5 ? with Kate Ackerman #RowingDoc #FemaleAthlete15

rowing with Cornell alumni at HOCR.bow seat

Dr. Kate Ackerman (in bow, far right) rowing with Cornell alumni, Head of the Charles Regatta

The 2015 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine begins in less than a week, and I–like thousands of my colleagues–am getting ready: getting ready for the conference, getting ready for some blogging and tweeting coming to you from San Diego.

I am looking forward to seeing so many friends in the world of sports medicine:  Avery Faigenbaum, Jon Patricios (with whom I’m giving a talk on ‘social media in sports medicine’), Tim Hewett….and Kate Ackerman.

Kathryn Ackerman, M.D., M.P.H. is a friend of mine whom I first met as she was wrapping up her training with Dr. Lyle Micheli, and I was beginning mine.  She is an internist, fellowship trained in endocrinology as well as sports medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Associate Director of the Sports Endocrine Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, a team physician for US Rowing, and an accomplished rower herself. A renaissance woman.


Dr. Margo Mountjoy (C); Former Editor in Chief of CJSM, Dr. Gordon Matheson (L); and Current Editor in Chief of CJSM Dr. Chris Hughes (R)

She is also the director of an upcoming conference on the “Female Athlete:  Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance”, taking place  June 19 – 20 2015 in Boston. Among the people speaking there are Margo Mountjoy, an internationally recognized expert on the Female Athlete who is also on our Editorial Board.

I just happen to be collaborating on a paper about dance medicine with other colleagues, and the section I am authoring deals in part with some of the issues to be addressed in the Boston conference.  So it was perfect timing for me to catch up with Kate and ask her about her thoughts on the Female Athlete Triad, ‘Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport,’ and more.

Dr. Ackerman!


1) CJSM: Tell us about the upcoming Female Athlete Conference? What are some of the ‘Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance’ you will be discussing in Boston June 19 – 20?

KA: I’m really excited about this conference.  We came up with the idea a few years ago, seeing a need to get good information out to athletes, parents, coaches, and the health providers who treat female athletes.  There really wasn’t anything like this out there- a large conference devoted just to the multiple issues of the female athlete.  So, we held the first 2-day female athlete conference two years ago, and we’ve decided to make it a biennial event. I think it’s a great opportunity to get some great minds together and I’m thrilled that so many people from different parts of the globe have agreed to come speak.  The wealth of information is going to be fantastic and we make sure to provide lots of opportunities to network and mingle.  We have some Brits coming to talk about biomarkers to monitor in endurance female athletes; Swiss Nanna Meyer discussing her experiences applying her sports nutrition research to the diets of US and Swiss Olympians; sports biomechanist Greg Myer speaking about ACL injury prevention; seasoned athletic trainers discussing good training plans for the growing female athlete; eating disorder experts discussing body image and unique issues of female athletes suffering from distorted eating patterns; coaches discussing personality profiling to get the best out of individuals and teams; members of the IOC Medical Commission’s female athlete group discussing RED-S; doctors discussing various sports injury treatments; and star power from Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and the first woman to enter and win the Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer, who has been a great advocate for this conference and women participating in lifelong sports. Read more of this post

Gymnastics: A Book Review and Guest Blog Post

Jenks-Level 9beam

Dr. Emily Stuart, then…..

I have the privilege of working with several excellent pediatric sports medicine specialists at  Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  I’ve hit up a couple of them to write guest posts for this blog, including a review of the 2014 Female Athlete Triad Consensus Statement (Dr. Stacy Fischer) and a first-person account of being the medical director of a mass participation event, the Greater Ohio Bike Adventure (GOBA) (Dr. Tom Pommering).

The newest doctor to join our group is Dr. Emily Stuart.  I’ve had her in my sights to provide a blog post for the past few months.

Besides being an excellent clinician, Emily was a level 10 gymnast until she retired at age 16 due to injuries. She coached for 10 years and now judges club and NCAA gymnastics. Although Emily enjoys taking care of athletes from all sports, she has a special interest in providing medical care for gymnasts.  It’s because of her expertise both as a physician and as a gymnast that I asked her to review a book that was recently sent my way, the Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science:  Gymnastics.


Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science: Gymnastics

A book review, by Emily Stuart, M.D.

It’s been over 2 years since the US Women’s Gymnastics Team dominated the team and individual medals at the London Olympics . And in less than 2 short years, gymnasts from all over the world will converge in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics.  The Olympics is definitely the biggest event in gymnastics, but there is much more to the sport than what fans see every 4 years. Gymnasts spend years, if not decades, training to become the best in their sport.

As a former gymnast, coach, and gymnastics judge I was excited to read and review the Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science: Gymnastics by Dennis J Caine, Keith Russell, and Liesbeth Lim. This book is part of a series produced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission. Multiple specialists both with gymnastics knowledge and medical expertise contributed to the book. Thus, each chapter is very detailed and provides any gymnastics enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge.

The book starts with a thorough history and evolution of the sport. Read more of this post

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