Primary care physicians are often responsible for the care of people involved in sporting and exercise activities at various competitive levels. Issues confronting the athlete and their primary care physician are the potentially serious risks, responsibilities and challenges facing those involved with sport and physical activity.
The aim of this article is to address three of the most important challenges currently facing the athlete and primary care physician caring for athletes. The challenges are to recognise the potential risks to the athlete of sustaining a sudden cardiac arrest, sports-related concussion or doping violation in sport, as each of these have serious implications for life, wellbeing, performance and/or reputation. Education and risk mitigation are also essential components of care that will be addressed.
The primary care physician caring for athletes has a pivotal role in ensuring appropriate screening, education and ongoing surveillance to minimise the potentially serious risks facing those involved with physical activity.