Sports and Exercise Medicine Physicians (SEMP), also known as sports doctors, are highly trained medical doctors who specialise in treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Having undergone rigorous specialty training, sport doctors possess an exceptional level of advanced knowledge that leads to accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment of sports-related injuries or pain.
How do you become a Sports and Exercise Medicine Physician?
To be eligible for the esteemed Australian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) fellowship, sports physicians must complete a minimum of seven years of specialised training following their graduation from medical school, in addition to meeting several examination and research requirements. Consequently, as a specialist medical professional they possess advanced skills in diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal injuries, and are often used in conjunction with a General Practitioner and Physiotherapist to optimize the outcome of their patients.
What can they offer?
Leveraging their vast expertise in musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses, sports doctors are uniquely positioned to provide expert guidance on the optimal treatment approach for patients. By carefully considering the patient's injury, medical history, and overall health, sports doctors can provide invaluable insights that help patients make informed decisions on their recovery which may include imaging, prescription medications, education and pathology referrals. Additionally, sports doctors work closely with general practitioners, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians and sport psychologists to ensure that patients receive seamless, coordinated care that maximizes their chances of a full and speedy recovery.
How can they be useful with physiotherapy?
Sports doctors provide patients with a variety of additional therapies in addition to physiotherapy. This may include prescribing medications or performing minor procedures to aid in recovery alongside physiotherapy. Additionally, sports doctors can refer patients for bulk-billing imaging services (such as MRI, CT, X-rays, ultrasound and bone-density scans) making these services more affordable for patients.
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