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Sports Physicals for Student Athletes

Sports Physicals for Student Athletes

On Tuesday, July 30, the Washington Sports Medicine Program will be providing pre-participation sports physicals at Newark Memorial High School. The following day, Wednesday, July 31, the sports physicals will be held at Irvington High School in Fremont.

Each day, physicals will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. High school athletes of any sport are eligible to attend. To enhance the efficiency of the process, appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, students can see their on-campus athletic trainer or beginning July 22, contact Washington Hospital’s Director of Off-site Services, Mike Rogers at or 510.818.7320.

“These physicals are required by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), but more importantly, we want to make sure these young athletes are healthy enough to play their sport,” says Rogers, who is the program manager. “Though we’ve had our sports medicine program for several years, for the past six years, we’ve held the physicals at one of the local high schools.” Rogers notes both the quality of the exam and the convenience to the students and their parents. “These exams cover basic screenings, an orthopedic exam and a physical with a sports medicine physician. Feedback we received from community members was that having them at a high school made it easier on students and parents.”

Both the families and the schools benefit. The cost is $20 (cash or check made out to WHHS), and the proceeds are divided among six local high schools to be used for their individual sports medicine programs. Washington Sports Medicine Program is led by Medical Director, Dr. Russell Nord, who is board certified in both orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Certified Athletic Trainers are stationed at each high school and their presence on campus and at sporting events contributes to maintaining the safety of student athletes. “By having someone on-site, an athlete is more inclined to have injuries evaluated earlier. The trainer can determine whether an injury requires further medical attention. Athletes— especially high school students—have a tendency to wait before seeing a physician. This can lead to injury exacerbation and further damage by the time I see them, which often means longer recovery time,” says Dr. Nord.

In addition to physicians and athletic trainers, the Washington Sports Medicine Program is staffed with physical therapists who are experienced in helping injured athletes return to their favorite activities with as little downtime as possible.

What to expect at the exam

Students move from station to station. First, student athletes check in and hand in completed, signed, medical history forms. Next, athletes are evaluated with basic screenings: height, weight, blood pressure and vision. Then an athletic trainer will perform an orthopedic evaluation. Finally, each student will meet privately with a sports medicine physician.

Students should wear comfortable clothing including shorts and short-sleeved shirts. The information forms must be completed in advance, including the signature of a parent or legal guardian. Forms are available online at

For information on the Washington Sports Medicine Program or to find a physician or physical therapist, visit www.whhs/sports.