When you think of sports medicine, it might as well be as a word you type every time you lift a muscle. With so many different types of sports and medical conditions, it isn’t hard to imagine having a sports medicine degree in the field. However, that is not the case all-in-one sports or non-competed sports doctors have a special chance; they are just not afforded the same opportunities as those who train primarily with an emphasis on clinical research and clinical practice.
In this article, we discuss the best way to get a sports medicine degree and what kinds of programs may best suit your needs.
What is a Sports Medicine Degree?
If you have been interested in sports medicine for a long time, you may have come across the term “sports medicine”. In fact, the first three books on medical terminology that start with that word were all books on sports medicine: Beck’s The Anatomy of Sports, Thibault’s The Physiology of Exercise, and Casanof’s The Physiology of Physical Activity.
In sports medicine, the term “sport” refers to an individual’s overall health and fitness, while the word “medicine” refers to specific areas of disease and health concern. Of course, there is a huge difference between the two!
How to Get a Sports Medicine Degree
First, find a school that encourages and provides support for both students and physicians. If you are a physician, you will have a particular advantage since physicians are often in a top-down position within their respective institutions. You can get a good sense of which programs may be most suitable for your particular needs by doing some research.
With so many options available, it is easy to forget that there is one final important thing to consider before deciding which degree to pick. The best way to get a sports medicine degree is to start small. Most top-notch colleges and universities have an Undergraduate Airworthiness Diagnostic Test (AADT) option that can be used as a solid introduction to the field.
Additionally, many programs will require you to take a written exam along with examinations related to your major. As you gain proficiency with each new type of test, you will have a better chance of passing if you take the actual exam.
An Advanced Degree in Sports Medicine
Advanced degree programs tend to have more in-depth courses, as well as mandatory speaking or presentation events. These are helpful in helping you to gain a better understanding of the field, as well as to meet future patients. For example, a sports medicine doctorate program at a university in Asia can double as a Master of Science in sports medicine. The doctorate program offers many advanced courses, as well as a series of educational events that can help you expand your horizons in the field of sports medicine.
What Jobs Are Available in Sports Medicine?
Any variety of professions can be prepared for by earning a degree in exercise science. Jobs in sports medicine are plentiful. Many positions in sports medicine are full-time, although there are also part-time opportunities. You’ll be prepared to find a career with a bachelor’s degree or pursue further education to acquire a master’s or doctoral degree, and you’ll be able to support yourself by doing what you love.
The greatest time and effort are required to become an orthopedic surgeon out of all the jobs on the list of careers in sports medicine. First, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in which you take classes in biology, chemistry, and other sciences. The majority of medical schools have requirements you must fulfill before getting admitted. You must earn a medical doctorate after completing your undergraduate studies. You must have an M.D. in orthopedic surgery specifically.
You’ll also need to apply for, get accepted into, and finish an orthopedic surgery residency when you graduate from medical school. A residency will provide you with the practical training and guidance required to become a fully qualified orthopedic surgeon.
An orthopedic surgeon often makes over $300,000 a year, so you can expect to make that much if you land a job. The job has a promising future. Between 2018 and 2028, it is expected that jobs for all types of doctors and surgeons will increase by 7%. Orthopedic surgery is a career worth considering if you are intelligent, driven, and able to perform well under pressure.
A career in kinesiotherapy, also known as exercise physiology, maybe for you if you appreciate helping individuals attain their ideal health and fitness and have the capacity to design tailored exercise regimens.
Working with a doctor is a kinesiotherapist. They assist patients in managing their diseases through exercise. Programs for patients to manage chronic diseases and recover from injuries may be created by these specialists. If necessary, they may also use aquatic therapy, orthotics, or prostheses in addition to more conventional exercise regimens.
The employment prospects for kinesiotherapists is favorable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry will expand by 10% between 2018 and 2028. A kinesiotherapist typically earns just over $50,000 per year.
With a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, sports medicine, or exercise science, you can work as a kinesiotherapist. If you wish to become a licensed kinesiotherapist, you must take and pass the American Kinesiotherapy Association exam.
Technically speaking, sports psychology may not fall under the purview of sports medicine, yet sports psychologists can play a critical role in the recovery of wounded athletes. Sports psychologists can practice in a variety of contexts. A sports psychologist occasionally works for major sports teams. These psychologists could also be employed by hospitals or rehab facilities. Some people might start their own private practice or engage in consulting work.
The degree path for this profession is a little different from others because the discipline of sports psychology necessitates both medical and psychological training. You will require a psychology master’s degree, preferably a Ph.D. But the best course of action for your undergraduate degree is frequently to double major in psychology and kinesiology or exercise science. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in sports psychology is occasionally offered by academic institutions.
One of the fields on the list with the quickest growth is this one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of sports psychology will expand by 14% from 2018 to 2028. Sports psychologists make little under $80,000 on average.
Are you interested in preventing injuries in sports? To become an athletic trainer, you should have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. What distinguishes it from sports medicine, though? When it comes to physiology and medical knowledge, sports medicine frequently delves deeper. The body’s reaction to exercise is the main subject of exercise science. However, a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine offered by your university will also effectively equip you for a job in the field.
Nevertheless, being an athletic trainer is quite similar to being a first aid provider in the field of sports medicine. In case of an injury, athletic trainers go to sporting events or games with a team. In most cases, they will stabilize the injury and occasionally make a hazy prognosis. Some athletic trainers will also provide athletes advice on avoiding accidents and staying healthy in general. Athletic trainers frequently assist:
- Professional sports organizations
- Athletics at colleges and universities
- High school sports
You’ll be pleased to know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 16% growth in employment for sports trainers between 2019 and 2029. It isn’t the highest-paying position in the industry, with an average salary of little under $50,000. However, you can obtain it without a master’s or doctoral degree.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important professionals in the field of sports medicine is the physical therapist. Physical therapy is usually recommended by sports medicine experts as a component of a rehabilitation program. Patients are led through the exercises by physical therapists themselves. Hospitals and other physical therapy facilities are frequent workplaces for physical therapists.
You must have a doctorate in physical therapy in order to work as a physical therapist. You usually require a bachelor’s degree to qualify for doctoral programs. You’ll be well-prepared with a bachelor’s in kinesiology, exercise science, or sports medicine.
Physical therapists typically make around $90,000 a year. This industry is developing quite quickly. Physical therapists are expected to see a growth of 18% between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In all, a sports medicine degree is a great way to start. The field is diverse, and each type, of course, can help you to gain new insight into the field of sports medicine. The key is to choose the right program and find the right fit for your individual needs.
If you are interested in learning more about sports medicine, or in being a better athlete, an advanced degree in sports medicine could be the ticket. Not only will your health and fitness level improve, but also you will have a better chance of succeeding in the sport you love.