Find a doctor Programs and services Jobs Classes and events Patient/visitor information Online services About Sanford Health Health information Contact us

Walk-in clinic wait times

No appointment necessary. Visit one of our convenient locations listed below.


  Sanford Downtown Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »
  Sanford North Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »
  Sanford Children's Walk-in Clinic
Serving children
Location and hours »


  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »


  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »

Request an appointment

Online appointment requests are for non-emergency appointments only. If you believe you have an emergency, please call 911 or go to the Sanford Emergency & Trauma Center.
Click here to request an appointment online »
  Back to previous page ¦ Children's stories ¦ Search stories

Sports physicals

Student athlete exams now required annually
Sports physicals are not required annually
The North Dakota High School Activities Association now requires student athletes to complete a sports physical exam annually. The exams can be scheduled anytime between June 15 and before an athlete starts practice.
  When Terry Wolf, MD conducts sports physical examinations, he pays close attention to the information the teenage athletes provide while talking about their medical history.

“By looking at the patient’s medical history, we sometimes can find symptoms the athlete thinks are just the result of working out or running a lot may, in fact, be signs of serious underlying medical problems,” said Dr. Wolf, a family medicine physician at Sanford East Mandan Clinic. “While exercising can cause fatigue or mild light-headedness, if it’s happening frequently to an athlete or to a greater extent than the athlete’s peers, there might be something wrong.”

With that in mind, the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) has mandated that all students wishing to participate in school-sponsored sports must undergo a sports physical annually starting with the 2010–2011 school year. Previously, athletes only needed a physical every other year as long as they remained healthy.

“During a physical, we screen them for any obvious signs of potentially harmful diseases,” Dr. Wolf said. “A lot of these athletes are going to be exerting themselves to the limit. With a thorough exam, we have the apportunity to pick things up before it’s too late.”

Sports physicals include two main parts: a look at the athlete’s medical history and the physical exam.

In discussing the medical history, a doctor will ask an athlete about his or her past illnesses or injuries, allergies, serious medical conditions among other family members and
suspicious symptoms such as faintness, dizziness, chest pain or difficulty breathing. While those symptoms can be a sign of a major illness, they can also indicate smaller issues a doctor can help with.

Proper nutrition and hydration may be discussed, including supplements,” Dr. Wolf said. “This knowledge can help the athletes improve their performances.”

During the physical part of the exam, a doctor conducts a clothed exam, looking primarily for heart, lung and musculoskeletal problems.

On top of that, the doctor will counsel the athlete on numerous issues of concern to junior high and high school students such as risks associated with smoking, drugs, alcohol and sexual activity. At the appointment, an athlete has a chance to ask for advice about other issues for which he or she would not have made an appointment to discuss.

“Seeing a doctor every year in your adolescent years is a good idea,” Dr. Wolf said. “We can always re-emphasize the behavioral issues and check for normal development.”

  Dr. Terry Wolf
Terry Wolf, MD
Family medicine
To meet the NDHSAA’s sports physical requirement, an athlete’s physical must take place June 15 or later and must be completed before the athlete’s first practice.

Click here for more information about sports physicals at Sanford Health.


home page