How does a physician become an NFL team physician?
Team physicians are trained in Orthopaedic Surgery, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine. Many have also completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine. This means the physician has completed four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, four to five years of residency, and one year of fellowship training. Most NFL team physicians have previous experience as a team physician at the high school and/or college level.
Each member of the NFL team’s medical staff is chosen by the team’s front office.
As required by the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), all Head Team Physicians (orthopedic and medicine) and medicine physicians (internal medicine, family medicine or emergency medicine) joining as a Team Physician after 2011 must be Board Certified in Sports Medicine.
Many team physicians also serve as a team physician for other major sports teams (NHL, MLB, NBA) in their cities.