The Road to Becoming a Fellow Physician

Have you ever seen some extra letters after your doctor’s name?

Well, those extra letters usually mean that your doctor has spent extra time to become an expert in their field of practice.

I was recently honored with the distinction of Fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, and so will be adding the letters FAOASM to my credentials. This is an award given to physicians who have practiced sports medicine and have been active in caring for elite athletes, as well as teaching their colleagues and students on the advancement of sports medicine.

The Physician’s Education Journey

A physician’s education begins in medical school after which they must complete a residency. When a physician graduates from their residency training, they usually complete a process to become Board Certified (BC) in their field such as in Family Practice or Internal Medicine.

Doctor Alexandra Myers Awarded with Top Doctors of San Diego Magazine in 2019

Each physician has the option to join their professional organization, such as the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. Once joining the organization, physicians have the opportunity to attend educational events to further their specialty education.

Most professional organizations offer a certification program which is meant to assess the knowledge and excellence of each member. Member physicians complete course work and take competency tests in order to obtain their certification, and are required annually to participate in more educational events. After 7-10 years physicians then become eligible to apply to become a ‘fellow’ of the organization. A very small percentage of the member physicians ultimately become fellows due to the rigor of the process.

The physicians at San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center have taken additional formal education following residency training in their Primary Care specialty (Family Medicine or Internal Medicine) and have earned Board Certification in Sports Medicine (the exception is Dr. Cheffet who is residency trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics).

Many of our doctors are also leaders within their professional organizations. Four of our doctors have become President of their specialty college or risen to presidency of our state specialty organizations. No matter the chosen path, each year, our doctors spend many hours completing continuing medical education (CME) in order to stay up to date on their knowledge and provide excellent care.

The Esteemed physicians at San Diego Sport Medicine

I am proud to be joining these esteemed physicians who have also attained Fellowship status within our professional organizations.

Dr. Richard Parker – Fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine

Dr. Jeff Anthony – Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine

Dr. Allen Richburg – Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians

Dr. Michelle Look – Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians

Dr. Steve Rohrer – Fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine

Dr. Shannon Cheffet – Fellow of the American Board of Pediatrics

Dr. Lee Rice – Fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Fellow of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

How to Find a Physician who is a fellow near you

Are you a patient looking for a physician who is a fellow in their organization?

Many organizations have a search function to look for qualified physicians in your area. Look for the letters behind the name, and remember an ‘F’ usually represents ‘Fellow.’

Here are some good resources for finding qualified doctors in your area:

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