The ability to help athletes get back into shape after an injury is a job that sounds like a dream come true. While sports medicine can be highly attractive, not every sports medicine specialist ends up working with famous athletes. That’s not to say the field is not rewarding, however. These specialists work with athletes who are highly motivated and often among the best in their fields. If you are considering a career in sports medicine, it is smart to consider the pros and cons before making a commitment.
The Good: Handsome Remuneration
One of the best things about becoming a sports medicine specialist is the pay. The average sports medicine salary ranges from $150k per year to $250k per year depending on the location. Of course, there are plenty of high-profile specialists who are making well over seven figures. The demand for this physician type is high compared to the available practitioners which means it is easy to maximize earning potential.
The Bad: Constant Conflict Between Treatment Paths & Player Activity
One of the most common issues sports medicine specialists face is the conflict of interest between the player and the treatment. Often, either the athlete themselves or their coach will insist that they return to the field before their injuries are actually healed. While many athletes follow expert medical advice, there will be times when that advice falls on deaf ears.
The Good: Career Path Diversity
Sports medicine specialists have a diverse range of career paths to choose from. They are able to work in sports programs in schools and colleges as well as with professional athletic organizations. Many sports medicine physicians will even open their own practice which allows them to treat a variety of athletes independently.
The Bad: Immense Pressure
While most medical professionals are used to operating under pressure, sports medicine specialists can expect an extra dose. High-pressure situations are common and practitioners need to be able to think and treat on the fly. For example, imagine that you are tasked with helping athletes with weight loss so that they can qualify for a weigh-in. During the treatment cycle, the rapid weight loss may lead to other issues that need to be corrected quickly to avoid disqualification. For many, the right treatment at the right time will make or break their athletic career. As a sports medicine specialist, it is critical to be able to operate under such pressures.
The Good: Prestigious and Satisfying Career Path
Becoming a high-level sports medicine specialist isn’t easy. The prestige that comes with achieving that feat is beyond compare. Working with high-level athletes and ensuring they receive quality training and rehabilitation is extremely satisfying. Being a part of the team that helps an athlete reach their true potential is ideal for a results-oriented practitioner.
Forging the Way Ahead One Rehab At A Time
Working with athletes of every caliber is a great way to get close to the action as a medical professional. Creating rehab programs and helping athletes heal so they can perform at the top of their game is a rewarding way to practice medicine. Sports medicine specialists may work long hours and have to deal with high-pressure situations, but the end results are well worth the effort.
Author Bio: Heather Blacksmith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and works at a finance firm based in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance. When she is not working, she spends her time in her favorite coffee shop writing on various finance-related topics. Other than that, she enjoys adult coloring books, recycling, and running.