Caring For Athletes From The Sidelines

September 19, 2022

Memorial Staff

PM&R residents and physicians

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) sports curriculum at Memorial allows PM&R residents to gain practical, hands-on experience before they ever enter their profession. Under the guidance of sports medicine specialists, students join physicians on and off the playing field to see how the medical and training staff engage with student athletes and witness the appropriate practices for evaluating and managing injuries as they occur.

“The ability to be involved with individuals who dedicate their lives to high levels of activity and function is an integral and special privilege that makes PM&R and sports medicine stand out among other specialties,” says Marvin Smith, MD, vice chief of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

Currently, program participants focus on athletes at Florida Memorial University and the University of Fort Lauderdale. They are on the field when physicians triage during the games, as well when players require further treatment or a referral to another specialist. The most common concerns are concussions and musculoskeletal injuries.

“It’s a great learning experience for the residents to observe how doctors handle sideline coverage for these high-impact sports,” says Ray Shipman, director of Business Development at Memorial Regional Hospital South. “It’s just as important for the residents to shadow physicians during their clinic days as it is to see these athletes who are hurt on the sideline with the physician. Most residents have a passion for sports, so helping these young athletes is a great experience.”

Off the field, residents are privy to evaluations and treatment of student athletes in the outpatient sports clinic, which are parts of follow-up and continuity of care. Medical management experience involves observing orthopedic exams, learning how to interpret imaging and practicing how to use ultrasound techniques.

“The program is a great addition to the curriculum; it allows doctors to care for athletes in real time,” says Dr. Smith.