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A 43-year-old member asked:

Which the difference between sports medicine physician and a physical therapist?

7 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Duggan
38 years experience
Sports Docs: Some physical therapists have a doctorate in physical therapy but are not physicians. Sports medicine physicians have added training or interest in sports medicine. The added training may be a formal fellowship or years of experience treating athletes. You need to dig deep ANS research the doctor before you go. Athletes are a good source for information.
Dr. Daniel Solomon
Orthopedic Surgery 28 years experience
Different roles: Sports medicine mds go through medical school and residency training. Typically non-operative sports med does family practice or internal medicine. Operative sports medicine is additional training after orthopedic residency. Pt does a separate school, usually a masters or doctorate degree in physical therapy- which is exercise and activity based rehabilitation.
Dr. Jonathan Kirschner
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 17 years experience
One Is a doctor: Sports medicine physicians are md or do and have, on average, gone to 4 years of med school, 4-5 years of residency and one year of fellowship. They have the ability to diagnose, treat, perform injections, provide manual therapy, prescribe medication and perform surgery. Physical therapists help with rehab by doing/teaching exercises, manual therapy, modalities, but usually require an rx from md.
Dr. Rose Wynn
Sports Medicine 17 years experience
Different training: A sports medicine physician completed medical school (4 years), residency (3-5 years), and sports medicine fellowship (1-2 years) and is a doctor who can order tests, prescribe medications, prescribe physical therapy, some give injections, some are surgeons. A physical therapist treats patients with hands on treatments.
Dr. Rose Wynn
Sports Medicine 17 years experience
Prescribing..: A sports medicine physician had graduated from 4 years of medical school, 3-5 years of residency, 1-2 years of fellowship, and has an md or do degree who can order studies, prescribe pt, prescribe medications, etc. A physical therapist is skilled in hands on physical treatment. If a physical therapist is on health tap they can further comment on the educational duration and background.
Dr. James Rochester
Family Medicine 27 years experience
Doc vs pt: Sports med doc is a doctor 4 yrs college. 4 yrs med school. Then residency in either orthopedics (5-6 years) then fellowship in sports med 1-2 years. Phys therapist is 5-6 years of school after high school. Doctors diagnose and treat. Therapists treat under direction of doctor (in most cases). Hope that helps
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Orthopedic Surgery 43 years experience
The difference.: Sports Medicine physicians sees patients, make a diagnosis, and, if he/she is a surgeon, operates. Physical therapists see the doctors patients and carry out the appropriate physical therapy, based on the doctors diagnosis.

Similar questions

A 43-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between a sports medicine physician and a sports-centered physical therapist?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Khurram Khan
Palliative Care 11 years experience
Treat independently: In most states, pts are not allowed to treat (pharmacologically and non-pharmacologically) independently, they would need physician's (md/do) written prescription.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Please explain to me the difference between a sports medicine physician and a physical therapist.?

3 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kim Fagan
Sports Medicine 35 years experience
Physician is a M.D.: A sports medicine physician completes medical school or osteopathic school, an internship/ residency and additional fellowship training in sports medicine. A physical therapist attends physical therapy school following college which is, like medical school, highly competitive. Some will continue training to receive their doctorate in physical therapy. Both are essential to the care of athletes.
A 47-year-old member asked:

What does a sports medicine physician treat?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Khurram Khan
Palliative Care 11 years experience
Sports injuries: Sports physicians use operative & nonoperative methods to treat mostly acute injuries which may potentially hinder optimum performance of an amateur or professional athlete and/or prevent such injuries.
Last updated Apr 25, 2016
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