Sami Jo DePetro has known since middle school what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“I love sports, but I’m not that athletic. I also like helping people, so becoming a certified athletic trainer seemed like the perfect job for me,” DePetro said.
Now in college, she’s majoring in athletic training and getting closer to her dream every day. She feels like she has an edge over her classmates because of the training and experience she got three summers in a row at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic’s Sports Medicine Workshop.
“I’ve been able to take on more of a leadership role in my classes and really stand out to my professors,” DePetro said.
As the official sports medicine provider for Knox County Schools and the orthopaedic surgeons for the UT Athletic Department, KOC offers their Sports Medicine Workshop each year to introduce high school students to careers that combine healthcare and sports. That’s everything from an orthopaedic surgeon or physical therapist to a nutritionist or sports psychologist.
“Each year the workshop is different,” DePetro said. “It was fun to learn so many hands-on skills and network with professionals in the field.”
This year’s workshop will be held on June 13 and 14 at Hardin Valley Academy. The cost is $90, which includes all supplies and lunch both days.
“The workshop is designed to teach basic emergency procedures, athletic taping techniques, introductory human anatomy, as well as common athletic injuries and illnesses,” said Michelle Hansard, KOC’s Director of Sports Medicine Outreach. “Students also gain a lot of personal insight into the world of healthcare and athletics from our physicians, athletic trainers on staff, and other guest speakers.”
DePetro encourages other teens to attend the workshop and find out if this field is the right fit for them.
“I really learned a lot about myself,” she said. “I was a little scared going in, but when I was done, I realized I could handle a lot more than I thought. It was great to know I had the ability to help people when they needed it.”
For more information or to sign up for this year’s KOC Sports Medicine Workshop, call (865) 680-2640 or go to KOCortho.com/workshop.