How to Choose a Sports Medicine Doctor

TriathlonTrialLawyer Doug Landau suggests there are several indicators to look for when selecting a Sports Medicine specialist. Sports medicine is not a certified medical specialty. You will not find a “Board Certified Sports Medicine Doctor” or “Board Certified Team Physician.”

However doctors who have completed a CAQ (Certificate of Advanced Educational Specialization) are recognized by national accreditation organizations as sports medicine specialists. Doug Landau studied Sports Medicine in college and graduate school, and considers membership and active participation in the American College of Sports Medicine (“ACSM“) and certification by that organization to be a good indicator of serious interest and specialization in sports injuries, prevention and rehabilitation. Other criteria, such as experience and percent of time spent treating athletes, can also to determine if a doctor is qualified to diagnose and treat sports injuries. Questions to ask when looking for a sports medicine specialist:

* How long have you treated (adult or youth) athletes ?
* What kind of training have you had (with my kind of injury/condition) ?
* What percent of your patients are competitive (as opposed to recreational) athletes ?
* Are you a team doctor for any local teams ?

Since many sports medicine doctors and other professionals practice sports medicine part-time, you may want to choose a doctor, physical therapist or other health care provider who treats athletes 25 to 40 percent of the time. You should also ask friends, teammates and coaches for their recommendations, and also run them by your regular or family physician. It is also important to keep your internist, pediatrician or family doctor “in the loop” so that no one is working at cross purposes, hindering your recovery and return to the playing field.

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