Special Olympics MedFest is a free health screening that facilitates the acquisition of the standard sports physical that is required under the General Rules of Special Olympics, Inc. Led by volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and medical students, the MedFest screening consists of the following stations: medical history, height and weight, blood pressure, cardiology test, musculoskeletal test, orthopedic tests, abdominal evaluation, and a check-out station.
Since the early days of Special Olympics, ‘medical volunteer days’ have been organized in order to help athletes obtain the sports physical necessary to participate in trainings and Games. In 1999, this event was given a name by volunteers in Chicago – MedFest.
Three years later, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, along with other medical volunteers from the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine worked to formalize the way in which medical physicals should be delivered to people with intellectual disabilities at MedFest events.
The purpose of MedFest is fivefold:
offer a free sports physical and other health screening services to people with intellectual disabilities,
recruit new athletes to Special Olympics,
retain existing Special Olympics athletes,
provide physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers with training and specialized experience in the examination and assessment of people with intellectual disabilities, and
foster new partnerships between Special Olympics and the community.