Primary Article

Professional Personnel in Health Care Among Secondary School Athletics in Alabama

Authors: MICHAEL I. CULPEPPER EdD, KURT M.W. NIEMANN MD

Abstract

ABSTRACT: To ascertain the use of professional personnel in health care among secondary school athletics in Alabama, a survey was sent to all high schools in the state. Smaller schools (classified 1A) are located an average of 10.8 miles from the nearest medical facility, while for larger schools (classified 4A) the average is 3.2 miles. Overall, 55% have a team physician; primary care physicians represent 65.8% and orthopedists 13%. Only 40% of the team physicians conduct preseason physical examinations for the boys and 25% for the girls. Also, 65% of all the schools reported that a physician was not readily available for practice and games for boys or girls teams. Almost 90% of the 4A schools reported that a physician lives in the community, compared to 30% for the 1A schools. On this survey, a physician or athletic trainer outranked a medical facility or training room as being most important to their athletic program, suggesting that the greatest need in health care among high schools in Alabama is the presence of personnel trained in athletic injuries.

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References