Open Letter to Applicants

Perspective on life at the University of Washington Sports Medicine Fellowship

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for taking a look at our sports medicine fellowship. My name is Ashwin Rao , and I am a clinical faculty member at the UW Sports Medicine Fellowship. I also was the 2007-2008 sports medicine fellow.

I am thrilled to be at the fellowship during a time of exciting growth and development in the field of sports medicine. I was accepted to the University of Washington after looking broadly across the country at a variety of programs. As an applicant, I was excited by the prospect of learning from our nationally-renowned faculty, who are truly leaders in the field. Our faculty includes team physicians for the University of Washington Athletic Department, Team USA Swimming and Gymnastics, and members of the board of The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). They have worked tirelessly to make this one of the top-tier fellowships in the country, a place where the fellow can make the next step in his or her own evolution towards being a leader in the field. I am proud to count them as mentors and friends!

The University of Washington Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship delivers a broad and comprehensive training to its fellows.

This is a program in which cutting edge techniques such as musculoskeletal ultrasound are taught alongside such staples as careful physical assessment, casting and splinting, radiographic interpretation, and joint injections. Here, I have become integrally involved in the care of division I college athletes. This is a place where I am gathering lifelong learning and teaching skills that will foster my development as an educator. I have been excited to be involved with research projects that are taking place at a national level. I have been thrilled to serve as the head team physician at a local high school as well as for University of Washington’s Hockey Team.

I have carted injured athletes across the field while 70,000 fans in the stands looked on in concern. I have been given serious responsibility as medical director and staff physician of mass endurance events such as the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, The Seattle Marathon, and The Washington State Wrestling Tournament. These opportunities have given me the skills and confidence to take on the next set of challenges in my coming career. When interviewing, it was my goal to learn sports medicine in a vibrant medical and academic setting, and this program has not let me down.

The UW Sports Medicine Fellowship will prepare you for any variety of careers in sports medicine. Our graduates have gone on to work in both academic and community settings. They now include sports medicine educators, fellowship faculty, pro sports and college head team physicians, and community sports medicine providers. In essence, by the variety of careers that our graduates have chosen, it is clear that this fellowship is suited to prepare the fellow for a wide variety of practice opportunities.

I have been overjoyed to find support for my interests and passions while here, and I am confident that you would as well.

A big additional perk to our program is the city in which we live. Seattle is a rare place, where big city comforts co-exist with the great outdoors. It is a beautiful city of serene and awe-inspiring vistas. It is a city of athletes, many who get injured. You’ll find that your patients live very active lives, and they charge you with getting back to those lives as safely and fast as possible. As you can tell, I am thrilled to be training here. I hope that you will give our program a sincere look when choosing among fellowships. We have much to offer.


Ashwin Rao, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Family Medicine

Team Physician, University of Washington Husky Athletics and Seattle Seahawks