Nonsurgical Sports Medicine Training in the United States: A Survey of Sports Medicine Fellowship Graduates

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ObjectiveTo survey graduates of nonsurgical sports medicine fellowship training programs about the quality and content of their educational curriculum.DesignSurveyParticipantsParticipants were year 2000 active members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM) and all other attendees at the 2000 AOASM and AMSSM annual meetings. The survey also was sent to candidates sitting for the 1999 CAQ examination from the American Board of Family Practice, American Board of Internal Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics.ResultsA total of 1608 surveys were distributed; 612 were returned for a return rate of 43%. Of respondents, 294 were fellowship trained, and 318 considered themselves to be sports medicine physicians but were not fellowship trained. Sections of the survey completed only by fellowship-trained physicians and focusing on training curriculum are reported in this article. Categories of survey questions included clinical experience, curriculum, academic activities, research, teaching experiences, primary care skills, procedures, types of athletes seen during training, supervision, and benefits. General attitudes about fellowship training also were surveyed: 99% of graduates were satisfied with their training and would do a fellowship again, and 98% felt they their training prepared them for a career in sports medicine. Orthopaedic experiences and physical examination skills were rated the highest. Research experience, work with disabled athletes, and selected areas of nonorthopaedic medical training, such as sports ophthalmology and sports psychology, were rated the lowest.ConclusionsOverall, fellowship training in sports medicine seems to be satisfactory to fellowship graduates. Strengths and weaknesses in training programs were identified.

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