Sports' Medicine

Quick facts:

Who they Serve Athletes, exercising individuals, and teams… people of all ages
Where they Serve Clinic, sideline, athletic training room, marathon tents, etc
Avg. Starting Salary Wide variation; on average, more than primary discipline given advanced training
Avg Hrs/Week Wide variation depending on practice type (small group, large multi-disciplinary group, orthopedic practice, college team, professional team, etc.)
Residency Req's Complete one of the following 5 residency types: Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or Internal Medicine

What is Sports' Medicine?

  • Primary care sports medicine (PCSM) is a very broad and unique discipline.
  • PCSM began as a subspecialty in 1991.
  • PCSM physicians approach athletes, exercising individuals, and teams in a comprehensive manner caring for their orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychological needs.
  • Residency graduates of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and emergency medicine can apply for a fellowship in PCSM which ranges from 1-2 years.
  • Training is intensive focusing on musculoskeletal medicine and non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine (concussion, acute/chronic illness, nutrition, sports supplements, injury prevention, return to play issues, strength training and conditioning, exercise prescription, and healthy lifestyle promotion).

Narrative by Practicing Sports' Medicine Physician

"I my split time between family medicine, sports medicine, and academics (teaching, research). There is tremendous flexibility and variety with the kinds of practices sports medicine providers may find themselves in one day. My sports medicine clinics are full of athletes of all ages with large numbers of endurance athletes (runners, cyclists, triathletes, etc) and concussed athletes. I also cover the Hershey Bears Hockey Club and Hershey High School and find myself in athletic training rooms or at games weekly depending on the time of year."

                                                                      ~ Dr. Matthew Silvis

What should I do if I'm interested in Sports' Medicine?

  • 3rd and 4th year rotations to consider:
    • At Penn State Hershey, we offer a 4th year elective rotation in sports medicine, PCMED 749.
    • Our State College affiliate site also offers a sports medicine elective, PCMED 748. There is also an interesting advanced MSK anatomy course for 4th years, MSK 743,that heavily involves sports medicine.
    • There is an elective in sports orthopedics offered through the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation as well. We have 5 PCSM providers in family medicine (Drs. Silvis, Wren, Pujalte, Jacobs, and Onks) and 3 sports orthopedic providers (Drs. Black, Lynch, and Gallo). Sports medicine is really a specialty that intersects with a variety of other health care providers including primary care providers, orthopedic subspecialties, MSK radiologists, athletic trainers, and sports physical therapists.
  • Research opportunities to consider – sports medicine research with a primary care or orthopedic sports medicine provider

Residency & Fellowship Requirements

  • Step 1 & 2 scores to strive for – matching in fellowship is competitive; best to match in a strong residency to be competitive for fellowship match.


  • Additional application requirements - I think residencies with a primary care sports medicine fellowship and/or faculty involved in sports medicine provides an edge for residents seeking fellowship. This not only helps you be more competitive when you apply for fellowship (via experiences), but also helps solidify your interest in pursuing extra training.
  • Things that could give you an edge – publications, national/regional presentation (podium, poster), involvement in AMSSM or ACSM (see below), involvement in the sports medicine interest group at Penn State COM.

Once in Residency

  •  Length: complete one of the following 5 residency types: 
    • Family Medicine
    • Pediatrics
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Physical Medicine
    • Rehabilitation, Internal Medicine. 
These programs are typically 3 years each. The PCSM fellowship is typically one year in duration (some programs have a second year with an opportunity for an MPH).
  • Tips for getting a fellowship: Similar to medical students applying for residency: 
    • National/regional presentation (podium, poster)
    • Involvement in AMSSM or ACSM (see below). 
    • Additionally, residents need to demonstrate commitment to sports medicine by covering events, especially in a longitudinal fashion (continuity; i.e. working with the same high school football team throughout residency).

Additional Resources for Sports' Medicine

Doctors to Contact

PCSM Providers in Family Medicine                   Email
Dr. Matthew Silvis
Dr. Andrew Wren
Dr. Bret Jacobs
Dr. George Pujalte
Dr. Cayce Onks


Sports Orthopaedic Providers                  Email
Dr. Kevin Black
Dr. Scott Lynch
Dr. Robert Gallo



Sports Medicine Newsletters

Sports Medicine Newsletter Winter 2013
Adobe Acrobat Document 867.9 KB
Sports Medicine Newsletter Summer 2012
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB

*Page provided by Elizabeth (Bush) Meck*

Become a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians - it's free and easy!  Visit the AAFP website and sign up!