Staring your sports medicine career is going to require getting your sports medicine education underway. You will need to spend a little time researching and exploring your options for sports medicine colleges. You choice of college should be based on a few simple criteria, which include:
· Matching your career choice and college curriculum.
· Cost of the school.
· Location of the school
· School Reputation
Defining Your Career Choice is the Starting Point of the Search
One thing to be very cautious about when choosing a sports medicine college is to not lose sight of your personal goals and ambitions. You may have made a decision to become a Physical Therapist with a specialty in sports medicine and during your search you suddenly get distracted by all the other career choices and their potentially lower costs. Stick to your plans or you may discover you have headed into a career you will not enjoy.
The choices for certain specialties become limited very quickly. As an example, to pursue a sports medicine education to become a Sports Medicine Physician means you will be acquiring a four year Bachelor of Science degree, spending 4 years in medical school, 3 years in residency, and possibly more time in a fellowship to acquire acceptance into your specialized field. Since only a small percentage of schools are accredited medical schools your choices reduce rapidly. You must first qualify and be accepted into the college. Here are couple examples of top medical programs for Sports Physicians:
· Stanford University – The University offers one of the few fellowship programs in the nation for specializing in this field. The program offers access to their Human Performance Laboratory which explores sports medicine using cutting edge technology and works in partnership with the Stanford University athletic teams and departments.
· Ohio State University – Another fellowship program offered through a top medical university. The program offers many of the same advantages as Stanford.
It is important to note both of these programs require you have already finished college, medical school, and your residency. Sports Medicine Physicians are not created in medical school but in their continuing training after becoming a Doctor. These two programs make Stanford and Ohio State the two top sports medical universities in the nation.
Schools for Medicine – Other Career Areas
When you change your focus away from being a physician to selecting other careers within medicine your choice of schools expands rapidly. As an example, if you wanted to pursue a career as a massage therapist working with athletes you can find schools in many states including the following schools:
· Denver School of Massage Therapy
· Woodridge School of Massage Therapy in Chicago
· Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare at Herzing University
· Nevada School of Massage Therapy – Las Vegas, Nevada
· Arizona School of Massage Therapy
Is Sports Physical Therapy the Right Direction for Your Career?
Another educational pursuit is in becoming a Physical Therapist. This is one of the better paying careers in medicine. You can choose from one of the 212 accredited colleges. Of these 212 schools for sports medicines 203 offer doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy with the other 9 offering Masters Programs. Your requirements to become a Sports Physical Therapist are as follows:
· Complete a Bachelor Degree program. No specific degree is required but including courses on biology, anatomy, physiology, and other related sciences is highly recommended.
· Earn your graduate degree in Physical Therapy. The doctorate programs take approximately 3 years to complete, with masters programs averaging 2.5 years.
· Residency in Physical Therapy – An average 1500 hours of on the job work under the supervision of a licensed therapist is required.
· Pass Licensing Exam – This is administered on a state by state basis.
· Pass Exam to Become a Physical Therapy Specialist in Sports. This specialty designation is offered through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and requires you have practiced physical therapy for 2000 hours plus passed their exam. This is not required to work in sports medicine but does give you added credentials.
With the slight difference in time to receive a doctorate or masters it would be in your own best interest to pursue a doctorate degree. With over 200 schools offering specialties in Physical Therapy you will be able to find a school within your budget and in a location near you.
As can be seen by our three examples your choice of sports medicine degree colleges is highly dependent on the career path you select. Your starting point is choosing whether you wish to be a trainer, doctor, physical therapist, or other choose a different career. You can then quickly uncover the right sports medicine colleges for you.