‘Think so vs. Know so': Dr. Jonathan Finnoff on Sports Ultrasound


Dr. Jonathan Finnoff delivering Grand Rounds in Columbus, Ohio

Earlier this week I was injecting an ankle:  was I in the joint or not?  I ‘think so’–but with an ultrasound I would ‘know so.’ Perhaps that is all I really need to say in this blog post on sports ultrasound!

Readers of the journal and this blog will be familiar with the Mayo Clinic’s Jonathan Finnoff.  Dr. Finnoff has made substantial contributions to the field of sports ultrasound and most recently was the lead author on a highly cited review of this modality.  I had the chance to interview him and profile this work, an American Medical Society for Sports Medicine position statement, in our December 2014 podcast featuring him.

Dr. Finnoff headed a highly regarded sports ultrasound program at the recent 2015 AMSSM conference in Florida.  I arrived a day late for that, and so could not attend.  Not only did I want to go to that program for its educational value, I wanted to meet the man himself!  As I have written, it is both a wondrous and strange attribute of the modern world to become so engaged with someone on Twitter, or Skype, and yet never meet them in person.

I am happy to say my disappointment was short-lived as the busy doctor was able to come visit Columbus, Ohio yesterday.  I was able to catch the sports medicine grand rounds he delivered at Ohio State and get to shake, at last, the hand that holds the transducer.

Jonathan:  it was good to finally meet you!

If you have never had the chance to hear him speak, make sure you avail yourself of the next opportunity [or listen to the podcast :)]  In the mean time, I wanted to share some of what I came away with from the talk. Read more of this post

#AMSSM15: Winding down in sunny Florida


Drs. Bill Meehan of Boston Children’s and Frank Wang, Team Doc of Harvard: bringing a little Boston to Florida at #AMSSM15 (We approve of the ‘Stanley Cup’ beard Dr. Meehan)

As I wrap up my stay in Hollywood, Florida for the 24th meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), it’s a strange realization I come to now sitting down to write a blog post:  how can four days pass so quickly?

One answer to that question:  if the days are packed full of interesting activities.

I can only attempt in this post to survey in brief just what the agenda has been.  That is my self-appointed task, in any case, as I indulge in the last few minutes of the sultry, southern Florida life before I jump a plane home.

I was struck  by just how strong the AMSSM leadership is as I sat through the organization’s ‘State of the Union’ address, delivered co-jointly by outgoing president Chris Madden and incoming president Jon Divine.  I am a member of AMSSM as well as the Emerging Media Editor of CJSM, and so I had a doubly strong interest in the talk.

I was struck, as well, by how strong the organization’s staff is–those folks have done a fabulous job organizing this meeting for what is now approaching almost 2o00 physicians!

The AMSSM is the largest primary care sports physician organization in the world.  It is one we are proud to represent as its official journal; one we are proud to include among our group of partner societies which span the globe (which include CASEM, ACSP, and the AOASM).  Both Drs. Madden and Divine delivered inspiring speeches, ones devoted at heart to a recognition that an organization represents the sum of its parts:  we imperfect human beings who, in this organization’s case, are working hard to define the best practices of primary care sports medicine.

I will hold close for some time, I hope, the words of the parting president of AMSSM, Dr. Madden, who used a quotation attributed to Gandhi:  “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Read more of this post

Let us now praise social media: #AMSSM15

pam and me

With a good friend….whom I just happened to meet in person today! Tekia Thompson, AMSSM

Much can be written–and has been written–about the perverse behaviors and relationships that can form around social media.  Anyone who has spent time blogging or tweeting can tell you about being verbally blasted by trolls.

But I’m here to write about, briefly, the greatness of social media:  the way it can make the world flat, to borrow a concept of Thomas Friedman’s.

Time differences and geography need not be a barrier to forging powerful relationships, and I’m reminded of that strongly today.

