Wake Forest's Department of Sports Medicine, which cares for all student-athletes in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and qualified departments of its kind in the country.
A primary reason why Wake Forest is so highly respected in this critical area is that since 1979 the sports medicine program has been directed by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. As a result, all injured athletes receive immediate attention from physicians with the highest credentials.
Heading this group is Dr. David Martin, who was named Director of Sports Medicine in November of 2002. Working closely Dr. Martin are orthopedists Dr. Cristin Ferguson, Dr. Walt Curl, Dr. Robert Teasdall and family care physicians Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum and Dr. Heath Thornton.
On campus, the Department of Sports Medicine is administered on a daily basis by head athletic trainer Greg Collins. Collins, who came to Wake Forest in January 1997 after serving five years as head athletic trainer at the University of Richmond, is enthusiastic about his position and the outstanding work being provided by his staff.
"Wake Forest is recognized nationally for its excellence in sports medicine care and has a tremendous history for advancements in the area of athletic health care," Collins says.
"One of the greatest advantages we offer our student-athletes is that in the event of an injury, they can be seen at a well-renowned school of medicine by a physician without delay. The fact that all of our medical services are housed in one facility gives us a greater variety of medical personnel from which to choose."
In addition to access to the medical expertise of WFUBMC, another reason for Wake Forest's solid reputation lies in its on-campus facilities. Recent renovation of the training room from 1800 to 6300 square feet has provided space for more rehabilitation equipment, weights and exercise materials.
The most important aspect of the Sports Medicine program, though, is its people. The staff operates with the complete acceptance of Collins' philosophy that the athlete, not the injury, is the focus.
"You're treating a person, not just a sprained ankle," he says. "Our athletes are highly motivated and intent on competing at the highest level. An injury can be a very traumatic experience for them, and we have to be sensitive to that in order to serve them properly."
"Helping a student-athlete recover from injury and watching him or her perform to the best of their ability is very rewarding for us. It's the best part of our job."
At Wake Forest, Collins is assisted by a staff of fully certified athletic trainers.
Fulltime staff members are assigned to each of the varsity sports, while a capable staff of student athletic trainers are also an important part of the program.
A number of medical consultants from Bowman Gray work closely with Wake Forest, too, providing advice and assistance in every area of expertise.
Included in this auxiliary group are Bree Simmons and Alan Shahtaji, two sports medicine fellows assigned annually through the Department of Family Medicine and orthopedic surgical residents who rotate with the athletic department during the year.