It’s a New Year!

Lots to learn about running a better sports medicine fellowship from Dr. Irfan Asif

What’s that you say?  A ‘new year’?  But we’re months away from January 1! It’s hardly time to sing Auld Lang Syne….

However, if you are a physician in North America, a new year most definitely has begun — whether it is July 1 for most, or August 1 for the remainder, pretty much all post-graduate medical education programs begin at this time of year.  And so, if you are involved in a sports medicine fellowship in Canada or the USA, it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions……..

Such as.  How can I make my sports medicine fellowship better?  How might I structure a regular educational feature such as journal club in such a way as to improve the educational outcomes of the people under my charge? Read more of this post

Wimbledon 2017

Roger Federer, Photo By Tatiana from Moscow, Russia (WikiCommons)

I, like many of you in the world of sports medicine, am a sports fan.  I grew up loving all sorts of sport — as an American, I of course have a special affection for football (gridiron), baseball and basketball.  The sport I pursued myself until early adulthood was athletics: cross-country and track and field. In my adult life, largely because of my sports medicine training at Boston Children’s Hospital, I have come to enjoy rugby and classical dance.

A favored breakfast this time of year!!!

I am also a big fan of tennis. In the late 70’s I have the fondest memories of ‘breakfasts at Wimbledon,’ where, at this time of year, I would watch McEnroe, Borg, Edberg, Becker, Wilander, Navratilova and Evert do battle with each other at so many fabulous matches. After the matches, my friend and I would run out with our wooden racquets and try to duplicate the serve and volley techniques favored in that era.

This year’s Wimbledon has been special, I think.  As I write, veterans Venus Williams and Roger Federer are still in the hunt for the Championship.  I will be enjoying the upcoming semi-final and final breakfasts my schedule may allow me to watch.

At CJSM, we don’t ‘play favorites’ with any sports, and have a long publication history of studies looking into sports ranging from some of the world’s most popular (soccer, cricket) to some of the least known (rodeo, ringette).

It so happens that tennis is one of the sports researchers who submit to CJSM investigate on a regular basis.   Read more of this post

Mile High at #ACSM17

Speakers at the ACSM Social Media Session (L to R): Angela Smith, Pamela Peeke, Gretchen Reynolds, Felica Stoler, yours truly

I’m curious about how others perceive the cycle of the sports medicine year.  I have my own peculiar calendar, dictated by contingencies such as geography (American) and specialty (academic medicine, pediatric sports medicine specialist).

Summer, soon to be upon us, is the time to enjoy not only a bit of vacation but also ‘catch up’ on research projects and writing assignments that have piled up on my desk.  Fall?  That’s the tsunami season: sports such as football and soccer keep me very busy from August 1 through Thanksgiving.  After a holiday breather, I seem to roll into conference season and various speaking engagements extending through the late spring– PRISM (Dallas) to Rugby Medicine (Las Vegas) to IOC Prevention (Monaco) to AMSSM (San Diego) to, now, ACSM.

To be sure, I’m certainly in the place where I could conduct a survey getting the ‘seasonal perspective’ of hundreds of people from around the globe and of various specialties: the 64th ACSM Annual Meeting (and 8th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine) is a huge affair, renowned for its depth and breadth.  This is the place where I can connect with folks from South Africa to Down Under, and posit collaborative ideas to professionals from athletic trainers to exercise physiologists. I am always blown away by the size of the affair.

These conferences are the places to make new friends, re-connect with established colleagues; they are the places to share a handshake or a hug, share a meal — make the physical connections upon which all true relationships are based.  I celebrate the power of social media, as many of you know, but I see it primarily as the way to facilitate deeper connections–not in the virtual world, but in real life.

And so I felt privileged to kick off #ACSM17 with a session on social media, one shared with both established and new friends: Pamela Peeke, Angela Smith, Felicia Stoler, Gretchen Reynolds.  If you don’t know them, follow them on Twitter, and then introduce yourself if you see them on the ground here in Denver. I felt privileged, as well, to interact with so many in the audience, who asked probing questions and ‘hung around’ for an hour or so after the session.

I landed 24 hours ago. I haven’t hiked the Rockies (yet) and I haven’t indulged in Colorado-legal herbal gummies (yet?), but I’m already feeling a mile high.

I hope you are, likewise, feeling the positive vibe here in Denver.  Share your stories on social media with the hashtag #ACSM17 and promote that vibe.  Then go say hi to an ACSM member you only know on social media. If you see me lurking in some symposium or colloquium, come say hi!  We can always do a selfie!

Enjoy the conference.

Military Medicine — AMSSM 2017, San Diego

Drs. Eric Schoomaker, Matthew Gammons, and Francis O’Connor (L to R), at the Military Medicine session #AMSSM17

I have been in San Diego at the 2017 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) annual meeting.  There is always so much going on that I sometimes wish I could clone myself — doing so I could go to simultaneous meetings, hit every session on the program, etc.

Well, the second best thing to cloning — get on social media.

An AMSSM colleague, Dr. Devin McFadden, reached out to me on Twitter about a black hole in my #AMSSM17 social media feed.  I had not yet made any mention of Session #2 on Tuesday, “Military Medicine — Lessons Learned.”  My neglect to mention this session had reflected my failure to attend the session: I had conflicting obligations (hence, the need for a clone).

I am grateful, then, to Dr. McFadden for stepping up to give this overview of what was a very well-received session.  Thanks Devin for following @cjsmonline on Twitter, and stepping up to author this blog post!


Major Devin McFadden, M.D.

The United States Military is the world’s largest athletic team, composed of a diverse group of individuals unified in mission to defend the Constitution. While the physical demands vary by job, each Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine must be capable of responding to fire, helping to evacuate wounded compatriots, and passing a biannual physical fitness test.

The second session of the AMSSM meeting focused on the military athlete. Colonel Missy Givens, United States Army (USA), led off with an update on Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), an investigational new drug with potential to aid in the development of lean body mass. Already banned by WADA, potential benefit remains for the American Warfighter, where the trophy at the end of the day is sometimes life or death. The jury is still out on the long-term safety and efficacy, and despite their regulation by the FDA, they’re still being illegally marketed as nutraceuticals, so be aware.

Colonel Anthony Beutler, United States Air Force (USAF), shared that noncombat musculoskeletal issues are the leading cause of lost productivity in the Military, accounting for 1.6 million encounters annually, and the top cause of disability for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Read more of this post

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