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The evolution of athletic training

The evolution of athletic training

Establishing the Master of Science in Athletic Training program at the University of Pittsburgh came at a time when evolution was necessary to ensure professional prosperity and health care competence. As an allied health care provider, athletic trainers possess a wide variety of skills that are unique and unlike any other health care profession. Athletic trainers provide care under the direction of a supervising physician in accordance with their education, training and state’s rules and regulations. The implementation of the 8th Edition Practice Analysis for athletic trainers defines the domains of athletic training to: 

  1. Risk Reduction, Wellness and Health Literacy  
  2. Assessment, Evaluation and Diagnosis 
  3. Critical Incident Management  
  4. Therapeutic Intervention 
  5. Healthcare Administration and Professional Responsibility  

The implementation of these new domains now best aligns with the role that an athletic trainer serves in the continuum of health care. Traditionally you would find an athletic trainer on the sideline of your favorite sporting event, rendering medical care to the athletes on and off the field. The skills and abilities of these individuals have since become a commodity in a variety of new arenas. Today you can find athletic trainers in the warehouses of Amazon, the barracks of military, police, fire and public safety officials, backstage at your favorite ballet or musical theater, and in areas of entrepreneurship. Athletic trainers are versatile providers who are transforming health care!  

Our Athletic Training Program offers a variety of didactic and clinical experiences that tailor the development of key skills and abilities for graduates to seek opportunities in these transformative areas of athletic training. Didactic opportunities are led by faculty with demonstrated contemporary expertise in the areas of upper extremity injury and evaluation, research methodology, mental health and wellness, rehabilitation/performance enhancement, injury prevention, quality improvement, health care informatics, pediatrics, servant leadership and athletic training administration. To build a diverse and thorough clinical experience prior to certification, students are able to interact with, and create performance optimization plans for, physically active patients from a variety of sports and risk levels. Our immersive, hands-on clinical experiences range from secondary schools, Pitt Athletics, Carnegie Mellon University Athletics, Health and Wellness Clinics and even the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Athletic trainers are essential to health care and provide the totality of care from onset of injury to the termination of care. Graduates from Pitt’s Athletic Training Program are leading clinicians who provide high quality, evidence-informed, patient-centered care.  

Through the development of cognitive skills, psychomotor mastery and affective values, we know that our program prepares students to succeed in a variety of ways that shape highly successful and effective health care providers.  


Authored By:

Devin S. Kielur, DAT, LAT, ATC | He/Him/His (What is this?)
Assistant Professor, Athletic Training Program
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition



Published October 31, 2022