Concussion specialist creates athletic trainer forum to improve care of local student athletes

Athletic trainers are the first line of defense when sports-related injuries occur.

Tad D. Seifert, M.D., neurologist and director of Norton Healthcare’s Sports Concussion Program, stands at a podium in front of about 40 athletic trainers representing different high schools and colleges across Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The athletic trainers join a discussion about a National Football League (NFL) concussion case study, talking through the case and sharing experiences.

It’s the first time Dr. Seifert has held an athletic trainer forum, which he has dubbed the “AT (Athletic Trainer) Journal Club.” It’s an opportunity for him to connect with local athletic trainers and discuss the latest concussion trends and research.

“The medical science behind sports concussions continues to evolve so rapidly,” said Dr. Seifert, who is an independent neurotrauma consultant for the NFL. “I think we would be doing our community a disservice to not attempt to have these meetings where we continue to talk about research.”

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Helping athletic trainers stay on top of the latest research

Dr. Seifert said he hopes to host the AT Journal Club meetings at least four times per year, extending invitations to high school and collegiate athletic trainers from Jefferson and surrounding counties.

“This is an opportunity for us to continue to challenge ourselves and stay on top of medical research so we can continue to offer the highest level of care possible to our student athletes,” Dr. Seifert said.

Athletic trainers are the first line of defense when sports-related injuries occur. They’re tasked with quickly assessing athletes for injuries and deciding if it’s safe to keep them in the game. When a serious injury is suspected, the athlete is referred to a physician. If an athletic trainer suspects head trauma, often they refer the athlete to Dr. Seifert.

“I hope they learn something from me and I learn from them so that we can continue to elevate the care we are providing for the area’s student athletes,” Dr. Seifert said of the athletic trainers.

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