Sports Medicine evokes a fun image of working with athletes, being on the sidelines, and watching free games. That’s some of the perks with being a sports medicine doctor.
These doctors practice in the office usually with occasional field work but some also work in the operating room. The salary is good and there’s usually not much call.
Just how much can Sports Medicine doctors make?
Well, Salary.com says the median income is $241,749. But the truth is, it really depends. The main factor in income variance is whether you become a surgical Sports Medicine Doctor versus a non-surgical Sports Medicine Doctor.
Nonsurgical salaries for sports medicine can start out just like any other primary care job with $158k. Then after a couple years of experience, the salary is usually in the $200,000s with maximums of $363,000.
An orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, however, can make $266,000 to start. After a few years of experience, their salary jumps to $479,000 with a maximum reported salary of $762,000!
As I said before, there are four ways to become a sports medicine physician. You would have to do a residency first then a fellowship program. Here are the 4 residencies you could start with :
That’s 3 nonsurgical and 1 surgical. After completion of the residency, you can apply to a sports medicine fellowship. Be aware though that it’s extremely competitive to get a spot.
For orthopedics, there’s 97 residencies offering a sports medicine fellowship. Family medicine and Internal medicine has over 111 programs. PM&R has only 11.
The majority of patients seen in sports medicine are pretty healthy but present with very interesting injuries. Each sport can lead to distinct problems and you can help them get back to the playing field. What more can I say? If you love sports and love helping athletes, you’re going to love this job.