Sports Physicians are specialists in the field of sports and exercise medicine, recognised by the New Zealand Medical Council, ACC and most insurance companies. This status can only be achieved by obtaining a Fellowship in the Australasian College of Sports Physicians. Currently there are 26 Sports Physicians in New Zealand. Our organisation has four Sports Physicians and two registrars. Registrars are fully qualified doctors who are part way through the four year advanced training programme.
As with any specialists, Sports Physicians can only see patients who have been referred by other health practitioners. Usually this will be your general practitioner, accident and medical centre doctor, or physiotherapist. However podiatrists, chiropractors, osteopaths, nurse practitioners, and other specialists can also provide referrals. If you do not have a referral then you may see one of the Registrars, for either an ACC injury or a non accident related injury.
The Physician will, through careful examination and appropriate investigations, diagnose your injury, explain the various treatment options available to you and manage your rehabilitation phase. In some cases they will need to refer you on to an allied health professional.
Sports Physicians are also trained to optimise the management of medical conditions that impact on exercise. Examples of these are diabetes, cardiac problems and asthma.