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Sports Physicians & Sports Doctors

Sports Physicians & Sports Doctors

Last updated: 4 December 2017

There are two types of sports medicine practitioners in Australia; sports physicians and sports doctors. They both require different qualifications to practice.

What is a sports physician?

  • The title 'sports physician' is reserved for Fellows of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSEP)
  • A sports physician is a medical practitioner who has gained specialist standard qualifications in sport and exercise medicine (SEM) 
  • Holds the qualification of ACSEP. The post-nominal that identifies this qualification is FACSP.

What is a sports doctor?

  • The term 'sports medicine practitioner' (or 'sports doctor') is used for all doctors with a qualification in sports, such as Master of Sports Medicine, Diploma of Sports Medicine, and/or interest in sports medicine.
  • They are not Fellows of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians
  • A 'sports doctor' is a medical practitioner with recognised medical qualification and a commitment to sports medicine. 
  • Sports doctors are usually a member of Sports Medicine Australia and a member of the Sports Doctors Association.

Sports medicine qualifications in Australia

Sports medicine post-graduate qualifications in Australia

  • M Sp Med - Masters in Sports Medicine
  • Dip SEM - Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine
  • GradDip SEM -Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine
  • GradCert SEM -Graduate Certificate in Sports and Exercise Medicine
    • Many courses available in Australia and overseas e.g. Queensland

Australian colleges, associations and societies

Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP)

  • Formerly AustralianCollege of Sports Physicians.
  • The professional body representing sports physicians in both Australia and New Zealand. It conducts an annual scientific conference, produces a scientific journal and is involved in both training and assessment of sports physicians.
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine was recognised by the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing as a medical specialty in May 2007. The ACSP is now seeking accreditation as the approved provider of training and assessment in this discipline. This process is expected to be complete by the end of 2009.
  • ACSP conducts the only specialist level clinical training program in sports medicine and sport and exercise medicine in Australasia. The training program culminates in the award of a Fellowship in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Sports Doctors Australia

  • Professional society in sports medicine for medical practitioners.
  • Membership is open to all medical practitioners with a commitment to sports medicine either within or outside Australia
  • SDrA is an affiliated discipline group of Sports Medicine Australia (SMA)
  • Provides continuing medical education in Sports Medicine in Australia

Sports Medicine Australia

Australian Sports Medicine Federation [ASMF]

  • The Order of A.S.M.F Fellows' was established in 1984.
  • The Fellows' (FASMF) are an 'elite group' within Sports Medicine Australia (SMA).
  • ASMF Fellows' have contributed by being a full member for seven years, attending Australian and international conferences, having research published in national or international publications, higher tertiary qualifications, assisting in the administration of some SMA projects and lecturing at workshops.

Useful Links - Australia

Useful links - international

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.


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