No Concussion Management Certification Requirements For Physicians
IAFP staff have received several inquiries from members regarding whether the state has implemented any required concussion management certification or protocol for Indiana physicians in order to clear a student athlete for return to play following a head injury or in order to provide an IHSAA pre-participation physical.
No new requirements have been enacted since 2014 when the Indiana General Assembly placed certain training requirements on high school sports coaches, including a certification course specific to football coaches. No similar certification or course requirements exist for Indiana physicians or other health care providers, but rather the 2014 law requires a student athlete who is suspected of having a concussion to sit out of practice or play for at least 24 hours and to receive an evaluation and written clearance from a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and head injuries.
The education and training of the family physician, who is often the source of the initial care provided to student athletes concussed in a game, satisfies the state's requirements and no additional training or certification is required in order to clear a student for play. Further, a physician needn't have special certification or training in concussion management in order to perform IHSAA pre-participation physicals for student athletes.
Please let IAFP staff know whether you have encountered any issues with the acceptance of an IHSAA pre-participation physical or medical clearance for the return to play of a student athlete.
- More information regarding the 2014 student athlete concussion law can be found at this link: http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/health/concussions.
- The AAFP and NFL Foundation have partnered to provide best practices and resources to family physicians in the identification and treatment of concussions: http://www.aafp.org/patient-care/public-health/sports-medicine/webcasts.html.