Health Service Categories and Careers


Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) is the medical specialty which focuses on the importance of exercise to improve and maintain health, wellbeing, and quality of life, and to help prevent, treat and manage common, chronic and often serious medical conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, cancers, obesity, mental illness and diabetes. An important part of SEM is the promotion and incorporation of safe and effective exercise and physical activity into the daily lives of all community members, whether healthy or unwell, old or young, or elite sporting professionals. This field of medicine delivers services to peak sporting bodies and teams, as well as the community at large. It collaborates with other medical specialties and allied health practice to provide holistic patient care and improved health outcomes. It is based on knowledge and clinical expertise in Internal Medicine, but further studies injury assessment, management and rehabilitation, emergency and acute care, care of athletes and teams, anti-doping, exercise psychology, nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology and physical activity for specific populations.

Sport and Exercise Medicine Jobs

Sport and Exercise Physicians assess, diagnose, rehabilitate, prevent and treat sports and exercise injuries. They work with high performance sportspeople and with the general population, including those engaged in recreational sport, manual work, or those suffering chronic illness or in recovery after injury or illness. They assess injuries and medical histories, and use pathology and medical imaging investigations, to form a diagnoses and tailor management plans to suit the patient, considering their medical and psychosocial needs. They typically treat sprains and fractures, but also work with athletes to address psychological stressors such as performance pressure and eating disorders. They work on and off field with sports teams and educate athletes on anti-doping protocols and supplement use. They work with people who are suffering from a range of health conditions such as trauma, rheumatic disease, endocrine and metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, or disability, and help them incorporate safe and appropriate levels of physical activity into their daily life to improve their health outcomes. Sport and exercise physicians work in the professional sport industry, in private clinics and hospitals. They provide integrated healthcare to patients in collaboration with other medical specialists and allied health professionals including physiotherapists, nutritionists and orthopaedic surgeons. To pursue a career as a Sport and Exercise Physician, registered doctors in PGY3+ can apply to undertake Specialist Training with the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP), a 4-year program which leads to Fellowship and Specialist Registration with AHPRA.

Registrars (Sport and Exercise Medicine) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree and pre-vocational training (internship and residency/PGY2-3). They have attained general registration with AHPRA and can now undertake specialist/or vocational training positions to broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. They work in a range of primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical, laboratory and acute care settings, in hospitals, private practices and community clinics. Registrars who want to pursue a career in Sport and Exercise Medicine can undertake advanced training with ACSEP. They work under Sport and Exercise Physicians and develop procedural skills, clinical expertise, and valuable work experience.