The Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, PA., offers a wealth of broad-based clinical experiences that provide an excellent foundation for a career in sports medicine. We are sponsored by the Family Medicine Residency Program at Saint Vincent Hospital, a part of Allegheny Health Network.
Our program plays a vital role in both the educational and clinical missions of Saint Vincent Hospital. You will find a friendly, supportive, and collegiate atmosphere that encourages you to make the most of your fellowship experience.
The longitudinal structure optimizes continuity of care. The fellow can be present through the entire course of an injury or problem. The fellow is part of the initial diagnostic evaluation, helps to formulate a treatment plan, and can be present for follow-up visits to assess response to the initial treatment plan and can be part of return-to-play decisions.
This structure optimizes working relationships with the faculty. The fellow can see patients with the same faculty members on a weekly basis. This allows the fellow and faculty members to develop close working relationships, which allows the faculty a better chance to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the fellows. The regular interaction offers the faculty the opportunity to provide individualized instruction to fellows to improve their skills during the course of their fellowship. The increased trust that comes from this relationship also enables the fellow to have greater participation in clinical decision-making over the course of his or her training.
A longitudinal structure also allows us to take advantage of multiple clinical teaching sites. Each of these sites provides exposure to a different mix of patients but all provide invaluable clinical experience. Fellows spend time every week at the following locations:
Saint Vincent Sports Medicine
Penn State Behrend training room
Assigned high school training room
Sports Medicine Clinic at the Family Medicine Residency Program
This experience allows the fellow to feel at home working in each of these sites while offering variety in what the fellow sees on a daily basis. The fellows receive exposure to competitive college athletes, high school athletes, active wellness-minded adults, and patients with common orthopedic conditions seen in a primary care practice.
There are also opportunities to work in more acute care settings. The fellows' own continuity clinic occurs at Penn State Behrend’s student health office. The student health setting offers the fellows the opportunity to further develop their ability to diagnose and treat acute medical and musculoskeletal problems typically seen in a primary care office. Supervision is provided by Sports Medicine Fellowship faculty and a family medicine specialist from our multi-specialty group practice.
The fellows work with orthopaedic surgeons in a one-on-one setting in the college training rooms, offering exposure to a different diagnostic and treatment approach. They also rotate with an orthopaedic surgeon on a regular basis throughout the year. This longitudinal interaction with orthopaedic surgeons permits the fellow the opportunity to follow patients he or she may refer to an orthopaedic surgeon for an office visit and into the OR.
Fellows can also participate in staffing the hospital's Ortho Returns Clinic, where patient seen overnight in the Saint Vincent Hospital Emergency Department for musculoskeletal injuries are brought back to the Emergency Department for re-evaluation and possible further intervention. The fellows get hands-on experience with casting and injury management.
Ultrasound is one of the tools utilized in the clinical setting and didactic sessions at Saint Vincent. In the clinical setting, the fellow learns to incorporate ultrasound as part of an office visit, using it to aid in diagnosing the musculoskeletal injury as well as performing guided joint injections. It is also used in didactic sessions that focus on anatomy.
Other Specialty Opportunities
While the foundation of our curriculum is longitudinal experience, if fellows are interested in a concentrated experience in a specific area or would like additional exposure to associated specialties, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, or physical therapy, special arrangements can be made to accommodate individual interests.
Program Director: Laura McIntosh MD