USA - Orange County,
2664 Newport Blvd.,
1 949 631 5226

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Team Physician Services

A team physician has the leadership role in the organization, management and provision of medical care for individual, team and mass participation sporting events. The most important responsibility of the team physician is the medical care of athletes at all ages and all levels of participation.
The team physician should possess special proficiency in the prevention and care of musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions encountered in sports. The team physician integrates medical expertise with certified and/or licensed athletic trainers, and other allied health care professionals (athletic care network). Aided by the athletic care network, the team physician also educates athletes, coaches, parents/guardians, and administrators. The team physician is ultimately responsible for the clearance to participate and the return to play (RTP) decision.

dr. Zappala (doktrz) assiting a Costa mesa mustang off the fieldDr. Zappala has received the training mentioned above that uniquely qualifies him to be a team physician. The training has expanded his knowledge of emergency medicine as well to prepare him for any emergency situation that he may see in the field of sport. As a team physician, you actually see the trauma take place as opposed to having the athlete relate it to you when they present in your office. The ability to observe the trauma take place allows Dr. Zappala to make a more accurate diagnosis of the athletes injury. This early diagnosis ensures that the athlete is started on the proper treatment right out of the gate which means better recovery from their injuries and less time away from their sport.

The team physician is as stated part of the team and part of a medical team that cares for the athletes. As team physician, Dr. Zappala is also responsible to coordinate the medical care with the other members of his team, primarily the athletic trainers who see the athletes on a daily basis. This communication allows for a good relationship to be established between athlete, physician, trainer and coaching staff. If all parties work together for the better of the athlete, we can help keep our young athletes healthy and avoid some of the real dangers of sports participation.

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