A medal for Berkeley’s Dr. Cindy Chang

Dr. Cindy Chang, Dr. Robert Block

Dr. Cindy Chang accepts a medal and plaque from USSA’s Dr. Robert Block. (UC Berkeley photo)

Dr. Cindy Chang, longtime team physician for UC Berkeley’s 27 athletic teams and doctor to Team USA for the 2012 London Olympics, today wore a medal of her own as recipient of one of sports medicine’s highest honors.

“I feel like an Olympian,” said Chang, after the medal from the United States Sports Academy was hung around her neck by Dr. Robert Block, a USSA founding trustee, in a ceremony at the Tang Center Thursday morning. It followed a presentation by Chang for University Health Services staff on shoulder injuries.

Chang is the first woman to win the USSA’s Dr. Ernst Joki Sports Medicine Award, named in honor of a former Olympian and sports medicine scholar. She joins 18 previous winners — who include Roger Bannister, the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes — in being honored for their contributions to the growth and development of sports medicine.

“Dr. Chang was selected to receive this prestigious award because of her tireless work and unfailing determination to advance the science of sports medicine,” Block said before bestowing the medal and a plaque.

From 1995 to 2008, Chang was the Cal’s head team physician. She now works part-time as a sports medicine specialist with UHS and serves as a consultant and team physician for Berkeley’s intercollegiate athletes. Active in statewide and national efforts to prevent injuries to high school athletes, Chang is a co-chair of the California Concussion Coaltion.

She got her start in sports medicine at Ohio State, and, according to UHS, is recognized as one of the leading primary care sports medicine physicians in the country. In addition to working as chief medical officer for the nation’s Olympic team in 2012, she has been active as a doctor at world paralympic events. She is a former president of the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine.