Carrie Jaworski, M.D., FACSM, FAAFP
Director, Division of Primary Care Sports Medicine | NorthShore University HealthSystem
Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Director, Clinical Assistant Professor | University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Hamilton Chicago, Northwestern University, the Ironman World Championships, Loyola Academy High School, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Olympics. Those are just a few of the places where Dr. Carrie Jaworski has served as medical director or team physician during her career. She has treated athletes of all ages and abilities for years. Dr. Jaworski’s credentials earned her a spot on the planning committee for the Advanced Team Physician Course two years ago. This year, she co-chaired the course, lining up an all-star team of presenters to share up-to-date information on the issues surrounding competitive and recreational athlete care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jaworski is a practicing sports medicine physician at NorthShore University HealthSystem in the Chicagoland area, where she also serves as the director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship for the University of Chicago/NorthShore program and as the division head of Primary Care Sports Medicine for NorthShore. Her clinical time is divided between a sports medicine practice in both Chicago and Glenview and teaching sports medicine fellows, residents and medical students. Dr. Jaworski's clinical and research interests include concussions, the pediatric and female athlete population, nutrition/supplements, endurance medicine, dance medicine and the promotion of "Exercise is Medicine.” She incorporates exercise into all her treatment plans as she truly believes that movement is essential to one's health and wellbeing. She is frequently an invited speaker at the national and international levels and has published numerous book chapters and articles pertaining to sports medicine.
Dr. Jaworski has been an active member of ACSM for more than 20 years and a member of the Midwest Chapter for several years. She regularly attends the ACSM Annual Meeting and the Advanced Team Physician Course. She’s also served on multiple committees and task forces, including: Program Committee, Membership Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Awards and Tribute Committee, Medical Education Committee, the Exercise is Medicine Education, the ACSM Board of Trustees, the Task Force on Healthy Air Travel and the Clinical Sports Medicine Engagement Task Force. She’s also been engaged with the Endurance Athlete Medicine and Science and Anti-Doping Special Interest Groups.
ACSM staff recently asked Dr. Jaworski about her work, this year’s virtual Advanced Team Physician Course (ATPC) and how ACSM membership has helped her.
- Why did you choose a career in family and sports medicine?
I chose to train in family medicine and then complete a fellowship in sports medicine because I truly believed in the power of physical activity for overall health. I wanted to be able to better care for patients of all ages and to use exercise as a means to do so. I love my specialty because I have the privilege of caring for people of all ages and abilities from many different backgrounds. It never gets boring!
- What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
Watching those I have had a part in training go out and become amazing physicians and leaders in their communities.
- How did you get involved in planning this year’s Advanced Team Physician Course?
ACSM Fellow Mark Hutchinson, M.D., asked me to join the planning committee for the Advanced Team Physician Course two years ago. The course rotates between ACSM, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) in terms of who leads the planning, with two physicians representing each group. I had one year of practice as an ACSM representative and then took over this year in a lead planning role as it was ACSM’s turn to lead. I enjoy anything related to teaching, so I was happy to step into this role. COVID-19 certainly changed things up for us, but with the amazing help of Sue Hilt and the ACSM staff along with the rest of the physicians on the planning committee, it has been a true pleasure to participate.
- What are some key takeaways from the course?
This year’s virtual ATPC offers the latest expert information we have in terms of how to care for athletes in the context of COVID-19. Some takeaways from the live event include:
- Dr. Birx emphasized that 100% masking is essential. Masking, along with other proper mitigation techniques, has been shown to minimize risk, even with indoor sports when done correctly. She also reminded us that family gatherings are still considered spreader events and to be mindful of this during the holidays.
- Dr. Offit emphasized that the mRNA vaccine is safe.
- The sports cardiologists reminded us that cardiac testing is still in evolution since we don't have prevalence data.
- Lastly, we are still learning and all of us need to continue to communicate and collaborate in order to get the best outcomes.”
We were thrilled with the lineup of faculty. If you didn’t have a chance to attend live, you can still access the insights through the on-demand version. Details are available at https://www.acsm.org/attend-connect/events-and-conferences/advanced-team-physician-course.
- How has your ACSM membership been of value to you and your career?
ACSM has been my professional home for as long as I can remember. It is where I find inspiration on a regular basis, both within my own field but, perhaps even more importantly, from those within the basic and applied sciences. My time on the ACSM Annual Meeting Program Committee as well as serving as a former ACSM Board of Trustee member and Vice President laid the groundwork for many professional connections. These connections have been instrumental in my professional growth. I have been fortunate to be given numerous opportunities related to committee work, writing projects and speaking engagements based on these relationships within ACSM and, for that, I am forever grateful.
- What advice do you have for students or professionals entering the field?
- Seek out good mentors. ACSM is a great place to find them!
- Be open to change. The path you think you will take may not always be the right path for you.
- Do what you love and it won’t feel like work. 😊
- What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
At age 5, I starred in a Hallmark commercial wearing a football uniform. I think it was a premonition to my future as a sports medicine physician!
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