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Careers in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science

Careers in Sports Medicine and  Exercise Science

     Career decisions are always difficult to  make, especially when you need answers  to questions you cannot easily put into words.  The American College of Sports Medicine  hopes this guide will assist you in making  these difficult career decisions.

What is Sports Medicine and  Exercise Science?

     Sports Medicine is the field of medicine concerned with  injuries sustained in athletic endeavors, including their  prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.  The purpose of injury  prevention and treatment is to maintain optimal health and  maximize peak performance.  Traditionally, sports medicine  was the sole domain of the team doctor, who worked mostly  with college, professional, and Olympic athletes.  Today,  however, the sports medicine team is comprised of many  disciplines including, for example, athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and nutrition. Sports medicine  specialists also work with non-professional athletes and  those participating in various recreational activities, for  example children involved in youth sports or older adults  training for foot races.

     Exercise Science is the study of movement and the associated functional responses and adaptations.  In this context,  an exercise scientist must understand the scientific basis  underlying exercise-induced physiological responses.  The  field of exercise science involves a range of disciplines  similar to those in sports medicine; consequently, it is  common for exercise science professionals to work in  sports medicine facilities.  The field of exercise science,  however, is typically much broader than sports medicine,  ranging from the study of how organ systems work at the  cellular level when confronted with disease, to improving  the biomechanical efficiency of an employee working on an  assembly line.

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