The warrior athlete in 2020 — sports and military medicine in the era of COVID-19

Francis O’Connor MD, MPH (L) and Daniel Fosselman D.O. (R)

We have two special guests for our most recent podcast. This episode explores the impact of the novel SARS-CoV-2 on the clinicians in our world who have one foot in military medicine and the other in sports medicine.

Two physicians who care for ‘warrior athletes’ join us for this special podcast:  Francis O’Connor MD, MPH, Retd. Col. US Army and Daniel Fosselman D.O., Capt. US Army Reserve.

Dr. O’Connor is, among many other things, a past-President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and a current Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.  He is also the Medical Director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the University, and he shares with us in the podcast the challenges of keeping a force of soldiers at the ready during this pandemic.  Dr. O’Connor like many is working through the intricacies of teaching over Zoom and is coming to grips with the impact of the virus on issues ranging from quarantine to ‘return to play’.  He reminds us that resting indefinitely on the sideline or playing in a ‘bubble’ are not options when it comes to national security.

Dr. Fosselman is a young sports medicine clinician who had just started his career in central Ohio in primary care sports medicine and family medicine when, as a Captain in the US Army Reserve, he was called up for duty.  We caught up with him as he was nearing the end of his two-week quarantine, which came on the tail of end of many weeks of service on the true front lines of the battle with this new foe:  in the hospitals of the Bronx, in the midst of the COVID spike that devastated the NYC area this spring.  His story is one of true service to patients and to his country. Read more of this post

CJSM July Blog Post Journal Club — A Physical Activity Vital Sign

Our Jr. Associate Editor and Journal Club Author, Dr. Jason Zaremski, sporting the contemporary COVID-era look

Our July 2020 issue has just published, and it’s full of many important new position statements and original research publications.

Among the latter is an investigation of a physical activity ‘vital sign’ and its association with cardiometabolic disease.

As always, our Jr. Associate Editor Jason Zaremski, MD will walk us through the study in this edition of the CJSM Blog Post Journal Club.

_______________________________

Jason Zaremski, MD — Jr. Associate Editor, CJSM

Title: Nelson VR, Masocol RV, Ewing JA, Johnston S, Hale A, Widederman M, Asif IM. Association Between a Physical Activity Vital Sign and Cardiometabolic Disease in High-Risk Patients. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: July 2020 – Volume 30 – Issue 4 – p 348-352. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000588.

Introduction:  The challenges posed by the COVID pandemic are legion.  A less publicized aspect of ‘stay home’ or ‘shelter-in-place’ orders has been the reduction in physical activity in all ages. This new publication by Nelson VR et al. examining a physical activity vital sign (PVS) arrives in the pages of CJSM at just the right time.

Physical inactivity is known to be associated with increased rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and increased mortality rates. The ability of physicians to potentially screen patients using efficient means during clinical encounters could be extremely helpful to improve measures of all cause morbidity and mortality of patients.

This month’s journal club focuses on this interesting new study assessing the use of a PAVS and its correlation with cardiometabolic markers and disease in medically complex patient population in a large family medicine clinic in South Carolina. Read more of this post

CJSM and concussions — in the news

As 2020 rolls on and COVID dominates, quite rightly, much of the conversation in sports medicine, important research continues on topics of concern that have been present a lot longer than the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.

CJSM prides itself on publishing a large number of primary research articles, which often get considerable media buzz. I wanted to share with you today two recent CJSM publications that have caught the attention of the lay press and are likely to have a significant and transformative impact on sports medicine practice.  The two research articles both address a long-standing concern of sports medicine — concussion in sport.

The first such article was published in our March 2020 edition: Distribution of Head Acceleration Events Varies by Position and Play Type in North American Football, a study whose team of authors primarily comes from Purdue University in the United States.  This pilot study contributes to the literature of risk mitigation in contact sport — how might we lower the incidence of concussion in a sport like North American football?  The findings were interesting enough to command the attention of Forbes magazine.

John Miller of the Buffalo Bills demonstrating a ‘2-point’ or ‘up’ stance. Photo Erik Drost, Wikimedia

This study evaluated the number of head acceleration events (HAEs) based on position, play type, and starting stance.  The most significant outcomes were reported for offensive linemen.  Offensive linemen in North American football have typically begun plays in a ‘down’, or what is known as a 3- or 4- point stance, as opposed to an ‘up’ or a 2-point stance. The position taken at the start of the play is sometimes dictated by what type of play, run vs. pass, may be run. Read more of this post

Part 2 — How SARS-CoV-2 is transforming sports medicine

Drs. Jim Miller (ready for work), Phatho Zondi (on her mountain bike, dressed for COVID), and Andy Peterson (rocking the ESPN sportscaster look)

This is the second in a series of special podcasts CJSM is publishing.  We have been catching up with sports medicine clinicians from around the globe and chatting with them about the myriad ways the COVID19 pandemic is changing the professional and personal landscapes they inhabit.

I hope you were able to listen to part 1 of the series, in which we interviewed CJSM editors Chris Hughes of the UK and Hamish Osborne of NZ.

Today, we get the chance to circle to other parts of our world, beginning with South Africa, where we catch up with Phathokuhle Zondi MBChB, MSc, MBA, the CEO of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and the Past-President of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA).  Then we head to the United States, where we interview physicians Jim Miller in Virginia and Andy Peterson in Iowa.  Dr. Miller is a busy sports and family medicine physician who is heavily involved in the care of swimming athletes, working with both USA Swimming and FINA.  Dr. Peterson is a pediatrician who is both Team Physician for the University of Iowa and a member of the Board of Directors for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

The stories they share make for a compelling podcast.  I hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as I did when interviewing these guests.

COVID and sports medicine is a novel subject–a relationship, really, which is bound to change over the next months and years, as we begin to better understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and as sports begin to open up.  There will surely be more podcasts coming investigating what we are yet to discover.

Head to iTunes to subscribe to the CJSM podcast or to our journal website, where you can also find all 42 of our podcasts to date. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: