August 13, 2013
Joseph Moore
314-977-8698

SLU Hosts Director of Real Madrid Graduate School Program

The director of the master's degree program in Prevention and Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries at Real Madrid Graduate School visited with SLU faculty and athletic trainers in the St. Louis area.

Real Madrid director visits SLU
From left, Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., director of the athletic training program; Dan Herrin, athletic training master's student and intern with the St. Louis Cardinals; and Alvaro Garcia-Romero, director of the master's degree program in Prevention and Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries at Real Madrid Graduate School, at Busch Stadium. Submitted photo

The Doisy College of Health Sciences Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training recently welcomed the director of the master's degree program in Prevention and Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries at Real Madrid Graduate School at Universidad Europea to Saint Louis University.

During his visit, Alvaro Garcia-Romero, a physiotherapist with the Real Madrid Graduate School, was introduced to SLU and how athletic trainers and physical therapists practice in the United States, particularly in the field of athletic health care.

In Europe, the practice of athletic training is vastly different than in the United States, Garcia-Romero said. The title of "athletic trainer" is not widely used in Europe; instead, people with other health training perform the duties that are performed by athletic trainers in the United States. These individuals receive their athletic health care training through clinical experience and formal degree programs. For example, Garcia-Romero and the Real Madrid Graduate School offer a master's degree in physical therapy for sports that trains physical therapists specifically to work with athletes.

It is Garcia-Romero's hope that his Madrid students will have the opportunity to attend classes and learn from the SLU faculty and staff in St. Louis, while SLU athletic training and physical therapy students may work with him, Real Madrid and other organizations in Spain.

While visiting St. Louis, Garcia-Romero toured the athletic training facilities and spoke with staff of the Billikens, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Blues and Washington University Bears. He also met with SLU faculty and toured the physical therapy clinic at Saint Louis University's Student Health and Counseling Center.

SLU's athletic training program, established five years ago, has quickly reached the ranks of a top program in a field that has gained visibility and importance in ensuring the health of athletes at all levels of play. The faculty and students have served as advocates and leaders in the region, state and nationally. If Garcia-Romero's wish is granted, the advocacy will reach internationally.

Long a leader in educating health professionals, Saint Louis University offered its first degree in an allied health profession in 1929. Today the Doisy College of Health Sciences houses 17 diverse programs and offers health care education at the baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and professional levels. The college's unique curriculum prepares students to work with health care professionals from all disciplines to ensure the best possible patient care.

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