A career in medicine of any kind holds a certain prestige in western culture. American children often dream of being doctors or nurses, as often as they fantasize about jobs as professional athletes. What if these children knew that there is a way to integrate aspects of both medical practice and athletics into a rewarding and respectable career?
The students of California schools may already know this. More than in any other American state, sports medicine is a degree program on the rise in colleges and universities in California, owing perhaps to the abundance of applications the course of study has right within the state. Let’s examine this exciting degree program and the many ways it can be applied to a graduate’s working life.
A Degree in Coaching and Caring
The amount of cumulative education a sports medicine student will require depends largely on the career they ultimately want to have. Those that want to become a physician will require a doctorate, while those who want to focus primarily on therapy may need less education. Regardless, most states require sports medicine students to take a universal list of courses, including science and health basics, as well as some of these:
- Injury prevention and first aid
- Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy
- Protective bracing and wound dressing
- Motion analysis
An understanding of both the mechanics of athletics and human anatomy are essential, so that these professionals can care for injuries, strains and other issues relative to the sport or activity their patients are involved in. An education that involves diverse classes and as many references as possible give students an advantage when entering the workforce and encountering a variety of clients.
There are many places to find sports medicine classes in California. With so many world-class training and athletic facilities in the state – used both by professional athletes and Olympians, alike – students graduating from one of the state’s many incredible health and science schools with a degree in sports medicine can look forward to myriad applications for their training.
Applications, Both Academic and Athletic
Sports medicine professionals can find employment in a variety of settings. Some of these include:
- Schools, including elementary, high schools and junior high schools, universities and other educational settings. These positions can be supplemental to the health and science department as an educator or as training or medical personnel for the school’s athletes.
- Professional athletics settings, working for state and national sports teams, or even with Olympic athletes.
- Healthcare centers, such as with physical therapists, chiropractors, pediatricians or in hospital settings where injuries are treated on an emergent basis.
- Mentoring situations, where sports medicine professionals assist in the training of future therapists and doctors through clinical supervision and cooperative learning.
There are many ways a sports medicine degree can be used to find a rewarding career. The goal of any medical professional should be healing, and sports medicine is no different. Through hands-on care and coaching, there are many ways for these graduates of an increasingly-popular degree program to make a positive difference in the lives of students, athletes and those in their community. Whether it’s California, Kansas or Canada, sports medics are the helping hand people reach for.