Scientific Meetings

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Carl Askling (L) & Phatho Zondi (R)

As those of you who follow CJSM on this blog and on our other social media will know, I have of late been enjoying the South African Sports Medicine Association’s 16th biennial congress (SASMA2015).  I am on the plane heading back home, and my head is swimming with what are now memories of some wonderful lectures and social experiences I enjoyed during my time in Johannesburg.

My ‘real world’ of clinical sports medicine, teaching and research await.  My ‘real world’ is where I hope, in my own way, I am making direct contributions to sports medicine:  where I can truly ‘care’ for athlete/patients and ‘create’ content from which others may learn.

But how enjoyable it is to punctuate my professional life with the chance to ‘recreate’ with peers in this special world—to break bread (and drink wine), share ideas and concerns from some great minds.  I return from such meetings re-energized for my real world, with new approaches to common problems [the dancers under my care will be benefitting from the knowledge I gained on hamstring injuries from ECOSEP’s Carl Askling, for instance]. And I return having made new friendships, including that of SASMA’s new president, Dr. Phatho Zondi.

This is an appropriate moment then to have one of our editors weigh in on her own experiences with a conference she attended recently.  I give you  Dawn Thompson, a physician who will share some of what she learned in Barcelona this month.

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for cjsm blog HT

Camp Nou–home of FC Barcelona [and a recent ECOSEP conference]

It has been some time since my first blog on the use of ultrasound in musculoskeletal medicine and I have been mulling over what topics I not only have the authority to write on but also would be interesting to fellow readers and trainee doctors.

Last week I attended “Muscle and Tendon – Inspiring Clinical Excellence” conference in Barcelona organised by Muscletech and the European College Of Sports and Exercise Medicine (ECOSEP). This was a three day conference based at the home ground of FC Barcelona, Camp Nou, with talks from inspirational leaders in both sports and exercise medicine and clinical research. The venue itself would be hard to beat–organizers placed the main stage on the pitch and had delegates sitting in the grandstand–but more importantly the educational content was vast.

picture for HT blog showing teacher mentees

(L to R) Dawn Thompson, Dr Nikolaos Malliaropoulos, Rosanna Jury & Dr Georgina Crate

So why is this relevant to trainee doctors?
Firstly, attending conferences is a great way of meeting new people and catching up with old friends,  both fellow trainees and doctors already working in the field of sports and exercise medicine. The amount I have learned and gained from these meetings cannot be undervalued. Secondly, whilst the main stage was jam packed with cutting edge research and talks by some of the biggest names in muscle and tendon research, the smaller stages played host to over 80 oral and poster presentations. Many of these were delivered by trainee doctors hoping to build experience of presenting at an international conference and obtaining feedback on their research projects. I was lucky to be offered this very opportunity, presenting a research project carried out whilst on elective with Dr Nikolaos Malliaropoulos from Thessaloniki. Dr Malliaropoulos has set up a fantastic elective programme for medical students, with a number of us presenting our research at the conference and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with him and meeting the other elective students also presenting their data (see photo!). Presenting to experts in their field was both daunting and quite frankly terrifying; however I know that this experience will stand me in good stead for a career in this field and I look forward to working with my new contacts and peers in the future.

In summary I would whole heartedly recommend any one looking for a career in this field to consider attending relevant scientific meetings or conferences as an excellent way of building knowledge in the area, meeting new people, and having a welcome break from the day job!

I look forward to meeting you all at upcoming events!

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Thanks Dawn.  And we look forward to seeing you all, our blog readers, here and at http://www.cjsportmed.com, the on-line home of CJSM.

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About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Emerging Media Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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