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The Brody School of Medicine
Department of Family Medicine

Family Medicine

Sports Medicine Fellowship

Program Highlights

The Sports Medicine fellow at East Carolina University serves alongside Dr. Joseph Armen as the team physicians for their approximate 450 NCAA Division I student-athletes. The fellow gains valuable experience serving as one of the team physicians by completing pre-participation physical exams, providing event coverage and through the evaluation and management of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses.

Two half days per week are spent longitudinally through the academic year by the fellow in athletic training room clinic. In this setting, the fellow gets the opportunity to work as a key member of the Sports Medicine health care team alongside Dr Armen, our orthopedic consultants and the athletic training staff. This experience allows the fellow to maintain continuity and close follow-up with our student athletes and also interact with the coaching and strength and conditioning staff. There is also direct access in our athletic training room clinic to our electronic medical record and many office procedures can be performed on-site including joint injections and aspirations, IV fluid administration, suturing, incision and drainage, diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound, electrocardiograms and electronic access to laboratory and imaging studies ordered.

Extensive experience is also gained in concussion evaluation and management utilizing ImPACT for our neurocognitive testing and the Biodex Biosway for postural sway testing. Finally, several IRB approved research projects have been conducted on this NCAA Division I student-athlete population.


Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal ultrasound has become increasingly popular and important in the field of sports medicine, and thus is an integral aspect of the ECU sports medicine fellowship. During the first half of the year, the fellow will complete an MSK ultrasound curriculum during Wednesday morning didactics. During the second half of the year, the fellow will have one half day of clinic per week dedicated to musculoskeletal ultrasound to advance his/her skills. By the end of the fellowship year, the fellow should be proficient in basic diagnostic ultrasounds as well as most ultrasound guided joint and soft tissue injections.



The ECU Sports Medicine Fellowship provides opportunities to learn advanced injection techniques. In addition to the ultrasound curriculum the fellowship offers the opportunity to learn and do fluoroscopic guided injections. In conjunction with the PMR department, Dr. Brock Niceler has an active fluoroscopy clinic where he does lumbar epidural and facet injections, as well as peripheral injections including SI joints, glenohumeral, hip, foot, and ankle injections. This is not a requirement of the fellowship but if the fellow wants to learn advanced injection techniques or wants to improve their palpation guided techniques they will have the opportunity to work in fluoroscopy clinic a half day a week during the second half of their fellowship.


Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are fabricated to treat a wide range of patients with a variety of conditions. It involves molding a heated blank directly to the patient’s feet, adding a base layer for extra cushion, and then grinding down to the final product. The whole process takes 30 minutes and the patient takes home the orthotics that appointment. Our fellow will get heavy exposure to this and should be proficient by the end of fellowship.