CJSM Podcast with Dr. William Meehan — long-term quality-of-life benefits for collegiate female athletes

Dr. William Meehan (R) and yours truly (L) in that oh so 2020 virtual space

CJSM’s November 2020 issue — the last of this unprecedented calendar year — contains many many interesting research studies.

One of the studies was the subject of our most recent blog post journal club.

I enjoyed that submission so much that I thought I would ‘ring’ the authors and see if they could join me on a podcast.

Corresponding author Dr. William (Bill) Meehan kindly set aside time from his busy schedule to share his thoughts on this study: Stracciolini A, et al. Female Sport Participation Effect on Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life,

Dr. Meehan has been a regular at CJSM — here in the blog, on a previous CJSM podcast, and most especially in the journal itself.  He is a prolific author.

He is also a friend and trusted colleague, whom I met a long time ago when he and I both completed our sports medicine fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. God bless him, he always responds to that hook of friendship when I call him and need some collegial advice!

In this new study, he and the team of authors led by Dr. Andrea Stracciolini looked at a cohort of women in their 40’s to 70’s who have previously participated as athletes in college at NCAA DIII level institutions.

In our conversation Dr. Meehan covers a wide variety of subjects:  what are DIII institutions, what is Title IX, how does college sport participation associate with long-term QOL measures, and more. 

Check out and subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes or go to the media tab on our main CJSM web page. And check out the study itself in our November 2020 issue. Any way you engage with CJSM, we’re happy to have you.

What are the long-term health-related QOL effects for women participating in college sports

CJSM Associate Editor Jason Zaremski, MD (center) with colleagues at Florida HS football game with that 2020 look

Online Journal Club November 2020

Jason L Zaremski, MD

Title: Stracciolini A, et al. Female Sport Participation Effect on Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life, CJSM: November 2020 – Volume 30 – Issue 6 – p 526-532 doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000645

Introduction:  As we turn the corner on a unique fall sports season in the United States and around the world, we as a sports medicine community continue to find ourselves facing innumerable COVID-19 related challenges which must be overcome as we promote safe participation in sport. There is a substantial body of research which demonstrates that participation in sport improves confidence, lowers rates of depression, and improves sense of self and self-confidence. During this pandemic, we are more than ever in need of all these sports-related quality of life outcomes.

In this original research from the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention and other centers (including four colleges), the authors do a deep dive into long-term quality of life measures in female athletes.  As the authors highlight, female athletes who participate in sports are less likely to join gangs or use drugs, and are less likely to have unprotected sex or an unintended pregnancy than non-athletes. Nearly fifty years after the passage of Title IX in 1972, in the midst of a global pandemic none of us have ever faced, the November CJSM Journal Club has chosen to highlight this wonderful manuscript on how participation in sport by females in college can potentially impact long term health quality of life measures. Read more of this post

Sports medicine: a career for all genders?

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Dawn Thompson, covering Brighton Marathon

I am pleased to step aside from writing for the blog today and turn over the stage to Dawn Thompson, CJSM Junior Associate Editor and a member of the ECOSEP Junior Doctors Committee.

Dawn and I have a shared background in sports medicine, but she brings a unique perspective to today’s post:  she is a woman, she is young, and she is still in training.  I am none of these things!

If sports is a mirror of society, then it should come as no surprise that in our own professional world we may see phenomena such as gender bias.   And for those of us who benefit from male privilege (me), Dawn’s post is a great reminder of the differential burden our female colleagues may face when trying to perform the same job duties as a man.

Here in the USA, 2016 is a particularly poignant moment in time: the Democratic party’s presumptive candidate for president is Hillary Clinton.  Will that political ‘glass ceiling’ be shattered?  What of our sports medicine colleagues who are women?  Do they face their own glass ceilings?

I cede the dais to Dawn:

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DT: It’s 1.30am on a Tuesday morning and I am wide awake. Ideas, thoughts, concepts are racing through my mind at a rate I could only dream of during normal hours. I don’t normally suffer with insomnia but I have just completed a particularly gruelling acute medical block whereby in 4 months I have worked 8 full weekends and a total of 32 nights. So as you can see my body clock is totally up the spout. There have been times when I have wondered why I chose this profession and how compatible it is with any sort of family or social life and times when I have marveled at what I feel can be the best ‘job’ in the world.

During these 4 months, Junior Doctors like myself across Britain have taken part in 6 days of industrial action in response to the proposed imposition of a contract they felt to be unsafe and unfair to patients, themselves and the NHS. One of the many complaints with regards to the new contract was the impact it could potentially have on women taking time out for maternity or to work less than full-time to raise a family. Indeed the governments own equality analysis summarised –

“While there are features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women, of which some we expect to be advantageous and others disadvantageous, we do not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified” 

I have never particularly considered myself a feminist but I do expect a fair contract and I don’t expect to be treated any differently to my male counterparts based on gender rather than clinical acumen.

Data derived from the Health and Social Care Annual Workforce Publication 2014 showed that 57% of all doctors in training are female.  However things have not always been this way, in 1985 the year I was born, women made up only 16% of practicing doctors in the US. Some junior doctors are concerned that an unfair contract would send us backwards in terms of women in Medicine.  Already prior to this new proposed contract, pay inequalities exist in medicine.  A study published this week in the BMJ concluded that women doctors in the US earn less than their male counterparts even after adjusting for hours of work and specialty.

So what about the role of women in Sports Medicine? Read more of this post

CJSM Podcast 14 — Turf vs. Grass & Girls Soccer

jsm-podcast-bg-1Our newest podcast release profiles a study published in our May 2016 CJSM: Shoe and Field Surface Risk Factors for Acute Lower Extremity Injuries Among Female Youth Soccer Players. Our guest on the podcast is the lead author of the study, John O’Kane M.D., the Head Team Physician for the University of Washington and the Bob and Sally Behnke Endowed Professor for the Health of the Student Athlete.

john o kane and family

Dr. John O’Kane (L), soccer-playing daughter Katie (C), and wife Betsy (R), on grass….in Phoenix AZ

We hope you enjoy the conversation with Dr. O’Kane as much as we did.  We gained insight into the findings presented in the paper and had a fruitful discussion on some of the nuances of the endless debate:  turf vs. grass, which is the preferred surface on which to play soccer? Along the way we chatted about the recent controversies in the 2016 Women’s Soccer World Cup, as well as the impact on pubertal development as an intrinsic risk factor for injury in sport….and more!

Listen in — you can find the podcast on iTunes or on our home page.  As ever, let us know what you think — in the comment section below, or on Twitter @cjsmonline

 

 

 

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