The Team Approach to Sports Medicine: a Global Perspective

Por: M. A. Verel.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Sports medicine is generally defined as a collaboration of surgical and non-surgical sub-specialties addressing healthcare issues surrounding athletes.  Sportsmedicine encompasses sports injuries and performance. This discipline has grown to include orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, nutrition specialists, endocrinologists, sports physiotherapists and athletic therapists/trainers.


Global inquiries pertaining to the numerous and varied allied health professionals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics/Paralympics were filtered through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) located in Dallas, Texas, USA. The extensive inquires pertained to professional preparation of the varied allied medical colleagues’ present with their national delegations.  Professions in this ongoing dialogue included Sport Physiotherapists, Biokinethethists, Naprapaths, Massage Therapists, Athletic Trainers and Athletic Therapists. With their constant interaction at the Olympic games, the discussions focused on ‘what is the current status of atheltic therapy (as an inclusive term) education in the world’.


To address this query and develop professional dialogue with international colleagues, a global initiative of seven national sportsmedicne organizations developed the World Federation of Atheltic Traning and Therapy in 1997.  Today the WFATT is a consortium of national organizations of healthcare professionals in the field pf sport, exercise, injury/illness prevention and treatment. The primary objective on the WFATT is to promote the highest quality of health care and functional activity through the collaboration efforts of its members.  This session will address the progress of this organization that has established a global forum for the exchange of non-binding information on health care for active populations. This address includes academic preparation and professional practice via meetings, symposiums and communication venues. WFATT promotes the development of international and domestic relationships with sport, health care and governing bodies. Discussion will expand further upon exchange opportunities with health professionals in this broad sportsmedicine discipline.

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