Care of Athletes at Different Levels: From Pee-Wee to Professional

General Considerations ( Box 15.1 )


  • Being a team physician requires a tremendous time commitment.

    BOX 15.1
    The Five A’S of Being an Excellent Team Physician

    • Availability

    • Ability

    • Affability

    • Advocacy

    • Affiliation

  • Must have a sincere desire to care for athletes and allow their expedient return to play.


  • Possess the necessary skills to accurately diagnose and appropriately treat the athlete.

  • In addition to the team physician’s actual ability, their perceived ability is important. One must portray a certain level of confidence when examining, treating, and discussing treatment options with an athlete.

  • A certain level of comfort and familiarity comes with time; the more experience team physicians gain by covering sporting events and communicating with athletes, the more confident and competent they will become.


  • Possess the necessary social skills required to interact with not only athletes but also parents, coaches, and other staff members.

  • Nurturing a professional relationship with athletes will not only increase their confidence in their own ability but also increase their adherence to treatment guidelines, particularly if it conflicts with their personal desire to return to play at any cost.

  • A team physician should not try to become best friends with an athlete and should maintain a professional relationship.


  • View the individual as a patient first and then as an athlete

  • Always uphold your Hippocratic oath to do no harm to the patient


  • Surround yourself with those who have more experience, and learn from their prior experience

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