What is the difference between a Sports Medicine Physician and an
Orthopedic Surgeon?

Sports Medicine physicians specialize in the complete health care of athletes. Orthopedic
Surgeons specialize in the operative treatment of injuries.  Both are trained in the care of
musculoskeletal problems. Approximately 90% of all sports injuries are non-surgical.  When
surgery is necessary, the Sports Medicine physician can expedite referral to the Orthopedic
Surgeon.  More patients are referred to Dr. Silberman by orthopedic surgeons, than Dr.
Silberman refers to orthopedic surgeons.

Sports Medicine physicians are additionally trained in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of
sports health.  Common examples include: concussions, exercise-induced asthma,
overtraining and fatigue, return to play issues after being sick or injured, nutrition, training
and conditioning.

To become a Sports Medicine Physician, one must complete a residency in Family
Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, or Pediatrics and then a Fellowship of 1
to 2 years of training specifically focused on Sports Medicine - the comprehensive care of
the athlete's orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychosocial needs.

The Sports Medicine physician's training is spent primarily in the office, in the training room,
on the field, at mass participation events, and in human performance labs.  The Orthopedic
Surgeon's training is primarily spent in the operating room, emergency room, and hospital.  
An Orthopedic Surgeon may do a surgical sports medicine fellowship focused on gaining
additional surgical skills in shoulder and knee arthroscopic surgery.  Most orthopedic
surgeons are not trained in MSK Ultrasound, an invaluable tool for the sports medicine
physician, enabling sports medicine physicians rapid in office diagnosis of musculoskeletal
injuries and ensuring accurate needle placement for injections.

Sports Medicine Physicians are also ideal doctors for the non-athlete as well - for those
who wish to begin an exercise program, for the "weekend warrior", for the "industrial
athlete", for workman's comp, for motor vehicle accidents, for the older wise individual, for
any individual who has sustained an injury, experiences musculoskeletal pain, or is looking to
improve their overall health.
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