January 22, 2022

Why a Sport Physical is Not Enough

July 2019

Sport pysical

Incorporating the sport physical into a routine health screening

A pre-participation exam (PPE), also known as a sport physical, is required by many middle and high schools prior to student participation in school sponsored athletics.   Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) sets the date of April 15th – physicals done after this date are valid for the upcoming school year. 

In June of 2019, The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) joined with 5 other organizations; the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine to update the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE) Monograph, a key resource that provides guidance on the proper timing, setting, and structure of the evaluation.

The recommendations include incorporating the sport physical into a routine health screening for the following reasons:

  • Privacy is ensured
  • Allows access to a comprehensive medical record, which includes family history
  • Chronic or ongoing medical needs can be addressed
  • Adequate time is available to address anticipatory guidance related to:
  • Health
  • Diet and physical activity
  • Safety – bullying, drug & alcohol use, sexual health
  • Immunization can be updated
  • Screening for mental health issues such as anxiety and/or depression can be completed
  • Gender identity can be addressed in a confidential space

In addition, there is usually no out of pocket cost for services!