Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program

Richard Figler, MD
Program Director, Primary Care
Sports Medicine Fellowship

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
5555 Transportation Blvd
Garfield Heights, OH 44125

216.839.3734 (phone)
216.839.3720 (fax) (email)

Duration: Three one-year positions (July 1 to June 30)
Deadline: Application must be received between July 15 – September 15
Location: Cleveland Clinic Foundation

This fellowship is ACGME-accredited.
Graduates are eligible for the Certificate of Added Qualification Exam.


Cleveland Clinic's Sports Medicine Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship is one of the oldest and most established sports medicine fellowship training programs in the United States. The one year program is affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine at Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic hospital.

Established in 1985, the Primary Care Sports Medicine fellowship has 70 graduates. Though most have trained in Family Medicine, allopathic and osteopathic graduates of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residencies have been accepted to the program. The Fellowship has ACGME accreditation allowing the graduates to take the CAQ for Sports Medicine examination.

Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine Center is a group of sports medicine and team physicians working in collaboration with one another and with our allied medical partners in the office, in the training room, on the playing field and in the classroom with a commitment to the pursuit of clinical excellence. Education and research are integral to the commitment.

Application information

Three Primary care Sports Medicine Fellowship positions are available each year. The Program participates in the NRMP Subspecialty Match and utilizes the Universal Application Process through the Association of American Medical Colleges (ERAS). Further information can be found on the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine website.

Applications are accepted from July 15 – September 15 each year.

Experience & Training

This comprehensive Primary Care Sports Medicine Program is designed to maximize the exposure of the fellows to a broad range of primary care and orthopaedic sports medicine topics.

Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows spend time rotating with Primary Care Sports Medicine physicians, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine physicians, selected specialty trained Orthopaedic surgeons, adult and pediatric cardiologists and pulmonologists, and musculoskeletal radiologists. The radiology curriculum includes x-ray, CT, MRI and a comprehensive longitudinal MSK ultrasound experience. The Primary Care Sports Medicine Curriculum includes extensive training in MSK procedures, including ultrasound guided injections, percutaneous tenotomy, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, compartment pressure testing and orthobiologics, including platelet-rich plasma therapy and placenta tissue matrix.

Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows incorporates experience and training in the following:

  • Sports Concussion Evaluation and Management
  • Sport Specific Conditioning, Physical Therapy, and Rehabilitation
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Psychology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription

Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows function, with supervision, as team physicians for high school and collegiate athletes. The Fellowship also provides exposure to the care of professional athletes from several different sports teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Guardians, and other world-class elite athletes.

The fellowship includes continuity clinics in Primary Care Sports Medicine providing a longitudinal patient care experience throughout the year. The fellows also serve as preceptors for residents in their specialty to maintain their skills.

Lectures & Conferences

Formal didactic lectures covering wide-ranging aspects of Primary Care and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine are presented on a weekly basis as part of an organized conference schedule by the Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine fellows, and Sports Medicine staff. Development of lecture preparation and presentation skills is key to fellows seeking both academic and private practice careers.

Formal research and case-based sports medicine conferences are held on a weekly basis. The fellows present at the case-based conference as well.

Other regular conferences that enhance the Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows’ educational experience include the following:

  • Orthopaedic Grand Rounds
  • City-wide Family Medicine Sports Medicine Lecture Series
  • Orthopaedic Quality Assurance Conference
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Sports Medicine Academic Day
  • Regional PCSM Journal Club
  • Selected national conferences

The fellows attend the AMSSM Fellows Leadership and Research Conference held at the beginning of the academic year and are required to participate in the AMSSM Annual Meeting by presenting cases and novel research.

Research Project

The Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellows are required to complete a research project during their one year fellowship. This is accomplished through a longitudinal research curriculum that includes faculty mentorship and dedicated research time.

The fellows present their research project at the annual Cleveland Clinic Orthopaedic Department Research Day and are encouraged to submit their work for subsequent publication.

Application Process

Cleveland Clinic's Sports Medicine Fellowship is ACGME accredited, allowing the graduates to take the CAQ exam for Primary Care Sports Medicine. The Program utilizes the online Universal Application Process through the Association of American Medical Colleges (ERAS) as outlined on American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Cleveland Clinic's Sports Medicine Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship participates in the National Residency Matching Program’s Specialties Matching Service for fellowships found under Primary Care Sports Medicine. Please see the National Residency Match Program’s Specialties Matching Service (SMS) at for further details; the program is listed as Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital.

As a result of the Program’s participation in the NRMP process, applications are accepted from July 15 – September 15 each year through ERAS. Interviews are typically conducted in early October. and second date in early November. The Rank List for our program is submitted in December with the Match List available at the beginning of January.

Graduates of residency programs in the following specialties are eligible to apply to the program:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine residents apply using NRMP program number 3187127F0 for the two positions available for these specialties.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residents apply using NRMP program number 3187127F1 for the one position available for this specialty.

Applications from foreign medical graduates are accepted. Please visit Cleveland Clinic's Graduate Medical Education page for visa requirements and information.

For additional information or questions please contact:

Richard Figler, MD
Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship

Please send additional correspondence to Leah Hujarski at the following address:

Leah Hujarski 
9500 Euclid Ave, A41
Cleveland, OH 44195

Diversity & Inclusion

Discover the role diversity and inclusion plays at Cleveland Clinic and at its Graduate Medical Education program, as well as our diversity and inclusion efforts.

Learn more