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Dr. Kennedy Sports Medicine specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to participation in sports and/or exercise. Sports Medicine i practiced by what is thought of as a "team" including the physician and/or surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, as well as the athlete himself/herself. A primary focus of sports medicine is rapid recovery of patients, due to the fact that competitive eents do not wait for the athlete to recover. This drives many innovations in the field. Sports Medicine's function is not only curative and rehabilitative, but especially preventive. Sports Medicine has always been difficult to define because it is not a single specialty, but an area that involves health care professionals, researchers and educators from a wide variety of disciplines. There is a, perhaps mistaken, assumption that sport-related problems are always musculoskeletal and that sports medicine is therefore an orthopedic specialty. There is much more to sports medicine than just musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Illness or injury in sport can be caused by a variety of factors: psychological, environmental to physiological. Consequently, sports medicine can encompass the contributions of an array of specialties, almost all the specialties in medicine in one way or another. As an example, heat, cold or high altitude during training and competition can alter performance or may even be life threatening. The female triad of disordered eating, menstrual disturbances, and bone density problems, and the problems of pregnant or aging athletes demand knowledge from many fields. Also, the management of endocrinological diseases and other such problems in the athlete demands both medical expertise and sport-specific knowledge. The use of supplements, pharmaceuticals, and the topics of doping control and gender verification present complex moral, legal and health-related difficulties. Also, unique problems are associated with international sporting events, such as the effects of travel and acclimatization, as well as the need to balance an athlete's participation with his or her health and personal life, as well as an academic life in the case of student athletes.

The Sports Medicine specialist, usually an Orthopedist or a Primary-care Sports Medicine specialist, is usually the leader of the sports medicine team, which also includes physician and surgeon specialists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, physiologists, coaches, other personnel, and, of course, the athlete. Doctors who specialize in Sports Medicine often begin with a primary residency program in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. They generally obtain one to two years of additional training through accredited fellowship programs in sports medicine. Physicians who are board certified in one of the preceding disciplines are then eligible to take a sub-specialty qualification examination in sports medicine. Sports medicine has been a recognized sub-specialty of the American Board of Medical Specialties since 1989.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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