Team Physicians, Sports Medicine, and the Law: An Update

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Clinics in Sports Law Medicine



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The medicolegal issue that many physicians and attorneys think about often is malpractice liability. In the sports context, however, this issue is not always the most legally significant. Although the work of team physicians and the practice of sports medicine have expanded, there are few reported cases of malpractice liability. Moreover, tort law applied to sports medicine remains largely unchanged. The same negligence standard that apply to the practice of medicine are generally used to evaluate medical care provided to athletes within a sports setting. Thus, from the medical malpractice standpoint, acting as a team physician or sports medicine specialist has no greater legal significance than it did more than a decade ago.

Notably, however, state legislatures have identified the practice of sports medicine and the work of team physicians as presenting important policy issues[...]