The Mental Health Podcast and CASEMCON2019

I hope readers of this blog, and listeners of the podcast, have been following #CASEMCON2019 on their social media feeds this week. The Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) has been conducting its annual meeting in Vancouver these past several days, and is scheduled to wrap up today, May 18.  I have learned so much from following this #, as well as following the feeds of CJSM Twitter friends including Drs. Jane Thornton  Margo Mountjoy and Laura Cruz.

The topic of mental health in sport has figured prominently in the CASEM proceedings:  for instance, Clint Malarchuk, a retired NHL player, is scheduled to talk today about the stigma of mental health in sport.

And so one of our more recent publications and our most recent podcast could not be timelier (published in our May 2019 journal): The Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport (CCMHS) Position Statement: Principles of Mental Health in Competitive and High-Performance Sport

Krista Van Slingerland, of CCMHS and the University of Ottawa

The CCMHS is a relatively new organization and, along with a similar group in Sweden, represents one of the first such initiatives on the planet.  The co-founder of CCMHS, Ms. Krista Van Slingerland of the University of Ottawa, is the lead author of the position statement. She graciously met me on Skype (she, in Ottawa, and I in Columbus) to conduct a podcast exploring the issue of mental health in sport and the work CCMHS is doing to bring further attention to this issue and begin treating individual athletes for the problems they are facing.

CJSM is committed to providing a platform for this important issue, one which has been relatively neglected for too long in our world of sport and exercise medicine.  In my training — and I would suspect in yours, too — the focus was primarily on musculoskeletal medicine,  Medical issues such as managing diabetes or exercise-induced asthma, screening for cardiac disease, etc. would demand our attention at times.  The issue of concussion and its sequelae have of course become central to our athletes’ lives and our practice.  But identifying and helping our athletes cope with anxiety, depression, suicidality — I received little to no training in sports medicine about this, and have heretofore relied on my training in family medicine to help.

The new position statement as well as the CJSM CME Module we have created will help clinicians, including myself, learn more about the importance of mental health in the athletes we serve, and will help us be better able to identify and address the issues uncovered.  High profile and tragic stories like that of the life and death by suicide of Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin underscore the vital importance of improving our care.

Besides the timeliness of #CASEMCON2019 wrapping up today in Vancouver with Clint Malarchuk’s talk, there is a bit of additional serendipity to the publication date for the CCMHS statement and this podcast, as well, for May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth!

And so…..your action items for this weekend

  1. Follow #CASEMCON2019 on your social media feeds
  2. Listen to the podcast, which can be found on our journal web page and on our iTunes feed
  3. Read the position statement — one of the Editor’s picks for this month
  4. Check out the CME module CJSM has produced on the topic of mental health in sport

Medicine Through Movement — The CJSM Podcast with Dr. Jane Thornton

Jane Thornton, MD, PhD, of CASEM and the University of Western Ontario, Fowler Kennedy Sports Clinic. Twitter: @JaneSThornton

One of CJSM’s closest relationships is with our partner society the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM).  After all, CASEM was the founding society for the ‘Canadian Journal of Sport Medicine’ (now the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine).  We keep close tabs on what CASEM is doing because it’s sure to be of importance to both us and the world of SEM.

And so we’re excited to announce that just a few days from now — April 6 — CASEM will be hosting in Ottawa a special conference.  “Medicine Through Movement:  How Physical Activity is Changing Health Care.”

April 6 is, not coincidentally, World Physical Activity Day. The World Health Organization (WHO) named April 6 World Physical Activity Day in 2002 as part of in initiative to address the world-wide pandemic of physical activity.  We in primary care SEM are the troops on the ‘front lines’ waging battle against this pandemic.  We are always looking for effective tools to stem the tide.

One of the organizers of the Ottawa conference, and an expert in the field of ‘medicine through movement,’ is Dr. Jane Thornton, a clinician and researcher who most recently published in the pages of CJSM as the lead author of the CASEM position statement on the ‘physical activity prescription.‘  Always game to see research translated into practical action in the clinic and community, Dr. Thornton was a gracious guest on these blog pages three years ago.

We’re delighted to have her as CJSM’s guest again, and on this occasion she was able to sit down with us for a podcast conversation.  No small feat in her very busy life, I can assure you!

In preparation for the conference, or in its aftermath, take a listen to our conversation. Dr. Thornton weighs in on the highlights of the event, her research into the area of physical activity interventions, and tells us all about one of her heroesShe also shares her thoughts on ‘movement hacks’ — interventions that work for patients, and can be integrated into the busy, time-challenged clinics in which, I am sure, we all work.

If you’re not able to get to Ottawa, have a listen and by all means follow Dr. Thornton and the hashtag #MTM2019 on Twitter for the breaking information from that conference.

