Jock Doc

College sophomore: How do I become a sports medicine physician?

Q: I am college sophomore and very interested in becoming a sports medicine physician. What do I have to do to accomplish my goal and what advice can you give me?

A: I recommend you meet with your college adviser to make certain you complete the courses needed for admission to medical school. When applying to medical school, the admissions committee will focus on your GPA, MCAT scores, research you have done, your exposure to medicine, and how dedicated you are to becoming a doctor.

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Dr. Harlan Selesnick

During the four years you are in medical school, you will be exposed to many different areas of medicine. If you still have a passion for sports medicine at that point, there are two career paths that you could follow. Most people will do an orthopedic surgery residency for five years followed by a one year sports medicine fellowship.

If you are not interested in surgery, than you would do a family practice residency for three or four years followed by a primary care sports medicine fellowship for another year of training. I know it sounds like a long time and a lot of work but for me, being a sports medicine physician, is very exciting and rewarding. Good luck.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to