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Phoenix Sports Med FAQ

What is a sports medicine physician?

A sports medicine specialist uses a non-surgical approach to treat musculoskeletal diseases and injuries, and acute and chronic illnesses in athletes. Sports medicine physicians also help athletes meet their fitness, nutrition, and performance goals through specially adjusted medical therapies. Oftentimes, these doctors work with teams or schools to promote safe strength training and healthy lifestyles, while also establishing measures for injury prevention.

Your sports medicine physician in Phoenix may provide any of the services listed here. It’s important to note, you do not have to be a competitive athlete in order to receive treatment from a sports medicine doctor at Hedley Orthopaedic Institute. Physicians treat everyone from the high-performance level all the way down to the weekend warrior and casual jogger.

Is sports medicine a recognized specialty?

Yes, it is. Both Medicare and the American Board of Medical Subspecialties recognize Sports Medicine as a subspecialty. All board certified sports medicine physicians are subspecialists within one of the following fields:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

How much training does a sports medicine specialist have?

Sports medicine specialists must spend a minimum of 12-13 years in training in order to practice. This includes four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school where the candidate becomes a physician, three years in residency, and one to two years completing a fellowship in sports medicine or a related subspecialty. Some sports medicine specialists may have more than one fellowship training experience to their name.

Based on this standard education and training path, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine estimates that sports medicine physicians spend 17,200 – 23,200 hours in lectures, study, residency, and fellowship. Many sports medicine physicians at Hedley Orthopaedic Institute have continued training (and even teaching) throughout their careers, adding new technologies and techniques to their repertoires.

Hedley Orthopaedic Institute – Sports Medicine Credentials

Sports medicine physicians at Hedley Orthopaedic Institute hold multiple memberships and fellowships. A few of the fellowships and memberships Hedley physicians list include:

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Association of Hand Surgery
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Association
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (Dr. Collins is former president of this organization.)
  • American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • Arthroscopic Association of North America
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

What’s the difference between a sports medicine doctor and an orthopaedic surgeon?

You may have noticed that Hedley Orthopaedic Institute features a mix of orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, and a doctor of osteopathic medicine. While all of these medical professionals treat musculoskeletal conditions, they differ from one another in a few key ways.

  • An orthopaedic surgeon treats diseases and acute injuries of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones using surgical techniques. An orthopaedic surgeon may offer surgical repair of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, or other joints.
  • A sports medicine specialist offers non-surgical treatment options for athletes and active individuals. If surgery is necessary, a sports medicine specialist can refer a patient to an orthopaedic surgeon. You do not have to consider yourself an athlete in order to see a sports medicine specialist. In fact, many people who are in good health and exercise somewhat regularly choose to see a sports medicine physician in Phoenix as their primary care provider.
  • A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) performs hands-on manual therapy on the body’s musculoskeletal system. D.O.s treat patients with the philosophy that past illnesses and physical trauma can permanently affect the body’s anatomy. With this approach, D.O.s use a heightened sense of touch to feel the patient’s tissues, flow of fluids, and anatomy. A sense of touch is important in helping a D.O. diagnose and treat patients.

In many medical professionals, these specialties may overlap. At Hedley Orthopaedic Institute, for instance, some physicians practice both sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery.

Why choose a Phoenix sports medicine physician at Hedley?

The work of Hedley Orthopaedic Institute and its physicians and surgeons has been met with acclaim from around the world. The institute pioneered many advanced surgical technologies in Arizona and continues to be the only facility in the state that offers certain minimally invasive joint replacement procedures. Some physicians even offer regenerative medicine services, such as stem cell and PRP injection.

With a mix of orthopaedic surgeons, osteopathic doctors, and sports medicine physicians in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, Hedley Orthopaedic Institute is the only practice that patients need to visit to receive the treatment they need.

Meet our Sports Medicine Physicians

Could a sports medicine specialist help you? Learn more about the conditions sports medicine physicians treat at Hedley Orthopaedic Institute. Find a location near you to schedule an appointment.


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