Sports Medicine Specialist Rivera-Vega Joins UAMS

By Ben Boulden

Rivera-Vega earned her medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Veterans Affair Caribbean Health Care System in San Juan, Puerto Rico and her fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

She is a member of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American College of Sports Medicine and Puerto Rico Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She also is certified in sports medicine.

Rivera-Vega has private practice experience in four rehabilitation centers in Puerto Rico where she led a patient rehabilitation program and worked with both physical and occupational therapists. She also worked at VA Caribbean Healthcare System evaluating musculoskeletal injuries in the veteran population. Her sports coverage experience includes national and international sporting events, such as the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games in 2010 and the 2013 Juvenile Fencing Pan American Games.

She is known for her sports medicine-related research in musculoskeletal injuries in Puerto Rico and her analysis of emergency room services utilization and cost effectiveness in treating chronic pain patients at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.