Eighteen months ago we completed two new preparticipation physical examination forms: (1) a two-sided card delivered without charge to schools in whatever quantity they need; and (2) a four-page form that is downloadable at MHSAA.com.
Both are improved from the previous card in that they ask more about family and student health history which, more than any cursory exam, helps identify potential health risks before participation. Both were developed with the cooperation and consensus of a diverse panel of medical experts assembled by the Michigan Department of Community Health.
At schools’ requests, the MHSAA has distributed more copies of the two-sided card than there are students enrolled in MHSAA member schools; so we know the form has widespread use. But still, this particular form is not required, which allows schools with a special local resource to utilize something they like better, and this also allows families with special needs to use the documents that best meet their child’s circumstances.
The take-away on this topic is that today’s standard of care is a comprehensive physical with detailed family history prior to first participation in school sports and, thereafter, more cursory annual exams, except when the student has had an injury or illness that requires more review.