Obesity Fitness Specialist
SCOPE OF PRACTICE STATEMENT
MEDFIT EDUCATION FOUNDATION
A fitness professional who has specifically completed the online course titled, Medical Fitness Specialist, or has completed a fitness specialist course focused on a specific chronic disease or medical condition, and through MedFit Classroom, is considered a Medical Fitness Specialist. Through completion of course(s) focusing on a specific condition, the Medical Fitness Specialist has received advanced education and training in that respective medical condition and is qualified to work with clients who have been diagnosed with that respective medical condition. Medical conditions may include, but are not limited to: Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders, obesity, orthopedic disease, Parkinson’s disease, mental illness, and type 2 diabetes.
Medical Fitness Specialist courses on MedFit Classroom are considered advanced, continuing education, and do not supplant a general comprehensive fitness certification. Individuals completing a Medical Fitness Specialist course on MedFit Classroom are eligible to earn a Certificate of Specialization once they are able to provide evidence of either a current, general fitness certification, or relevant degree in the field, as well as proof of professional liability insurance.
Medical Fitness Specialists shall first and foremost adhere to the scope of practice as defined by their primary fitness certification, shall also follow all local, regional, state, and/or national regulations (e.g., those defined by their accredited certification organizations, national licensing boards, State licensing and/or registration requirements, primary industry trade organizations, etc.), and shall adhere to the procedures and actions applicable to their credentials.
Medical Fitness Specialists shall not diagnose injury, chronic disease, or any other medical condition, nor provide treatment beyond the scope of their training, and shall refer clients with such needs to properly licensed medical and/or allied healthcare professionals. Medical Fitness Specialists are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms suspicious of a disease process in order to understand when an exercise program should be modified or stopped for the client to seek further evaluation and/or diagnosis.
Clients may be referred to a Medical Fitness Specialist by a licensed healthcare professional (i.e., medical doctor, chiropractic physician, physiotherapist, etc.), to participate in a structured physical exercise program, and/or to begin behavioral change programs (e.g., dietary or mental health). This may also include clients who seek a referral for a specific health or fitness goal, and have taken it upon their own merit to begin an exercise and/or behavior change program.
To ensure coordination of care, Medical Fitness Specialists are trained to competently communicate in written, verbal, and/or HIPAA-secure electronic formats with other allied health professionals or healthcare professionals. Medical Fitness Specialists’ communication with, and education of, their client about medical fitness, and/or about a client’s diagnosed medical condition(s), should stay within the scope of their own specific Medical Fitness Specialist course credentials (i.e., specific to the condition in which the Medical Fitness Specialist was trained).
Medical Fitness Specialists are trained to recognize when it is appropriate to refer their client to a licensed healthcare professional, as well as how and to whom their client needs to be referred. For example, Medical Fitness Specialists should refer their client for the following scenarios: (1.) A current client who demonstrates symptoms and signs of an undiagnosed condition or is experiencing an exacerbation or worsening of a current medical condition; Or, (2.) a prospective or current client who would be placed at risk if physical exercise or behavioral change programs were started or continued.
Medical Fitness Specialists are also trained to take a thorough health history, monitor their client through accurate record-keeping and, once again, to work within the scope of their respective education and training. They understand how to create progressive exercise programs for respective medical conditions, monitor and assess the success of a program, make modifications when necessary, and monitor for circumstances that demand the cessation of the program, and/or referral to an appropriate healthcare professional.
Ultimately, the primary goal of a Medical Fitness Specialist is to responsibly guide a client through a medical fitness program that creates improvements in overall health and wellness, consistent with the goals of both the client and their healthcare team.