And before we forget, make sure to highlight May 16 – 18 2019 and April 29 – May 2 2020 on your calendars; these are the dates of the 2019 CASEM (Vancouver) and 2020 CASEM (Banff, Alberta) annual symposia. You won’t want to miss these, perhaps especially the 2020 event, when CASEM celebrates its 50th anniversary!

In the meantime, what are you waiting for?  Take a listen on iTunes or on our journal webpage to Dr. Jane Thornton on the newest CJSM podcast!

The 2019 AMSSM Position Statement on Concussion — a Podcast with Dr. Kim Harmon

How to manage concussion in sport in 2019: The AMSSM Position Statement, and the new CJSM podcast

As one of our partner societies, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) contributes significantly and regularly to the global sports medicine discussion.  When the AMSSM authors a position statement, it’s a document that should be read by the active sports medicine clinician

Prof. Kim Harmon, past-president of the AMSSM

Hence, the publication of the AMSSM Position Statement on Concussion in Sport is news we want to make sure you all know about.  And if you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can now take the opportunity to hear about it from the publication’s lead author, Dr. Kimberly Harmon of the University of Washington.

For the new statement, Dr. Harmon notes that she and a panel of expert authors adopted a very specific focus: what does the practicing clinician need to be current when diagnosing and managing a concussion in 2019. This is a document for the sideline, the training room, the clinic.  A document for ‘now.’

It is evidence-based, but also ready to assist clinicians in the areas of concussion where evidence is currently limited.  That is, the statement makes suggestions for needed future research directions, but also reports current best practices informed by consensus or expert opinion.

After reading it, I found myself immediately referencing the statement when conversing with patients and families, whose questions might range from whether their child should take fish oil after their concussion (no, unless your child is a rat, as Dr Harmon may say….) to whether they are ready to drive (well, that depends….).

Take a listen to all of our podcasts on our main website or on iTunes.

If you want especially to hear interviews we’ve had with authors of previous AMSSM Position Statements, check out as well our podcasts with Dr. Jonathan Drezner (cardiovascular screening) and this one with Dr. Irfan Asif  (best practices for a sports medicine fellowship).

As ever give us feedback on these podcasts at the iTunes page, or in the comment section here!

Gender Bias in Medicine — the CJSM podcast with Dr. Esther Choo

@choo_ek (a.k.a. Dr. Esther Choo) — a definite follow on Twitter!

We are excited to share the first CJSM podcast of 2019 with you.  Special guest Esther Choo M.D., M.P.H. joins us to discuss issues of gender bias in medicine:  “From Mansplaining to Bromotion — How We Can Move the Needle on Gender Bias in Sports Medicine.” 

For those not familiar with Dr. Choo’s work, I would direct you to a CJSM blog post from December 2018 where I shared with you some of my thoughts about one of her more recent commentaries published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ): “A Lexcion for Gender Bias in Academic Medicine.”

I would also direct you to her Twitter feed and heartily encourage you to follow her @choo_ek to continually learn from her, as I do on a nearly daily basis.  She argues strongly that issues of equality inform all our attempts to deliver high quality medicine; that issues of bias should be of interest to us all, because they affect not only our fellow professionals, but the patients we serve.

She also does this typically with a sense of humor, which has often put me in mind of Mark Twain’s quotation, “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”  This work and this tone can be hard to achieve, because many of the issues Dr. Choo and others are tilting against can be dark.  In thinking of our own word of sports medicine, the complicated and horrific story of Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics comes to mind.  I’m also mindful of stories like that of Eva Carneiro, former team physician of an English Premiership Club, whose summary dismissal was entwined with these issues of sexism.  Or the exceedingly common phenomenon of attending a sports medicine conference only to find that all the keynote speakers are male

The world we serve is rife with issues of gender bias.  On his recent retirement, Andy Murray was lauded as an all too rare light in men’s sport — a man who would publicly stand up for women’s issues, a #HeForShe.  Or what to make of the arena of NCAA Division I coaching, where the sight of a man coaching a women’s team is common (think Gino Auriemma of UConn Women’s Bball), but the reverse is an exceedingly uncommon phenomenon.

There is light in this darkness.  Dr. Choo and groups like Feminem.org are doing great work.  I am also mindful of the lead that the IOC 2020 Prevention Conference has taken on this — the organizers publicly stated their intention to assemble a gender balanced planning committee, and they got it right, I think, including many luminaries in our field including Margo Mountjoy, Kate Ackerman, Caroline Finch, and Christa Janse van Rensburg, among others. Bravo!

I hope you go to our podcast page on our main website, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to listen to our conversation with Dr. Choo and sample all of our podcasts.  Please let us know what you think. Take the time if you can on our iTunes feed to give us your opinion on the podcast in general, as we always take feedback seriously and use it to ‘tweak’ our media to make it ever better for you.

 

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