Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Sports Med. 2005 Oct;33(10):1545-51. Epub 2005 Jul 11.

Team physicians in college athletics.

Author information

1
Harvard University Athletic Department and Health Service, New England Baptist Hospital Sports Medicine Section, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA. mesteinermd@cs.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There has been little documentation of what constitutes the clinical work of intercollegiate team physicians. Team physicians could be recruited based on the needs of athletes.

HYPOTHESIS:

A multidisciplinary team of physicians is necessary to treat college athletes. Most physician evaluations are for musculoskeletal injuries treated nonoperatively.

STUDY DESIGN:

Descriptive epidemiology study.

METHODS:

For a 2-year period, a database was created that recorded information on team physician encounters with intercollegiate athletes at a major university. Data on imaging studies, hospitalizations, and surgeries were also recorded. The diagnoses for physician encounters with all undergraduates through the university's health service were also recorded.

RESULTS:

More initial athlete evaluations were for musculoskeletal diagnoses (73%) than for general medical diagnoses (27%) (P < .05). Four percent of musculoskeletal injuries required surgery. Most general medical evaluations were single visits for upper respiratory infections and dermatologic disorders, or multiple visits for concussions. Football accounted for 22% of all physician encounters, more than any other sport (P < .05). Per capita, men and women sought care at an equal rate. In contrast, 10% of physician encounters with the general pool of undergraduates were for musculoskeletal diagnoses. Student athletes did not require a greater number of physician encounters than did the general undergraduate pool of students on a per capita basis.

CONCLUSION:

Intercollegiate team physicians primarily treat musculoskeletal injuries that do not require surgery. General medical care is often single evaluations of common conditions and repeat evaluations for concussions.

Comment in

PMID:
16009978
DOI:
10.1177/0363546505275491
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center