1. Visit this thread to beta-test StudySchedule.org. StudySchedule is a free nonprofit site that builds dynamic MCAT study schedules unique for your needs and timeline.
  2. It’s Test Prep Week! Visit the Test Prep Forums to learn about test prep products and services, ask questions in test-related AMA threads, take advantage of exclusive SDN member discounts, and enter to win free stuff!
Hey, Guest, do you know how much will it cost you to apply to medical school? Check out SDN's Medical School Application Cost Calculator and plan your budget.
Whether you’re preparing for the USMLE, COMLEX, NBDE or APMLE, Test Prep Week Exhibitors can help you ace your boards!

Radiology specialty and sports specialty?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by motu, May 19, 2017.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. motu


    Mar 11, 2017
    Incoming MS1 (in 1 month) here. While I'm open to all areas, I'm particularly interested in radiology, sports medicine, and neurosurgery.

    1. I'm a pretty social person, and I would like to have patient interaction in the future when I'm a physician. However, I am very interested in radiology. I heard that this is a "lifestyle" specialty with little patient interaction in the future. Thoughts? What kind of subspecialties are there, and is there a radiological subspecialty that has more patient interaction?

    2. Being a former student-athlete, I'm also interested in sports medicine. I don't think this is a specialty though right? Is it basically ortho applied only on athletes? What are some of the fields I can get into when focusing on sports medicine, and can it be done through radiology/neurosurgery?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Frogger27


    Aug 2, 2016
    1. Go over to the radiology board and ask them if radiology is a lifestyle specialty. You'll get burnt. Interventional Radiology has a lot more patient interaction than DR. Not too sure about specific subspecialties. Go to the radiology subforum.

    2. Sports medicine is a specialty. You can get to it by fellowship through family medicine or internal medicine I believe PM&R as well (correct me if I am wrong).
    AcademicNeurosurgery likes this.
  4. Doctor-S

    Doctor-S Professor/Attending (Female) Lifetime Donor

    Jun 9, 2016
    Rocket Scientist
    If you want patient contact and more patient interaction, you can certainly get it by choosing to interact with patients (e.g., Interventional Radiology).

    Here is a list of the current specialties and subspecialties, as identified by the American Board of Radiology.

    1. Radiology Specialties:

    * Diagnostic Radiology (less patient interaction)
    * Interventional Radiology (more patient interaction than diagnostic radiology)
    * Radiation Oncology (more patient interaction)

    2. Radiology Subspecialties:

    * Hospice and Palliative Medicine
    * Neuroradiology
    * Nuclear Radiology
    * Pain Medicine
    * Pediatric Radiology (more patient interaction)
    * Vascular and Interventional Radiology

    On the other hand, if you want to practice sports medicine, you can consider the following training and certifications (see below).

    3. Certifications in Sports Medicine:

    Here are the various certifications in sports medicine. As of today, none are available through radiology or neurosurgery.

    1. American Board of Family Medicine.

    Offers a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine from ABFM, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship, etc.

    The American Board of Family Medicine offers a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Sports Medicine. This CAQ is designed to recognize excellence among those Diplomates whose practices emphasize expertise in the Sports Medicine field. The CAQ in Sports Medicine is offered twice annually in conjunction with the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    2. American Board of Pediatrics.

    Offers a certificate in sports medicine from ABP, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship, etc.

    The American Board of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Emergency Medicine, offers a certificate in Sports Medicine .... a candidate for sports medicine certification must have achieved initial certification in general pediatrics and continue to maintain general pediatrics certification in order to take a sports medicine certifying examination.

    3. American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

    Offers a Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopedic Sports Medicine from ABOS, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship, etc.

    Applicants must have completed a one year ACGME accredited fellowship in orthopaedic sports medicine. In addition, a one year case list must be submitted of at least 115 operative cases and 10 non-operative cases. Seventy five of the 115 operative cases must involve arthroscopy as a component of the procedure.

    4. American Board of Internal Medicine.

    Offers a sports medicine certification, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship, etc.

    Candidates must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of one year in an emergency medicine, family practice or pediatrics sports medicine fellowship program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

    5. American Board of Emergency Medicine.

    Offers a sports medicine certification, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship.

    Certification in the subspecialty of Sports Medicine is available to diplomates of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine, who fulfill the eligibility criteria and pass the subspecialty examination. ABEM co-sponsors this subspecialty with the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    6. American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    Offers a subspecialty certification in sports medicine from ABPMR, following successful completion of ACGME accredited sports medicine fellowship, etc.

    Because sports medicine is recognized as an interdisciplinary specialty, the ABPMR cosponsors subspecialty certification in sports medicine along with the American Board of Family Medicine and three other boards. This means that the ABPMR credentials and issues sports medicine subspecialty certificates for ABPMR diplomates, but the ABFM is responsible for examination development, administration, scoring, and analysis.
  5. AcademicNeurosurgery


    Apr 1, 2017
    The specialties you mentioned are significantly different on a day-to-day basis. You will find what's right for you once you get some exposure to those fields. Also, random piece of advice to keep things in perspective - the medical school application process forces us to justify all of our interests with previous life experiences (e.g. I was hospitalized so I want to be a physician, grandma had an MI so I want to be a cardiologist, relative had cancer so I want to be an oncologist, I had a pimple once so I want to be a dermatologist, etc). This doesn't really hold true for residency applications so it is important to remember that you don't have to be interested in sports medicine just because you were a student-athlete. You are allowed to go into neurosurgery just because you love it even though you may not have any prior life experience related to neurosurgery. One of my good friends was a D-I athlete in undergrad and always talked about he wanted to go into sports medicine because he used to play a sport. As it turns out, he found a specialty he loves that doesn't lend itself to sports medicine and the sport he enjoys is now a hobby. You may genuinely be interested in and enjoy sports medicine, but just wanted to give you something to think about.

