August 4, 2023

UW Health hosts free sports physical exams for uninsured student-athletes

Two football players on the field during a game

MADISON, Wis. – Next week UW Health Kids will provide a free sports physical clinic for uninsured high school athletes.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association requires athletes to have completed a pre-participation physical exam before the first day of sports practice. To ensure there are no barriers for kids to participate, this free clinic will allow uninsured athletes to get the necessary medical clearance to play sports, according to Dr. David Bernhardt, pediatric sports medicine physician, UW Health Kids, and professor of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Last year the free clinic saw a record number of student-athletes, but half were students who had insurance but were not able to get in to see their primary care doctor in time because they waited too long to make an appointment or the wait time for an appointment was too long, he said.

“We were able to meet the needs of all student-athletes last summer, but we also encourage families to book appointments with their own providers in advance if possible,” Bernhardt said.

Pre-participation physical exams, which typically include a review of health history and examination of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, have long been used in the United States to detect conditions that predispose the athlete to injury or illness, he said.

“Participating in sports offers great physical and mental health benefits, so we want as many kids involved as possible,” Bernhardt said


No pre-registration is required. Please check in based on the times below.

When: Wednesday, August 9, 2022, 6-9 p.m.

  • 6 p.m. — Last names A-I check-in

  • 7 p.m. — Last names J-R check-in

  • 8 p.m. — Last names S-Z check-in

  • Where: Access Community Health Center, 2202 S. Park St. Madison, WI 53713

This clinic is run by pediatric, family medicine, sports medicine and orthopedic medical experts.