As an athletic trainer with a strength coach niche - I've primarily worked in the secondary school settings for multiple organizations that provide athletic training services to high schools at a discounted rate. Having worked with more than one organization - I feel it is safe to conclude that these organizations are causing more harm than good within our profession.
Here are the issues I see with secondary school contracts:
- ATC are usually held to referral quotas and their primary role is to generate a source of revenue for the company they work for... It is not to provide the best quality of care for their athletes. (I was often told, not to treat my athletes injuries that were in my scope of ability because the business wanted the money from the referral.)
- Often contracts are at a discounted rate for limited hours. This is a false sense of savings for the school because the parents are the one's footing the bill because ATC's are require to refer the student athletes out.
- PT clinics/hospitals hire entry level ATC's to decrease their overhead each year and cycle through new grads every 1-2 years because they burn out. (Note - if you want to grow the profession it is best to keep the professional you have than try to produce new ones every year.)
How does this make you feel? Also do you think our profession should take a stand and make secondary contracts a thing of the past?