Before playing sports, athletes have to see a doctor - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Before playing sports, athletes have to see a doctor

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)
ODESSA, TX (KWES) -

Many high school athletes have to take it.

“It could be a live saving thing. It could be a life changing type of thing,” said Trapper O’Connell, Division Director, Medical Center Hospital Pro-Care.

While they can’t wait for a new school year and the chance to get back to their perspective sports to start, they first have to get the green light from a doctor with a physical.

“We want to make sure as far as anything that’s happened from the point they may have gotten out of school and then when they come back to school. Medical history, if they’ve had a fracture or surgeries that may inhibit them from doing the sport itself,” said O’Connell.

O’Connell said MCH performs between 500-800 physicals per year around this time. The doctors who perform the physicals look at all aspects of the athlete’s health: height, weight, their heart, joints, sugar levels, diet, all sorts of things. Many times, they can spot something the patient wasn’t even aware of.

“They may say oh I don’t need glasses and when you do an eye exam their vision is 2200. It turns out the reason they can’t catch a ball or see a ball coming to them is because their vision has been bad and they never recognized that,” said O’Connell.

Being able to play sports this year starts with the checkup.

“With a stethoscope and a trained eye, I think almost all medical professionals we have at MCH are able to do those things and give you a good evaluation,” said O’Connell.

It ends with you knowing you’re in good health ready to contribute to your team.

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