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April 25, 2019


Avoid the Rush before Back-to-School Time

April 25, 2019


Avoid the Rush before Back-to-School Time

DARBOY, Wis. – April is the first eligible month for alternate-year Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) pre-participation physical fitness forms (sports physicals) to be completed and count towards the upcoming academic year. For example, a young athlete who is required to get a WIAA physical every-other-year can get ahead of the game and schedule a physical as early as April 2019, for the 2019-2020 through 2020-2021 academic years. Wisconsin student athletes file an Alternate Year Athletic Permit Card in their respective school’s athletic office for the years they do no need a physical.

Abby Smolcich, MD, of ThedaCare Physicians Pediatrics-Darboy said sports physicals are important because they help ensure students are as healthy as possible for their age with the goal of training and competing safely.

“Sports physicals bring young people to the doctor for a check-up when they are feeling good,” she explained. “We get to touch base during an important time in a young person’s growth and development when there are a lot changes from year to year.”

The sports physical exam is more comprehensive than a typical doctor’s visit for an acute illness or injury. It includes an exam of the throat, teeth, mouth, nose, ears, eyes, skin, abdomen, lungs, heart and the musculoskeletal system. This appointment is also a good time to make sure student athletes are up to date on their vaccines. If you are required to list your child’s immunizations on a camp or scout health form, Dr. Smolcich recommends using the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. The online resource maintains printable and downloadable immunization records for each child by name, birthdate and Social Security Number or Medicaid ID.

To make the most of a singular appointment for a sports or camp physical, Dr. Smolcich recommends taking the following steps: 

  • Call your pediatrician’s office to specifically request a sports/camp physical and call early, as mid-and late-summer slots fill up quickly.
  • Complete all forms before arriving at the scheduled appointment, including the list of health questions.
  • Be present at the appointment with your minor child.
  • Keep a copy of the signed paperwork in your files at home in case the original is misplaced. If you need the WIAA form, it’s available online to print and bring with you to the appointment.

“Teens and parents need to know and trust their doctors. These physicals are a great way to keep those connections,” said Dr. Smolcich. “Plus, it’s a lot of fun for us to hear about young people’s summer and sports plans.”

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.