Each year in MHSAA member schools there are approximately 200,000 student-athletes who complete a preparticipation physical examination for which an MD, DO, Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant will sign a form certifying the fitness of the student for one or more interscholastic sports.

That massive number of physical exams will produce a minimal number of complaints – mostly from medical personnel – regarding the “burden” of MHSAA procedures. But if there is one group for whom I have little sympathy, it’s for these medical offices.

During the past half-year I have had personal appointments at a half-dozen different medical offices. On each occasion of a first visit, I was required to complete a half-dozen or more forms, including information regarding my medical history. I became increasingly unimpressed with the antiquated operations of our health care system. This is a mystery to me.

  • Why is it that I must answer the same questions at every medical office to which I’m referred? Why, for example, don’t the orthopedic specialist and the physical therapist receive electronically my medical history from my primary physician?

  • Why is it that my primary physician does not receive a complete record of my immunizations from the county health department or any one of several pharmacies that has given me shots?

  • Why is it necessary to rely on the memory of the patient? Why isn’t there a medical database for me, accessible with my permission to every health care provider I see?

I expect that within three years, the MHSAA will follow a handful of other state high school associations to promote (and some state associations may require) electronic preparticipation medical history/physical exam forms which will not require parents to complete entirely new medical histories each and every year their child participates in school sports. While we may follow a few states by a year or two, it appears we will precede the medical establishment by many years in modernizing procedures. This will tend to assure that student-athlete medical histories are more complete and accurate; it will be a greater convenience to both parents and medical providers; and it will promote greater participant health and safety.
Posted in: Health & Safety


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From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.