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Sports medicine: Can it benefit you or your patients?

July 28, 2017

Benjamin A. Hasan, M.D., Board-certified Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician

Primary care sports medicine is a medical specialty that has been practiced in the United States for the past 30 years. Sports medicine certification requires full residency training and board certification in a primary care field, completion of an academic sports medicine fellowship, in addition to completion of an initial board certification exam and recertification exams regularly.

Members of the international sports medicine community participate in American scientific conferences, giving the same international flare to sports medicine seen in sports competition. Our colleagues in Europe, Australia, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand have contributed significantly to the growth of sports medicine in the U.S.

Those of us active in sports medicine have extensive volunteer medical careers, working directly with ill and injured athletes during local, national and international competitions. Our careers in our own practices have added much to our ability to care for athletes, and our care for athletes and highly active patients contributes to our knowledge and experience with our own practice population. Family medicine and sports medicine simply fit together.

Who and what does a sports medicine specialist treat?

A sports medicine specialist cares for adults and children, treating illnesses, injuries, broken bones, sprains, strains and joint swelling. He or she also addresses training issues and helps patients prevent sports-related injuries and illness.

Our main national organization is the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). According to AMSSM, our role is focused on prevention of illness and injury, and our unique training allows us to serve as leaders on a sports team alongside coaches, trainers, specialists, parents, athletes and other providers. For more information on the role of a sports medicine physician, see this brochure from the AMSSM.

My experience as a sports medicine specialist

I started out in the sports medicine field as a medical care provider for a middle-school football team. That experience led to many years of regular service on the field and in training rooms. I’ve served as a sports medicine specialist for the following:

  • High school sports
  • Community college football for Harper College
  • NCAA Division III athletics at North Park University
  • NCAA Division I athletics at University of Illinois at Chicago and DePaul University
  • The Chicago Marathon since 1993

I also provided medical care for Olympic Long Track Speed Skating at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and overseas medical care for USA national teams in hockey, triathlon, speed skating, soccer and wrestling.

More information and consultations

Learn more about the Sports Medicine Program at NCH. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hasan or refer a patient, call 847-259-6200.

Additionally, NCH’s Athletic Rehab Program offers a sports injury risk assessment, in which patients can learn their risks and take steps to prevent injuries. If you treat an athlete you think can benefit from this service, call 847-618-3550. Feel free to distribute this Athletic Rehab Program flyer to your patients.