.

3)  Gain additional experience and develop proficiency in the following areas:

    • Diagnosing and managing sports medicine and orthopedic injuries.
    • Caring for medical problems in the athlete.
    • Performing orthopedic procedures, including: joint and soft tissue injection/aspiration, fracture management, casting and splinting, joint relocations, etc.
    • Performing musculoskeletal ultrasound for diagnostic purposes and learning ultrasound guided injection techniques.
    • Use of braces, splints and orthotics for injury management.
    • Performing sports pre-participation physical exams.
    • Assisting as team physician for various high school and college athletic programs.
    • Acting as an educator for Sports Medicine topics in the residency program.
    • Developing scholarship skills in the area of Sports Medicine.

Time Commitment for the AOCSM

•  4 months: 2 of these months overlap with rotations already required by ACGME for Family Medicine residents. The remaining 2 months are elective rotations.

•  Multiple after-hours events such as pre-participation physicals and coverage of sporting events as availability of the resident and opportunity allows.

Curriculum Details of the AOCSM

(Flexibility exists in structuring activities):

•  1 required month of Sports Medicine/Orthopedics in both 2nd and 3rd years.

•  1 elective month of Sports Medicine/Orthopedics.

•  1 elective month of Sports Specialty, which may include Hand Surgery, Radiology, Pediatric Orthopedics, Rheumatology, etc.

•  Coverage of high school and college athletic events and training room with the Sports Medicine Fellow or Attending.

•  Performing pre-participation physical exams for Guilford College, NC A&T State University and other local schools.

•  Participation in Sports Medicine Seminars on Friday afternoons during Sports Medicine and Elective Months.

•  Publication on a Sports Medicine topic and/or a poster presentation at a national meeting is highly recommended.

•  Attendance at one or more national Sports Medicine conferences, including the annual AMSSM meeting, the AAFP Sports Medicine CAQ Review Course and Team Physician Courses.