SMS’s PA Travels to Korea with the USA Track and Field Team

Harris Patel, PA, ATC, a Sports Medicine South Physician Assistant and Certified Athletic Trainer, is jet setting off to Daegu, Korea. Daegu (pronounced day-goo) is the host city for the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and as a member of The USA medical team, Patel will embark on his three week journey to Korea beginning Monday, August 15th.

Although this is his first trip to Korea, Patel is no stranger to the world travels of the USA Track and Field Team.  In fact, he has landed in Bejing, China; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Helsinki, Finland; and Sherbroke, Canada as part of the official medical support staff for the USA T&F team. This year, Patel will act as one of only two selected Physician Assistants-Athletic Trainers (PAC-ATC) for team USA. As a country, we will be sending 66 male and 63 female athletes to represent the United States in the World Track & Field Championships. Patel, in conjunction with the rest of the medical team, will work to provide medical coverage, as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation to each athlete. Thorough medical coverage for 129 of the finest USA athletes can lead to long and demanding days. On average, the medical staff will be working 18 to 20 hours daily; however, comprehensive medical support is a vital element in achieving success for both the athlete and, more importantly, for the United States team as a whole.

Although rigorous and performing purely as a volunteer, being selected to serve is an extremely prestigious honor. As Patel says, “It is an honor to represent the USA across the world. We are dressed in red, white, and blue from head to toe, and work as a team to be exceptional American ambassadors. At any world championship, USA athletes from across the nation come together for one purpose and as one team – needless to say, it is in invaluable experience to be a part of.” The USA team, comprised of 19 World Championship-reigning medalists and 16 Olympic-reigning medalists, has a multitude of talent and equally high expectations. The considerable effort and expertise of Harris Patel and the remaining medical staff members will help to ensure maximum athletic performance and achievement for the USA Outdoor Track and Field Team!