May 7, 2015 2 Comments
If there is a ‘Godfather of Soul’ is there a ‘Godfather of Sports Medicine’?
I think there may be……..and I’m very lucky to have trained under him.
Speaking as an editor of a clinical journal, I am aware of the phenomenon of bias, and I would acknowledge at least one ‘limitation’ of this blog post is that I am guilty of selection bias.
In truth, however, there could be a very strong case made for Dr. Lyle J. Micheli‘s candidacy for that mythical title. One argument for the (perhaps) uncanny resemblance between the two ‘Godfathers’ is Mr. James Brown’s nickname: “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” No doubt, if there were a “Hardest Working Man” in Sports Medicine, the award would be given to Dr. Lyle Micheli: even still, at age 70+, it is rumored that he performs more surgeries than any other orthopedist in the New England region of USA. This is a man who works six days a week, and on the seventh…..well, unlike God, Dr. Micheli doesn’t rest: he writes. Research Manuscripts.
At CJSM, we have been the recipient of several of his studies that have made the peer review grade and been published. They span a period from 1992 (Arthroscopic Evaluation and Treatment of Internal Derangements of the Knee in Patients Older than 60 Years) to 2015 (A Closer Look at Overuse Injuries in the Pediatric Athlete). Recognize that CJSM itself is celebrating its 25th year, and so, in essence, Dr. Micheli has been publishing in our journal for as long as we have been in existence.
His career goes back farther, into those dim reaches of the sports medicine universe that precede the Big Bang, er, the birth of CJSM in 1990. His career in sports medicine dates back to the 60’s. He was treating athletes before Jim Fixx gave birth to a running boom in the United States. Put another way, he was Medical Director of the Boston Marathon when Americans were still winning the thing…..and he is still at the Finish Line: in 2015 and in the infamous 2013 Marathon about which I have written in this blog.
He is currently visiting here in Columbus, Ohio, ready to give Grand Rounds on ‘Spinal Injuries in Young Athletes,’ and it’s great to see him. We’ll be doing a podcast together, and I plan on sharing a link to that on our CJSM Social Media.
For now, let me end this encomium with one last parallel between the two Godfathers. Sure, James Brown was prolific: over his career he produced how many hits? married how many times (4)? had how many children (6)? Dr. Micheli? Well, let’s just say he has ‘given birth’ to many sports medicine children, who continue to follow his path in the field of sports medicine practice and research: Meehan, Stracciolini, d’Hemecourt, Luke, Loud.…even myself. And so many, many more! There are seemingly untold disciples spread across the globe continuing his example of hard work and research productivity. Micheli? Prolific? Oh my, yes.
He’d be the first to say, however, that it’s all about evidence-based (not eminence-based medicine), and so I hear his voice in my conscience, telling me to stop this now! And get to doing some real work: run a regression, do those edits on the manuscript that is due, figure out the solution to a problem in the athletes you care for!