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Meet Sports Medicine Expert Dr. Carlo Guadagno

Carlo Guadagno _275Dr. Carlo Guadagno teaches on National University's Florida campus, and brings special insight and opportunities to DC students interested in sports medicine.

For example, he was the past president for the Council on Sports Injuries, Rehabilitation and Physical Fitness of the FCA, director of the ACA Sports Injury Council, and was an official chiropractic sports physician for the Pan American Games. (He worked at the Pan American Games on behalf of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic, or FICS, along with NUHS colleague Dr. Timothy Stark). In 2011 he was named "Sports Chiropractor of the Year." He is currently the ACA delegate for the south region of Florida.

Originally from Rhode Island, Dr. Guadagno has lived in Miami since 1976. He has also lived in Colombia, Venezuela, and Italy.  With an international background and extensive resume in sports chiropractic, he brings NUHS students not only hands-on sports medicine training, but insight as to how to find opportunities both locally and internationally to gain sports medicine experience.

He decided to pursue a career in chiropractic medicine after receiving successful treatment for a wrestling injury. ""In undergrad at the University of Miami, I was a pre-med student, so I always knew I wanted to help people," he says. "Chiropractic medicine seemed to jibe with me. Later, during my chiropractic education, I had the opportunity to intern alongside several high profile sports medicine DCs and began that specialty."

Other highlights of his sports medicine career include serving on the medical staff for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Colombia, working at the National Masters Powerlifting Championships, and serving as the medical director for AVP Pro Beach Volleyball.

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Dr. Guadagno with Team USA Bobsledders

His most memorable sports medicine experiences were working as a sports physician for the Track and Field Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon in 2008, and serving as chiropractic physician for the NCAA Division I FIU Golden Panthers football team at Florida International University.

At National University, Dr. Guadagno teaches advanced technique, physiotherapy, comparative technique, jurisprudence and ethics, and will also be teaching an extracurricular class in medical Spanish.

"Although I'm teaching, I also love the learning that I gain, from it," he says. "It's a new challenge in my life after practicing for 24 years."

What's Dr. Guadagno's advice for DC students who want to start their own career in chiropractic sports medicine?

"You should work to refine your sports medicine skills. Get some post-graduate training, starting with a CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician), so when you see that athlete with a sports condition you'll know how to treat it. Also, there's a lot of emergency medicine involved in sports, and you'll be working alongside professionals from other specialties," he says. "That's why training in primary care is important, as well as feeling comfortable in an integrative medicine environment.  Our students at National have these strengths going for them."

"Once you have your tools, you want to be involved and affiliated with a variety of different groups. You start by taking baby steps. Everybody wants to shoot for the top right off the bat, but what's actually going to help you in practice is starting from the little leagues and the clubs, working your way up to the high schools in your community. These organizations are very understaffed, and if you provide some volunteer work, you're going to get your name out there. Hopefully, that can turn into a professional sports medicine position at some point. I was involved and volunteered endlessly. But all those years of volunteering and networking opened doors for me."

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Entrance to Olympic Training Center

Dr. Guadagno has his own sports medicine goals for the future: "The ultimate goal of anybody in sports chiropractic is to represent Team USA," he says. "There are several tiers of volunteer events to qualify for in order to reach that goal." Toward that end, Dr. Guadagno recently completed a rotation at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid, New York, during the summer break. He hopes to follow in the successful steps of NUHS' Dr. David Parish, who was recently chosen to provide medical care at the 2012 Paralympics in London, after previously volunteering at several tiered events through Team USA.

"I'm also planning to continue my education, eventually getting a diplomate and hopefully will receive my International Chiropactic Sport Science Diploma next year through FICS." NUHS colleague Timothy Stark coordinates FICS' education program. FICS is another organization that provides chiropractic sports medicine physicians the opportunity to volunteer at national, international and Olympic events.

Meanwhile, Dr. Guadagno says, "I am enjoying the camaraderie of my NUHS colleagues and the enthusiasm of my students. We are ready for more! I'm especially looking forward to our new clinic opening. We have plenty of resources and facilities to serve more students and to educate more future doctors here."

What's his advice for choosing the right chiropractic school? "Choose a school that's going to prepare you well for the future in our profession and not just look at the history of our profession. National offers that."

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