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Medical Providers and Pro Sports

"Head Team Physician." That has a nice ring to it, and for some the title is a career goal. In 2021, the authors of Training Background and Characteristics of NFL, MLB and NBA Team Physicians took on the task of identifying the head orthopedic HTP and primary care HTP for every team in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football League.

How long do I have to wait?


HTPs are, on average, 55.4 years old with the mean time from fellowship completion to their first role with the team being 9.8 years. The years from fellowship to HTP varied significantly by sport:

  • 7.2 years for baseball

  • 10 years for football

  • 11.7 years for basketball

If you want this job, get a fellowship!


The authors also identified 94 orthopaedic HTPs and 87 primary care HTPs. Almost all orthopaedic HTPs were fellowship trained, as compared with two-thirds of primary care HTPs. The fellowship programs producing the largest number of current HTPs were the Hospital for Special Surgery, the American Sports Medicine Institute, and the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

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