The AAFP recognizes that health and fitness are integral to an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. Health and fitness are dependent on a certain degree of physical activity and regular exercise across the lifespan. Because of their broad knowledge base and focus on comprehensive medical management, family physicians are uniquely qualified to provide sports medicine, health, and fitness-related care to patients throughout the continuum of care.
A pre-participation physical evaluation is best performed as part of a patient’s routine preventive medical care by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant familiar with the patient’s personal and family medical history. The AAFP supports continued medical education and the development of patient education products on topics of sports medicine, health, fitness, and nutrition, and encourages family physicians to include sports medicine in their own practices.
Family physicians in this role should use the opportunity to counsel patients about the risks associated with contact sports. Family physicians should also encourage and promote equity and inclusion in team sports and physical fitness activities, including for patients with disabilities and full and equal participation in their affirmed gender by gender-diverse patients. (1988) (September 2022 COD)