A sport and exercise medicine physician is a medical doctor whose primary training may be in family medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, physical medicine, emergency medicine or internal medicine. Many will have completed additional training in sports medicine such as a fellowship or a graduate degree (Master’s, PhD) in a discipline related to sport and exercise medicine. In Canada, many sport and exercise medicine physicians are members of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) and will have the CASEM Diploma of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Additionally, physicians may also have a Certificate of Added Competence (CAC) from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).
Sport and exercise medicine physicians are involving in promoting and prescribing physical activity for people throughout their lives as well. They also have expertise in helping to diagnose and manage issues involving joints, muscles and bones. Additionally, they can diagnose and manage concussions and help people return to work, school and play.
Sport and exercise medicine physicians can provide care in a number of settings including clinics and hospitals. They can practice on their own or they can work as part of a team that includes other medical physicians and allied health professionals including physiotherapists, athletic therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and massage therapists. Sport and exercise medicine physicians can also work with sports organizations, teams and sporting events.
Sport and exercise medicine physicians are trained to provide care to a diverse population including non-athletes, recreational athletes and elite athletes. They also see individuals who would like to be more physically active in their lives and can help with exercise prescription.
Most sport and exercise medicine physicians have a focused practice designation given to them by MOLTHC. This means that FHT and FHO billings will not be negated if a patient is seen by a sport and exercise medicine physician.
Sport and exercise medicine physicians see patients with various issues that are not necessarily sports related. This can include joint injuries, concussions and osteoarthritis.
Patients can be referred by their family physician to see a sport and exercise physician but may also be able to self refer depending on the clinic. A referral from a family physician ensures that they are apprised of their patient's care.
Patients can be referred to help clarify a diagnosis or to offer expertise on management options. Patients can also be referred for specific treatments that can be provided by a sport and exercise medicine physician such as cortisone injections.