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Sports Medicine Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Medical doctors interested in treating athletes or individuals with musculoskeletal injuries typically apply to 1-year sports medicine fellowships after completing their residencies. Once admitted, fellows can choose between primary care sports medicine and surgical sports medicine.

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How to Choose a Sports Medicine Graduate School

There are no designated sports medicine graduate schools that confer degrees in the field. Sports medicine is a medical subspecialty that is pursued by medical doctors once they have earned their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and completed a residency training program.

Choosing a sports medicine fellowship depends largely on the type of sports medicine career a medical graduate seeks. Two fellowship options are available - surgical sports medicine and non-surgical primary care sports medicine. The surgical option is designed for orthopedic surgeons who want to enter the field of sports medicine. Primary care sports medicine is for medical graduates who have completed a 3-year residency in family, internal, rehabilitation, pediatric or emergency medicine.

Another important consideration in choosing a sports medicine fellowship is whether or not a program complements a fellow's medical residency training. For example, if a fellow has completed a pediatrics residency, he or she may only want to consider programs that build upon the pediatrics specialty while addressing the fundamentals of sports medicine.

Lastly, future sports medicine fellows might want to consult with their program of choice to ensure that they will have opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Some sports medicine programs allow fellows to work with local high school or college sports teams. Doctors in an orthopedic fellowship may want to make sure that a program provides fellows with adequate surgical experiences.

Largest Fellowship Programs by Student Population

College/UniversityStudent PopulationInstitution Type
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 41,028 4-year, public
University of Washington 39,675 4-year, public
University of California - Los Angeles 38,220 4-year, public
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus 27,562 4-year, public
University of Connecticut 24,273 4-year, public
Stanford University 17,833 4-year, private not-for-profit
Emory University 12,755 4-year, private not-for-profit
University of Rochester 9,735 4-year, private not-for-profit
Wake Forest University 6,862 4-year, private not-for-profit
Rush University 1,731 4-year, private not-for-profit
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