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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014
Healing game
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 22, 2013
First Published: 18:07 IST(22/1/2013)
Last Updated: 18:25 IST(22/1/2013)
Bringing out the best : Sports medicine experts determine the kind of training needed to help athletes perform to their highest capabilities without injury

The lowdown

Sports medicine is a field of medical science that provides health care for physically active people, especially sports persons. A practitioner has to take up a number of responsibilities, some of them being selection of sporting talent, evaluating and enhancing human performance, treating sports injuries, etc. It draws on the knowledge of many specialists, including physicians, athletic trainers, physiologists and physical educators. These experts aid in determining the kind of training needed to help athletes perform to their highest capabilities without injury. A sports medicine practitioner/doctor can find employment in Sports Authority of India, sports federations, sponsoring teams, and Central government agencies taking a keen interest in sport. “A career in sports medicine is rewarding both in terms of emoluments and job satisfaction,” says Farasat Husain, chief consultant orthopedic surgeon, Life Line Nursing Home.

Clockwork
An average day of a sports medicine specialist:
5am: Go to the park and jog
8.30am: Reach clinic
9am: Check mails; do e-consultation
11am: Treat a player with back and shoulder pain
1.30pm: Lunch
4pm: Treat patients
8pm: Call it a day

The payoff
Entry level: Around Rs. 40,000 per month
Middle level: Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per month
Senior level: Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per month. In the public sector, a sports medicine doctor’s pay scale is at par with other Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) doctors

Skills/TRAITS
* You must have excellent diagnostic and healing skills
* You must be able to understand how each sport is played and injuries common to players
* You must have adequate liaison skills as you will have to interact with sports professionals all the time

Getting there
To be a sports medicine doctor, you have to be an MBBS, and then do a two-year postgraduate diploma in sports medicine recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI), offered by the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, under the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. You can also go abroad for further studies. A sports medicine doctor undergoes training in exercise physiology, conservative practice of orthopaedics and rehabilitation and allied subjects

Institutes and URLs
* All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 
www.aiims.edu
* National Institute of sports, Patiala,                    
www.nsnis.org
* Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham,       
www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories
* Queen Mary College, University of London,           
www.qmul.ac.uk
* Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh                
pgimer.nic.in
* Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Pune                        
www.sanchetihospital.org
* Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar                
www.gndu.ac.in
* Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai                              
www.sriramachandra.edu.in
* Patna Medical College                  
patnamedicalcollege.com/pmch
* Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh               
gmch.gov.in

Pros and cons
* One gets to see the sport one is perhaps passionate about from a close range
* The financial returns at the junior level, when compared to some other branches of medicine, are not high. It would be the passion for sport and work in particular that will help you persevere
* The training one has to go through in the field is rather time-consuming

Ten years ago, only a few people used to take up sports medicine as a career. Due to increased awareness, interest in sports and better facilities, the scope has widened -- Yash Gulati, senior orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo hospital, New Delhi


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