Five Questions with Dr. Hamish Osborne — the Surfer’s Paradise Edition

Familiar faces to CJSM readers! (L to R): Bob Sallis, Peter Brukner, Hamish Osborne, Connie Lebrun

We have on deck today our intrepid Associate Editor Hamish Osborne.  Dr. Osborne, of the University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ, is a member of the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP), one of our affiliate societies.

Over the last few years, he has pulled the “hard” duty of reporting from the beaches of Queensland, Australia on the proceedings of the annual ACSEP meeting. He’s here to tell us what we missed at Surfer’s Paradise and, just as importantly, what we can anticipate in Queenstown, NZ, site of the 2019 ACSEP meeting 6 – 10 February 2019.


1) CJSM: The 2018 ACSEP has just wrapped. Let’s start things off the way we might with a patient in an exam room – with a big, broad open question. And so: what were some of the more memorable presentations from the proceedings?

Dr. Osborne: I really enjoyed hearing from Prof Lorimer Mosely. The study of pain translated so that mere mortals like me can make sense/use of it. I’ve recently extended my first consultation with patients mostly so that I can spend 15 minutes with them undoing bad images/poor language they use/ have in their heads,  much of it having been learned from us, the professionals treating them.

They come in with a “stuffed back” and leaving knowing they are not injured, just sore and that that soreness is a danger sign of trouble coping with load rather than damage happening. If only we could get “Lorimer” into our undergraduate courses and teach the new generations about this. We don’t have the problem of pain being a vital sign in Australasia but we still have some work to do.

“Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.” At Lake Tekapo, NZ

And then there is your old mate, Dr. Kathryn Ackerman from Boston Children’s Hospital, Sports Medicine – what doesn’t she know about RED-S?  Awesome keynote talks from her, and funny.

By the way Jim her photo from 8 years hasn’t changed as much as your recently tweeted photo (see right) from 8 years ago in New Zealand – perhaps you can come to our 2019 ACSEP conference in Queenstown and update that one with another great set of mountains in the background.

2) CJSM: I followed the meeting via Twitter and the #ACSEP18 hashtag, and was heavily reliant on your prolific tweeting.  The ACSEP does fantastic work all around; one of the more interesting programs it has pioneered is the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).  What is the RAP

Dr. Osborne: The ACSEP is very proud of its reconciliation action plan. It is a written practical action plan outlining how ACSEP will build relationships with, and respect and opportunities for, the indigenous peoples of Australia.

There is unfortunately a gap between traditional custodians of the land – Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – and non-Indigneous Australians, particularly in health standards. Historically sport and exercise has played a strong part in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and on a per capital basis they are highly over represented in elite football codes in Australia. ACSEP strongly believes that exercise must be used as a tool to improve health standards and outcomes.  We have strong links with the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association, and ACSEP encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to join our staff. We are hoping that the inaugural winner of our Indigenous Award, Dr Nathan Luies will be our first Australian indigenous trainee next year (no pressure on your exam Nathan). We are planning to build a similar document that outlines ACSEPs committment to the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of New Zealand that recognises Maori as the traditional people of New Zealand so that we can work on #closingthegap there as well.

3) CJSM: As we noted previously, you have quite the presence on Twitter, and so this question should be a breeze: You have to compose a tweet (now up to 280 characters!) to highlight the upcoming ACSEP 2019 meeting in NZ – what does it say?

“Make sure you have #ACSEP19 in your diary for Feb 6 – 10 2019 – if you have ever seen a photo of @PureNewZealand it was probably Queenstown – THE original home of @AJHackettBungy – #snowski and #mountainbike mecca. @ACSEP_ wants to see you down under in 2019”

[21 characters to spare Dr. Osborne: bravo!]

4) CJSM: The Black Tie event is always a special evening conducted annually with the ACSEP meeting.  What was memorable about this year’s gala — be discreet if necessary 🙂

Drs. Kate Ackerman and Hamish Osborne, wrapping up the Black Tie event, a centerpiece of the ACSEP experience

Dr. Osborne: You read it here – record numbers – 320 – mostly in Black Tie.

Dr Bob Sallis who isn’t shy of dressing up for US royalty had never seen anything like it – he has a few tips to take home for ACSM. All our North American guests (those mentioned already as well as Canada’s Connie Lebrun) were amazed how each new member of our college could be introduced with humour, humility and brevity – a very traditional and formal part of what we do/are and the main reason for the evening – and then there is the dancing…… you’ve seen it, our great office staff are not shy of shaking some booty……

5) CJSM: The meeting took place in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland. We understand you have had to bolt immediately back to NZ for sporting coverage.  What event was lucky enough to enjoy your services?

Dr. Osborne: It’s the start of the academc year at the University of Otago and my new intake of Post Graduate Diploma in #SEM students all converge on another great NZ location – Wanaka – also surrounded by mountains, to work in the MedTent at the Ironman event run there by Challenge Wanaka. Also, a big weekend out staying on the mountain at the Snow Farm ski area (you should see our wedding photos from the party we had there) and taking care of all those crazy athletes competing – pretty eye opening for our cohort of doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists and human movement students.


As ever, posts like this from my ACSEP colleagues always leave me with the realization that they often realize that ideal life:  work hard, play hard.

We certainly appreciate the work Dr. Osborne does for this journal — and I know the ACSEP likewise is a much stronger organization because of him.

For any of the readers who have the ability — get to Queenstown for #ACSEP19 next February. Follow the ACSEP on Twitter for the notifications of when to register for that conference.  You won’t be sorry.

[P.S. Bring your black tie!]


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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