Sports Medicine, Health and Fitness

The need for fitness begins at an early age and extends well into later life. As such, the issue of sports participation is integrally related to the patient's sense of well-being, both physically and emotionally. The family physician is uniquely positioned to be involved across the entire age spectrum and is able to recognize that health and fitness are dependent on a certain degree of physical activity and regular exercise throughout one's life.

The pre-participation assessment, team physician's function, as well as diagnosis and treatment of exercise-related injuries and diseases are best incorporated into comprehensive medical management of the nation's public. A broad knowledge as well as experience and/or interest in sports medicine, health, and/or fitness uniquely qualifies the family physician to be the sports medicine "doctor of choice."

The AAFP promotes continued medical education and supports patient education products for its members in the area of sports medicine, health, fitness and nutrition. It encourages the family physician to be the sports medicine doctor in his or her own community.

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) states that “Sports Medicine is a body of knowledge and a broad area of health care which includes: 1) exercise as an essential component of health throughout life; 2) medical management and supervision of recreational and competitive athletes and all others who exercise; and 3) exercise for prevention and treatment of disease and injury.” The ABFM has developed a Certificate of Added Qualifications to recognize excellence among those with special expertise in Sports Medicine.

(1988) (2011 COD)