According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), over half of working certified athletic trainers choose to enter the field as athletic trainers in secondary or higher education. This is the result of many students now knowing there are currently endless possibilities for the profession, which is growing to become an integral part of several different industries.
“Athletic trainers have an opportunity to expand the profession as a whole,” Curtis M. Wildes, PhD, ATC, CSCS, DO(EU) said. “I hope Logan students see that they can dive into the non-traditional settings available and gain a lot more from those experiences.”
As an adjunct professor teaching Anatomy of Human Motion for the Master of Science in Sports Science & Rehabilitation (MS-SSR) program at Logan, Dr. Wildes is passionate about teaching, and a lot of that enthusiasm comes from years of working in different industries around the globe.
“The main thing I teach my students is to be the most eclectic multi-disciplinary provider you can be, because it’s not about us; it’s about what we can do for our patient or client,” said Dr. Wildes.
Dr. Wildes’ career experiences have taken him around the globe, testing his athletic training skills in places like the remote mountain tops in the eastern villages of Russia where he worked with world-class athletes as a part of the medical team for the U.S. Olympic Committee, to providing emergency medicine skills nightly for Cirque Du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, to now working as an ‘extreme health care provider’ in Nevada with the Human Performance and Optimization Wing of the U.S. Air Force.
“Working with the military is interesting because if you’re comparing it to sports, we train daily as if we were preparing for a competition or a game,” Dr. Wildes said. “But instead of winning, our goal is to make sure that our clients are physically equipped to return home safely after their deployments.”
Dr. Wildes believes it’s important to educate patients about the body and to normalize that conversation. He also believes in a truly integrated approach to sports medicine to optimize human performance. These are foundational lessons that he teaches his students.
“My biggest piece of advice I give to my students is to find examples of the professionals and settings you’re interested in and find out what’s required to obtain that position,” Dr. Wildes said. “Find your passion and pursue it to the end. Imagination is everything.”
Interested in a career in sports and health care? Explore Logan University’s Master’s in Athletic Training, Master of Science in Sports Science & Rehabilitation or Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs.