The team physician occupies an important position in the public consciousness. News reports about injuries to specific players on sports teams inevitably include interviews with or references to the team physician. In fact, sports physicians—and then team physicians—have enjoyed a high-profile role throughout history.

Historical Perspective

Historians note that battle physicians in ancient times were deemed a necessity. Galen (131201 CE), a Roman physician of Greek origin, is considered by many to be the epitome of sports medicine practitioners. His voluminous writings reveal that he performed anatomical ...

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