Team Physicians are a valuable resource to us all. As athletic trainers we serve under the direction of a licensed MD within operational protocols. They are great allies in our professional dealings with athletes, parents coaches, administrators and others we come in contact with. I have been blessed through the years with some outstanding Team Physicians who have served as both mentors and friends. Dr. Richard Shaara at UF was one of my first along with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Allen. Dr. Shaara was wise & visionary in his approach to sports medicine. He was Innovative in drug testing, general medicine, a mentor to many AT’s and MD’s. Dr. Paul Shirley was my first introduction into orthopedic residents and we have been working together frequently nearly 40 years. We were discussing ACL surgery which once required about 2 and a half hours, two 15 inch incisions, plaster cast immobilization, transforming to a less than a 30 minute procedure with 2-3 small incisions, grafts and decreased healing and rehab time. Dr. Peter Indelicato at UF taught me many valuable lessons through examination, research and his innovations in surgery. He was one of the first to use arthroscopy when it was a visualized process thru a single hand held lens. While in Boston, I experienced a new speciality, Physiatry or physical medicine with Dr. William Fishbaugh, a very experienced MD and former college team physician. Over the past years here in Jacksonville, there have been a number of Orthopedic Surgeons and Family Medicine physicians I’ve been very fortunate to work with. Probably too many to mention and if I left out a name I would probably hear about it. All are wonderful professionals, each with their own special pearls and qualities.
Regardless of your setting, learn all you can and appreciate your Team Physician as they are one of the most valuable participants on your sports medicine team.