OrthoVirginia Blog

What Qualifies Us As Sports Medicine Physicians?

By: John R. Prahinski, MD

Many individuals call themselves sports medicine specialists. Our physicians are uniquely qualified to evaluate and treat injuries of the musculoskeletal system.  They have years of education and carry certification from credentialing bodies signifying their competence and education.

What training does my Orthopaedic Sports Medicine doctor have?

An orthopaedic sports medicine physician is an individual who has completed an undergraduate college degree usually in four years.

They then complete medical school and earn a medical degree after four years.

Following medical school, they then complete a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery which typically takes five years.

Some physicians will complete a fellowship for an additional year of training in sports medicine.    
Many of OrthoVirginia’s doctors have completed 10 YEARS of additional education after college to provide the best care for you and your family.               

How do you know you have a well-trained sports medicine doctor?

Our surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. This means they have passed a written test on the field of Orthopaedic Surgery. The second part of obtaining board certification requires a review of all surgeries a candidate performs for 6 months. This is followed by an oral examination based on the care provided for those patients. Some of our younger doctors are still completing their board certification which takes up to 3 years after residency.

Many of our orthopaedic surgeons hold a Certificate of Added Qualification(CAQ) from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in Sports Medicine. This requires passing yet another exam on the intricacies of Sports Medicine, followed by a review of a case list demonstrating a practice focused on Sports Medicine.
After all of that, the doctors must participate in a process called Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to demonstrate continuing education in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and pass a written or oral exam every 10 years.

This process ensures the excellence of our surgeons.

About the author:

Dr. John Prahinski completed his undergraduate degree and medical school at the University of Virginia. Following medical school, he completed an Orthopaedic Residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Prahinski is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. Outside of the clinic, Dr. Prahinski gives back to the Lynchburg community by serving as the Team Orthopaedic Surgeon for Liberty University.