It is the first day of the annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and it’s already shaped up to be a great one.  I just wrapped up a faculty development session and am soon to sit down and hear some of the world’s experts on football medicine (that’s soccer to us Yanks).

When I was checking in, the first person I wanted to meet was @TheAMSSM, a.k.a. @PamTekaDegraw…or, rather, Tekia Thompson, the communications manager and one of the fabulous staff of the AMSSM. I’ve communicated with Pam for months via email at times, but mostly via direct message on twitter; we’ve chatted about a variety of issues relating to AMSSM and CJSM. I feel as if I have come to know her.  Nothing can replace the excitement of finally meeting her first hand; but as I reflect on how we’ve become colleagues and friends, I realize the warmth of our greeting today was informed by a true sense of a relationship already formed…..thanks to twitter.

The same situation applies to my growing collaborations with Jon Patricios, as I wrote in one of my more recent blog posts. We’ve skyped, and emailed, and tweeted; I’ve conducted a podcast interview with him.  We’ve worked on one talk and will do so with another at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in a month.  I’ll see him here in Florida (he is the South African travelling fellow to AMSSM) and I’ll get to see him later this year in South Africa (I’ll be one of two travelling fellows to SASMA).  But for all of this, I may have met Jon I think physically 2 or 3 times–the depth of our relationship owes to the ‘flatness’ of the virtual world.

The subject of that ACSM talk is the power of social media for sports medicine clinicians, and if you’re in San Diego for the conference be sure to hear from Jon and AMSSM member @MizzouSportsDoc (er, Aaron Gray, M.D.) and me about why a tool like twitter should belong next to your goniometer.


Beautiful Hollywood, Florida

So–here’s to social media and it’s power to influence for the better our profession of sports medicine! Make sure to follow the hashtag #AMSSM15 this week to stay on top of the proceedings even if you are not physically here in Hollywood, Florida. And take a look at our #ReturnToPlay collection, which we’ve made free until the end of the month to celebrate the theme of #AMSSM15

Cheers, and we (that is @CJSMonline) hope 2 c u on twitter!



Ultrasound in Sports Medicine

dawn ultrasound

Dawn Thompson, MD using the sports med doc’s ‘stethoscope’

The subject of ‘sports’ or ‘musculoskeletal’ (MSK) ultrasound in sports medicine is one of the hot topics in our profession….all around the globe.

It’s been a particular focus here at CJSM since the beginning of the year, when we published two important documents about the subject in the January 2015 issue:  the AMSSM Position Statement on Interventional Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Sports Medicine and the AMSSM Recommended Sports Ultrasound Curriculum for Sports Medicine Fellowships.

One of the more popular CJSM podcasts we’ve ever produced was the interview I conducted with the lead author of those statements, Jonathan Finnoff, with whom I’m looking forward to catching up at the AMSSM annual meeting taking place this week in Florida.

The issue of ultrasound in sports medicine is not of interest uniquely to Americans, however.  And so I reached out to our newest editorial board member, Junior Associate Editor Dawn Thompson, from the UK, for her perspective from ‘across the pond.’

Dr. Thompson, as well as being a new member of the CJSM Editorial Board, is a member of the  European College of Sports Medicine and Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP) Junior Doctors Committe and a fine writer.  You can expect more guest blog posts coming from here, I’m sure of that.

Thanks Dawn for the post.  And I hope soon to see many of you–reading this post, checking out the position statements, and listening to the podcast–in Florida or elsewhere!


Dawn Thompson

As a newly qualified doctor interested in pursuing a career in the increasingly popular and competitive field of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) I find myself faced with the same decisions and questions I’m sure many of my peers are also troubling over. For any aspiring SEM doctor what is the best route into the specialty? The options are fairly endless: General Practice, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics or even General Medicine seem to be on the cards. Should I complete any post graduate course or qualifications and if so which? And of course the holy grail of any individual lusting over a career in SEM – how do I get practical hands on experience with a sports team or professional athletes?! Read more of this post

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