Sports and Exercise Medicine
Sports Medicine is a speciality recognised in 2005, that involves the care of patients participating in sports and exercise.
The Royal Society of Medicine offers a range of events for different medical specialties, including Sports and Exercise Medicine – see a full list on our Events page>>
Sports Medicine Careers
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme and will need to complete one of three ST1-2 training pathways before they can apply for higher specialist training:
Job Progression as a Sports and Exercise Physician
The full training programme for Sport and Exercise Medicine takes at least six years to complete. Higher speciality training starts at ST3, last for four years, and requires applicants to have the full Royal College of Physicians membership before applying.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Sports and Exercise Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Sports Medicine Careers
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST3 was 2.8 in the first round, with 33 applications for 12 NTN posts, with 67% of applicants applying for Sports and Exercise Medicine only. In the second round, the competition ratio was 6.0, with 6 applications for 1 NTN posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 7 consultants,
- 1 speciality doctor, and
- 25 speciality registrars.
Salaries in Sports and Exercise
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of a Sports and Exercise Physician
Sports and exercise physicians work in a variety of settings – from running general outpatient clinics and specialist clinics, such as those used for performing image-guided interventional procedures, to providing immediate care to elite sportspeople. Specialists working in research may also be involved in education and overseeing pilot studies on the effectiveness of Sport and Exercise Medicine.
Sports and exercise physicians working on a full time NHS contract would fulfil standard contractual hours, while those in private organisations, national governing bodies, or professional sports organisations, working patterns vary. Because of the need to attend sporting events, out-of-hours work may also be necessary.