May 21, 2015
Doc Pull Out Forces HS to Cancel Mass Physical Night

For the first time in more than 30 years, Moses Lake (Wash.) High School will not be holding a Sports Physical Night. The event had offered student-athletes the opportunity to get their pre-participation physical examinations completed by local healthcare providers at no charge.

According to a report from iFIBER One News, the event was cancelled when the local medical society said it would no longer participate.

“They said that as a medical society, they cannot continue to support the Sports Physical Night and that pre-participation physicals should be performed in the physician’s office rather than a mass setting in order to provide the best medical care possible for patients,” said Sarah Aiken, the school’s Sports Medicine Teacher and Athletic Trainer. “It will be heartbreaking to see it go for many reasons, but it is not possible without the support of our medical community.

Initially, a few physicians appeared ready to help out to keep the event going. However, Aiken said, even those who were willing to participate went along with the consensus of their colleagues. Student-athletes will now need to schedule their own individual examinations with the physicians.

According to a 2014 press release from Premier Healthcare Specialists in Dayton, Ohio, at least six medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Sports Medicine, believe mass physicals do not provide the comprehensive care needed to determine if athletes are healthy enough to participate in athletics.

“Evidence has proven the importance of moving away from physical exams that take place in a large group setting,” said Dr. Dale Block, who serves as team physician for Mason (Ohio) High School. “It’s a one-time relationship and not one built over time. More importantly, it doesn’t provide the opportunity to address issues related to physical growth as well as interpersonal problems at school.”

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