A team physician is a medical doctor or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) who is responsible for the health and education of the team for which they work. They have extensive training in sports medicine and are well-versed in the basic nutrition and activity requirements of the sporting industry. The doctor will perform pre-season exams, attend practices and scrimmages, and travel with the team to games. Any injuries or medical problems that arise will be attended to the team physician, who will also make changes to the training routines if they do not help to reduce the risk of common sports injuries.
The team physician’s primary responsibility is to manage the team’s medical care. This includes pre-screening athletes before they are accepted onto the team, conducting random drug tests, and providing expert input into general conditioning warm-up exercises. When accidents occur in practice or during games, they are responsible for determining the cause of the problem and, if possible, resolving the situation. If the injury is severe enough to necessitate a trip to the hospital, they are responsible for ensuring that it is done.
The team, as well as the coaches and family, are educated in the second task they perform. The team physician will issue a warning about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, as well as a detailed explanation of how they affect the athlete. In this role, they will also serve as a nutritional advisor, devising proper eating and exercise regimens that will improve their performance while reducing the risk of injury. If an athlete has a medical condition that is unrelated to sports, the physician will advise the athlete on what can happen while playing sports and what activities will be permitted while the condition is present.
The team physician’s final task is to perform administrative duties. They must keep private records of all team members and report any problems to the appropriate executives. They also work to develop plans of action for when serious injuries occur, as well as backup plans in case the physician is unable to complete their duties due to unforeseen circumstances. From a medical standpoint, they oversee the team, ensuring that everything is done safely and that action plans are in place to deal with any injuries that may arise.