Volunteer Sports Medicine Trainee

Sports medicine deals with the prevention and treatment of sports related injuries. Typical injuries you would need to deal with include that of the muscles and joints. This is a rapidly growing field, and one in which a great level of expertise and experience can set you apart from the thousands graduating in medicine each year. If you are training toward being a sports medical expert, or if you are thinking about the career, it is best to attain some work experience, whether it is with your local hospital or clinic, or even with a local football or rugby club. This will help you to learn what skills and knowledge is required, and also give you an idea as to whether this could be a possible career choice.

Duties include

Typical duties required in sports medicine include:

  • Examining injuries to determine diagnosis and what possible treatment will be necessary.
  • Using x-rays to determine the extent of a broken bone.
  • You may specialise in dietary techniques to help athletes.
  • Sports surgeons often play a major part in the recovery process.
  • You may need to help a person through the rehabilitation process.
  • Working with patients from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Analysing any referral material you are given to determine the extent of injury.
  • Making sure you keep up-to-date with any sports medicine advancements.
  • Work closely with patients to help them through this tough time.
  • Explaining the process of recovery to the patient.

Skills and education required

A sports medicine degree is often the best route into this profession, and will require good results in GCSEs and A Levels, or relative qualifications. This will involve a mixture of theoretical and practical teaching, and can give you an insight as to what is to be expected of it as a career. You can choose to specialise in the treatment of minor or major injuries, or you can be involved in the surgical process for severe cases.

Voluntary work experience is the best way to boost your CV and improve your chances of getting a job once graduated. This can be done with local hospitals or clinics, or you can try contacting any local sports clubs. Skills required include good scientific ability, attention to detail, good customer care, excellent medical knowledge and quick thinking. Sports medicine as a career is one helped by an interest in the area, as with any occupation. Websites of use include the Health Professionals Council, NHS Careers and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.