Who We Are

Athletic trainers (AT) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients across age and care continuums. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, clinical evaluation and assessment, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. ATs work under the direction of physicians, as prescribed by state licensure statutes.


The statutory title of “athletic trainer” is a misnomer. Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of people - not just athletes participating in sports - and do not train people as personal or fitness trainers do. The AT profession was founded on providing medical services to athletes. NATA represents more than 34,000 members in the U.S. and internationally, and there are about 40,000 ATs practicing nationally. Even though ATs provide health care to many types of patients, the profession continues to embrace its proud culture and history by retaining the title. In other countries, athletic therapist and physiotherapist are similar titles. 




The Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society is a professional membership organization for Athletic Trainers (AT), Athletic Training students, and others who seek to advance the profession of Athletic Training in the State of Michigan. Athletic Trainers are recognized as allied health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities (1).   

Athletic trainers are professionally equipped to provide health care in many different employment settings including, but not limited to, hospital and clinical rehabilitation settings, high school athletic and educational settings, collegiate athletic and educational settings, professional athletic settings, youth sports settings, physician offices, performing arts, industrial and occupational settings, public safety, physician extender settings, and military settings.

Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum.  Academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program; 70 percent of ATs have a master’s degree. To become certified athletic trainers, students must graduate with bachelors or masters degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified. Coursework needed for initial certification will include: 

  • Risk management and injury prevention

  • Pathology of injuries and illnesses

  • Orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis

  • Medical conditions and disabilities

  • Acute care of injuries and illnesses

  • Therapeutic modalities

  • Conditioning, rehabilitative exercise and referral

  • Pharmacology

  • Psychosocial intervention and referral

  • Nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses

  • Health care administration


Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. For more information on ATs and the profession of athletic training, please visit the WHO WE ARE page.


1.  "Strategic implementation team defines profession". NATA News (12/2007): 14. 2007