Treating athletes and practicing sports medicine is a dream of many aspiring DC students at National University of Health Sciences. Recently, several interns had unique opportunities to do just that, thanks to efforts by their faculty clinicians who are also sports medicine experts.
Several National DC interns, accompanied by their clinician, Manuel Duarte, DC, examined 71 new recruits for the Blackhawks’ hockey organization at Chicago’s United Center. They performed vitals, EKGs, spirometry, urinalysis, and other lab work. Since NUHS interns are trained in all of these procedures, they were well qualified to be part of the integrative medical team responsible for examining the prospective players.
The interns worked alongside professional athletic trainers who were conducting performance studies, as well as an MD and a cardiologist. The examinations took place in the Blackhawks’ training room, and afterwards the interns enjoyed lunch and a tour of the locker room and training facility led by the Blackhawks’ head trainer.
“Being a sports medicine physician, I’ve worked with pro teams in the past,” says Dr. Duarte, who has also earned diplomates from the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics and the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.
NUHS’ Thomas Solecki, DC, invites several interns to accompany him during regular visits to Northwestern and DePaul universities, where he is a team physician for the schools’ athletic teams. There, interns observe and assist Dr. Solecki in treating elite collegiate athletes.
“I’ve been a team physician for Northwestern for 10 years, and DePaul for two years,” says Solecki who is not only a DC but also a certified chiropractic sports physician with a diplomate from the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. Dr. Solecki is also certified as a corrective exercise specialist and performance enhancement specialist.
All of the interns report that they especially appreciate traveling to Northwestern and DePaul, because the patient population is so different from the client base of the University’s clinic. Another unique advantage is the experience the interns gain in working on a team of multi-disciplinary professionals, since they are able to work in concert with physical therapists, orthopedists and other medical specialty physicians while treating the athletes.