One of the unfortunate aspects of athletics is that injuries do occur. However, the 500-plus athletes from UND's 21 athletic teams are under excellent care thanks to the UND Divison of Sports Medicine and its umbrella of staff, facilities and training.

With a staff of nine faculty athletic trainers, two graduate assistant athletic trainers and 30 athletic training students headed by director of sports medicine Steve Westereng, UND student-athletes are in good hands, returning them quickly and safely to participation.

The UND Division of Sports Medicine was formed in 1990. Additionally, the development of the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training Degree and the UND Center for Sports Medicine was founded. The athletic training education program was the first program in the nation to be placed directly in a school of medicine and is housed within the Department of Family Medicine and combines the efforts of the UND Athletic Training program and the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Before the transition, UND did not offer a major in athletic training. It was only a field of concentration in the College of Arts and Sciences.

UND's progressive thinking makes the institution a leader in the field of athletic training. Moreover, the program's affiliation with the School of Medicine helps both the athletic training student and the student-athlete. Completion of the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training allows the student to sit for the National Athletic Trainer's Association Board of Certification exam to become a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). The student-athletes also benefit from having a wealth of competent individuals.

In order to be accepted into the athletic training program, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), a student must complete 100 hours of observation, fill out a formal application, and have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

The Division of Sports Medicine also has an outpatient facility, the UND Center for Sports Medicine, which specializes in rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries. UND student athletes, as well as the general public, utilize this facility to decrease pain, increase strength, and improve range of motion of injuries. Many of the injuries seen in the Center for Sports Medicine are significant, such as pre and post surgical issues. The Center is staffed by Cathy Ziegler (PT, ATC) and Robin Tracy (PT, ATC, DPT, CSCS), who have experience with high school, college, and professional athletes.