This study looked at 789 clinicians and what pressures they had placed upon them by coaches and athletes to return to competition prematurely. Within this research, the clinicians in question had felt pressure from a coach, player or another clinician at some point. Furthermore, female clinicians had a higher rate of pressure to return athletes prematurely. Additionally, when the athletic department had the supervisory role of the clinician they too experienced more pressure to return athletes to play counter to their medical institution peers.


Having clinicians who are pressured to return an athlete to play prematurely should not happen. One solution to this problem could be to separate the medical services rendered at the collegiate level from the athletic department. However, such a task may be impractical for some institutions because of the question to who do the athletic trainers answer to? Although, it should be noted that for a successful medical program to function properly independence and having the “final say” in an athlete’s return is critical for the medical program’s success. Developing good relationships with coaches and having trust between the clinicians and coaches/ administration is key for the medical program to function as an independent entity.

You can find this research article in full here.

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