Sports Medicine/Orthopedic Special Interest Group

The Sports Medicine/Orthopedics SIG strives to synthesize knowledge across these two disciplines with a focus on children and adolescent athletes, and those with congenital or injury-related conditions involving orthopedic procedures (e.g., scoliosis or amputation). These two medical specialties often intersect at institutions, providing psychologists a unique opportunity to assist in enhancing treatment for a more complicated patient population, including: young athletes who are recovering from concussion, surgery, those equipped with a prosthetic, or those undergoing prolonged limb deformity correction/lengthening procedures.


The goals of the Sports Medicine/Orthopedics SIG include:

  • Creating strategies for medical partners to improve patient identification and the referral process
  • Design efforts around mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and injury recovery in the school and community.
  • Increasing the role of a psychologist with community partners (schools, athletic directors, sports organizations)
  • Facilitating means to educate patients, families and allied professionals on rehabilitation, treatment adherence, and performance enhancement
  • Providing training and mentorship experiences for young professionals who may not have educational curriculum in these areas.

Proposed Activities

Impact Clinically: Identify individuals with this expertise and develop resources regarding best practice, program development and growth, and recruitment strategies. This will be done by identification of practitioners affiliated with SPP as well as other sports enhancement programs or organizations (APA Division 47) and tailoring evidence-based interventions to children.

Impact Research: Promote research in the specialized area to provide an empirical basis of clinical care for children and adolescents by developing cross collaborations among hospital systems, developing assessment tools administered pre and post-surgery, and capturing the impact on patients and families.

Impact Education: Develop pediatric psychology training opportunities and community partnerships through creation of conference programming, clinical training opportunities, and program curricula for outside agencies.


Heather M. Richard, PsyD, Nationwide Children's

To Join

SPP invites members with a shared interest to consider joining one or more Special Interest Groups (SIGs) by logging into the Member Portal and going to "Join a SIG/RIG/Affinity Group" on the dropbox.