A.T. Still University (ATSU) students, faculty, and staff recently provided free sports physicals to more than 1,300 high school student athletes in Glendale, Arizona through a partnership with Team of Physicians for Students (TOPS). Student athletes from 50 schools in two school districts were bused to the event. Ysenia Lopez from Student Affairs coordinated scheduling for more than 250 volunteers from ATSU, Midwestern University, Steingard Medical Group, HonorHealth, and OrthoArizona.
TOPS is a Phoenix-area nonprofit organization that provides free sports physicals, including cardiac assessment, to junior college and high school student athletes in underserved communities. For most high school athletes, passing a sports physical is mandatory. However, many students can’t afford a costly doctor’s visit. TOPS strives to alleviate this burden so more students can enjoy the social, emotional, and health benefits of sports.
“Not all student athletes have access to physical exams,” says Jeffrey Morgan, DO, MA, FACOI, CS, dean of ATSU-SOMA. “In fact, for some, the TOPS physical may be the only opportunity they have to get an exam. Screening more than 1,300 students in one day is an enormous logistical undertaking, but it has great value to students, schools, and the community.”
The event was a great experience for both student athletes and ATSU volunteers.
“I am speaking for many students when I say we really appreciate the opportunity to participate,” said a first-year ATSU-SOMA student. “From putting our didactic learning into practice, to enhancing our interprofessional skills by working with students from other programs, it was such a fun and beneficial learning experience.”