    For neurosurgery, you can be involved in sports medicine without any additional training. A neurosurgeon I know is the team neurosurgeon for an NFL team and did not do any sports-related training. Apparently, he actually takes a pay cut to work with the team but he loves football and enjoys working with the athletes. Also, NFL team neurosurgeons are generally spine surgeons but that decision is far, far away for you.
    numbersloth, motu and Gurby like this.
  6. DrfluffyMD


    Dec 15, 2016
    Radiology is not a good choice if you want both patient interaction and sports medicine.

    Most musculoskeletal theraputic interventions are done by orthopods and sports medicine people, not radiologists
  7. motu


    Mar 11, 2017
    Okay I see.. So sports medicine is not a discipline like for example radiology or neurology - but its something you can specialize in by doing an extra year of fellowship/certification. Thanks for all your info, especially for the sports medicine certifications!!

    Interventional and Oncology is pretty interesting to me and I like that they have more patient interaction. Do you know how pediatric radiology and neuroradiology would compare?
  8. Doctor-S

    Doctor-S Professor/Attending (Female) Lifetime Donor

    Jun 9, 2016
    Rocket Scientist
    @motu ... that is correct: sports medicine is not a discipline like orthopedic surgery, dermatology, radiology or neurology.
    As a medical student, you will explore and experience different specialties in medicine - especially during your clinical rotations. If you have extra time (and without jeopardizing your studies), you're free to shadow different specialists as a medical student (e.g., IR, oncology, neuroradiology and pediatric radiology). In so doing, you will have an opportunity to compare-and-contrast different specialties.

    The information set forth below may also be responsive to your question.

    Pediatric Radiology:

    A specialist in pediatric radiology uses imaging and interventional procedures related to the diagnosis, care, and management of congenital abnormalities (those present at birth) and diseases particular to infants and children. All are devoted to the care of children, utilizing advanced equipment to assist pediatricians in determining the best way in which to assess a specific problem with attention to minimizing radiation dose. A pediatric radiologist also treats diseases that begin in childhood and can cause impairments in adulthood. Unlike neuroradiologists, pediatric radiologists generally work with patients who are generally free from degenerative changes and self-inflicted ailments. Most pediatric radiologists work in AMCs and large children's hospitals. Two additional years - one year of a fellowship and one year of practice or additional approved training - are required.


    A specialist in neuroradiology diagnoses and treats disorders of the brain, sinuses, spine, spinal cord, neck, and the central nervous system, such as aging and degenerative diseases, seizure disorders, cancer, stroke, cerebrovascular diseases, and trauma. Imaging commonly used in neuroradiology includes angiography, myelography, interventional techniques, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Minimally invasive treatments for many neurological disorders, such as brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and compression fractures of the spine are mainly performed by neuroradiologists, many of whom have training in these special interventions. Two additional years - one year of a fellowship and one year of practice or additional approved training - are required.
  9. BeddingfieldMD

    BeddingfieldMD Anesthesiologist, Author Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Madison, WI
    Radiology is currently and will continue to be a specialty that has minimal interaction with patients. You can do a fellowship after radiology and go into interventional radiology, but even that has nowhere near the level of contact with patients that you would in sports medicine or family practice, for example. For the most part, radiologists are like pathologists in that they spend more time communicating with other physicians than they do with patients. Certainly not a bad field by any means. But probably not the best one to choose if your primary focus is spending maximal amount of time interacting with patients--and not just images of their innards.

    Sports medicine is indeed a bona fide specialty--a subspecialty of family medicine, to be precise. A good way to think of it is kind of like the non-surgical version of orthopedic surgery. Sports medicine physicians frequently work at clinics or even sports/orthopedic facilities, focusing on patients with sports injuries that are not surgical candidates and are better treated with medication and physical therapy. They also sometimes follow patients who have undergone orthopedic procedures after the surgical portion of their treatment is complete. I know one guy who did a sports medicine fellowship and is now one of the team docs for an NFL team.

    Oh, and to answer your final question, you would not go into the field of sports medicine through radiology or neurosurgery. You can do a fellowship after radiology in musculoskeletal radiology, in which you would obviously focus on more sport-related injuries, reading joint MRIs and the like. But it's still basically radiology, and you're not going to be regularly working with patients directly prescribing steroids or PT regimens.

    Finally, neurosurgery doesn't tend to have much to do with sports medicine or athletes at all. It can, mind you, but there really isn't any specific path from a neurosurgery residency that would allow you to suspecialize and work exclusively with athletes. The closest thing would be if you focused on doing spine surgery for people with back pain and radicular pain that prevented them from playing sports. But that's the bulk of neurosurgery anyhow--though most patients are more sedentary.

    Hope that clears things up some for you! To be honest, based on what little you've said in your original post, it sounds like sports medicine or perhaps orthopedic surgery would be good fit for you. But as I said, you may change your mind as you traverse the medical training process.

    Good luck!
    mistafab likes this.

Share This Page