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What It Is Like To Be An Athletic Trainer

athletic trainer with patient

March is National Athletic Training month, and we wanted to take this opportunity to talk to some of our athletic trainers here at Hospital for Special Surgery about their field and what they do to stay in shape.

What’s the difference between an athletic trainer and a personal trainer?

Becoming an Athletic Trainer requires a 4 year degree from an accredited program. An athletic trainer also specializes in the prevention, assessment, and rehabilitation of injuries. Personal trainers can acquire a certification from many different locations, and no degree is required.

Jeanna LeClaire Hill adds, An Athletic Trainer is a certified and in some states licensed, health care professional who collaborates with physicians. They are educated in injury prevention, on-site emergency medical care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic rehabilitation of athletic injuries and medical conditions.

Why might someone want to see an athletic trainer?

Jennifer Lister, in the HSS Women’s Sports Medicine Center explains: “Athletic trainers work closely with other allied health professionals and can provide a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Whether it’s designing injury prevention programs or evaluating injuries on the field or court, they often are a liaison between the physician and patient and can help them return to play stronger, faster and better than before injury.”

What’s the best part about being an athletic trainer?

The growing diversity within the field of how athletic trainers are being utilized, answers Kara. It’s not just on the sideline anymore; we’re in physician’s offices, schools, hospitals, performing arts and classrooms.

Jeffrey M. Angotti says his favorite part is working with sports teams, and seeing the athletes from the initial onset of injury all the way through their rehabilitation program to get them back on the field.

I work alongside of the doctor and function as a physician extender, notes Amy Lenz-Arnouk, of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center, so I’m able to see patients from the first appointment regarding their injury to clearance for participation and/or discharge.

What’s your personal fitness routine?

Jeanna: I CrossFit! CrossFit is all about constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. Proper form is needed for safety and body mechanic training is necessary. If done safely, the results are like no other fitness program I have seen! The CrossFit community is always encouraging and the daily workouts are fun, challenging, and competitive!

Jennifer: My personal fitness routine is a blend of cardio and pilates based exercises including light weight lifting for posture and stability. I especially love running in Central Park in the summer and signing up for races helps keep me accountable and pushes me to set new goals and take on greater challenges

Jeff: I work out anywhere from 4-5 days a week, mostly doing CrossFit now. I love it. My background is with strength and conditioning also so it allows me to do a lot of the Olympic lifting that I teach.

Amy: I cross train and do cardio roughly 3 times a week.

Jennifer Lister, athletic trainer

Jennifer Lister is a certified athletic trainer in the role of physician extender at HSS at the Women’s Sports Medicine Clinic in NY, NY. Jennifer has a Master’s of Science in Education in Sports Medicine from the University of Miami, FL and a Bachelor of Science in Athletic training from the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she has the corrective exercise specialist, performance enhancement specialist and her certified personal trainer certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.







Amy Lenz-Arnouk is an physician extender and orthopaedic physician’s assistant who works with Dr Beth Shubin Stein and Dr Sabrina Strickland at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center. She completed her undergraduate studies at Simpon College in Indianola, IA and double majored in Athletic Training and Biology. She went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Sports Science with dissertation on increased ACL incidents in female population at Brunel University in Greater London, UK. She has been working with the women’s sports medicine clinic at HSS for almost 3 years.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.