As we celebrate National Athletic Training Month, we asked Pam a few questions about what it's like to be an athletic trainer and how she found her way to the profession.
Prior to coming to OrthoCarolina, you were the athletic trainer for Michael Waltrip Racing. What was it like working with Michael and with Waltrip pit crews?
It was great. I tell people about Michael that “what you see is what you get”. He was a great boss and still a great friend. The dynamic with the pit crew is like no other. Most of them are former athletes so they understand the mental and physical aspect of sports. They were a great group of guys who welcomed me in as their athletic trainer and family.
What made you want to go into athletic training?
I love the sports side of athletic training. I loved being on the sidelines, on pit road and being able to see the action first hand. I am usually the first person to the athlete and able to see an injury from start to finish.
What was your first job in athletic training?
Graduate Assistant at LSU for Track/Field and Football.
Tell me about your current role with OrthoCarolina.
I currently split my time between Stewart-Haas Racing and the clinic at Huntersville. I work with the pit crew and shop personnel at SHR in the morning, then I come to the clinic in the afternoons so see motorsports patients from other shops and high school athletes.
What are some of the most challenging injuries/issues you’ve dealt with related to NASCAR?
The most challenging are injuries that are chronic and you see patients having to deal with them throughout the season. They understand they can take a break but it’s not really an option in motorsports. Most pit crew members not only pit the car on Sunday but for races on Friday and Saturday. Then they turn around and work in the shop full time. Taking a break isn’t an option.
If you had advice for a female wanting to go into athletic training or motorsports athletic training what would that be?
I believe you need to learn the difference between personal and professional relationships. The athletes are not your friends. You are their athletic trainer and a medical professional. If you draw that line from the beginning there will be no issues.
Pam Brown is an athletic trainer with OrthoCarolina Huntersville and Stewart-Haas Racing.