FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Student-athletes across the region now have access to more thorough pre-participation physicals through a collaboration between Parkview Sports Medicine and Parkview Physicians Group.
Both PSM and PPG encourage student-athletes playing middle and high school sports to see a family doctor or primary care physician to receive a more in-depth, personalized physical exam ahead of the upcoming sports year.
“Pre-participation exams were never meant to replace well-child checks that are done in primary care offices,” Dr. Joseph Mattox, Parkview Sports Medicine Medical Director, says. “Switching the pre-participation exams out of the gymnasium and back into the doctor’s office will significantly improve the quality of the exam.”
Dr. Mattox worked closely with Dr. Duane Hougendobler, Parkview Regional Clinical Medical Director for Pediatrics to find a more efficient exam that evaluates physical, emotional, social aspects of student-athletes’ development.
“We want to provide the best level of care we can,” Dr. Hougendobler, a 35-year pediatrician says. “I feel much more confident that the athletes my crew examines and the family practice docs examine are getting fantastic care.”
Through the collaboration to bring physicals back into clinics and offices, young athletes can expect to be better taken care of, more availability from physicians and even financial assistance if needed, Hougendobler adds.
“Family practice doctors are able to do a much more thorough exam, and perhaps catch some things that athletic trainers at the school can work on preventatively,” Candice Dunkin, MS, LAT, ATC, Parkview Sports Medicine Athletic Trainer Manager, says. Parkview Sports Medicine, the region’s largest integrated sport medicine team, partners with 25 high schools in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio to help student athletes recover from injury to improve their performance.
“Being able to document in the same system that physicians use, they’re able to see that full year of encounters athletes have had with the athletic trainer; and therefore, can ask more specific questions if they see a trend,” Dunkin adds.
In Indiana, the IHSAA requires a pre-participation physical exam for all students between April 1 and the first official practice of the season. In Ohio, the required Preparticipation Evaluation is valid for a calendar year.