Medical Assistant (Sports Medicine Setting)

Female CMA doing patient intakes at a sports medicine clinic.

As seen with most health care occupations, clinical medical assistants (CMAs) who are specially trained in a single area of medicine experience greater prospects for advancement, higher salary, and work security throughout their careers.

Being qualified to work in a specialty field comes with experience and additional training; to this extent the more your knowledge and skill-sets progress along a certain path, the more favorable your opportunities are on various levels.

Despite the fact that medical assistants are utilized in specialties to a lesser extent compared to doctors, physician assistants and nurses, there still exists enough of a demand to make it worthwhile for CMAs to pursue a specific medical niche.

While no specialty certifications or licensure credentials have been established for medical assistants to practice in a particular field, CMAs can find employment in specialized practices, such as orthopedics or sports medicine, and receive on-job training in order to work within that particular setting. Oftentimes, employers will cover the cost of any continuing education that will help you become more specialized.





By complementing your traditional medical assistant knowledge and training, the more qualified you’ll be to care for patients within your chosen specialty.

The Medical Assistant’s Role in Sports Medicine

MAs employed in a sports medicine clinic attend to patients usually under the supervision of an orthopedist. Aside from typical MA responsibilities, such as questioning patients and collecting their medical history, the supervising physician may have the assistant educate patients on issues, procedures, treatments and preventive measures related to musculoskeletal injuries. Basic interpretation of lab panels/results, taking blood from finger sticks and putting together samples for laboratory analysis are also common tasks. Procedural duties can include preparing patients for an EKG, spirometry test or X-ray, while patient care may involve wound dressing, fabricating/applying splints and fitting crutches. Patient intakes for injury severity, such as using a goniometer to assess range-of-motion, may also be handled by a medical assistant.

Salary

Based on Indeed.com’s salary data, medical assistants working in an orthopedic practice can make $62,000/year on average. As a reference point, O*NET reports the median salary for MAs to be just over $29,000 annually.

Requirements to become a Sports Medicine Medical Assistant

Almost every form of medical specialty is available to CMAs. This goes for both clerical and clinical medical assistants. Since responsibilities vary from handling patient paperwork to direct patient care in the exam room, there is a broad range of roles that need to be taken on.

In a sports medicine practice, medical assistants can carry out administrative tasks and/or clinical duties. It’s important to note state legislature regulates the type and scope of services he or she is permitted to carry out.

Typically, to work in sports medicine or orthopedics, an MA will be required to graduate from an accredited medical assistant program with 1-2 years of work experience in some cases. On-the-job training will most likely be involved, but is ultimately dependent on the employer. Human anatomy and physiology is an area that MAs will have to become very familiar since most patients will be suffering from musculo-skeletal injuries. And though not required, additional certifications or degrees in areas such as massage therapy, diagnostic sonography, exercise science or personal training can help tremendously in securing a sports medicine gig.