Technology has changed the profession

20 Jun

A feature article on athletic trainers was published yesterday in my local paper, the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot News.  Among the 3 articles about our profession was an article highlighting a local athletic training legend – Dick Burkholder, or Burke (long e) as he is known to his colleagues.

Burke has been at Carlisle High School since 1960 and has obviously not only seen the profession grow and change, he helped shape it.

It has been my pleasure to get to know Burke through the years and he remains passionate about advancing and improving the profession of athletic training today as he did in the early 1970s when he and a few fellow ATs established the PA Athletic Trainers Society.

Burke has some of the best stories and I always end up talking to him for at least an hour when we get the chance to talk, often before football games.

Not only is his career a living legend, so is his son – Rick Burkholder, head AT for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Throughout the country there are athletic training fathers and grandfathers who have pioneered and shaped our profession.  They have toiled in dark closest, making homemade liniments, making due with little to no supplies and have built upon their successes and mistakes handing down that knowledge to the next generation.

These pioneers are the essence of professionals – they have left their mark on the profession of athletic training and have improved it for the next generation.

Now, in many cases, it is our turn to advance the profession, to raise the standard of excellence as these pioneers did for us.  There are many things we can improve, educational standards to tweek and change, state licensures bills to see pass through the perspective state governments, reimbursement, improved pay scales, more ATs in the high schools, etc.

Burke has seen a lot of advancements in athletic training, much of it due to the collective hard work of his generation.  I hope my generation of athletic trainers can say the same!

Full article.

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