The key players in sports health care in the '90s will be physicians, athletic trainers, and physical therapists. The social and economic forces affecting our health care delivery system today must be considered by these professions as they assume their roles in sports health care. Athletic trainers are qualified to treat athletes in any setting but are best used in the traditional environment. Physical therapists should reemphasize the rehabilitation of the sick, infirm, and disabled and should take the lead in providing care for disabled athletes. Physicians must be the leaders in sports health care. They are best prepared to arbitrate the ongoing conflict between athletic trainers and physical therapists and to decide which of these professionals can treat recreational athletes.
Joseph J. Godek is with the Department of Sports Medicine at West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383.