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Timothy Neal

Athletic health care professionals, team physicians, and athletic trainers have an ethical obligation to safeguard the short- and long-term well-being of the athlete they care for. The potential long-term negative consequences to the student-athlete’s physical, cognitive, and mental health as a result of concussions and their mismanagement is a reality. How the athletic health care professional attends to this top priority of providing optimal health care to the concussed athlete while navigating the mitigating circumstances and influences of nonmedical entities found in competitive athletics is one of the great ethical challenges of present day sports medicine. Effectively navigating the complex challenges faced by athletic health care professionals is as important as the care delivered. Understanding the ethical challenges faced by athletic health care decision makers should be a central focus in providing the optimal care the patient deserves.