CJSM Podcast 8: A Conversation with South Africa’s Jon Patricios

Our newest podcast guests jsm-podcast-bg-1Jon Patricios, M.D., the current president of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) and the 2015 Travelling Fellow of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

Dr Patricios is currently Director of the Morningside Sports Medicine Unit and a sports physician at The Centre for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics in Johannesburg. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the Faculty of Sports & Exercise Medicine (UK), and the International Sports Medicine Federation.

Dr. Patricios has been a team physician to school, club, provincial and international sports teams in rugby, cricket, soccer, athletics and basketball.  He is a member of the Cricket South Africa and SA Rugby medical committees and the Rockies Comrades Marathon Panel of experts. He is chief medical officer for the MTN Qhubeka cycling team and the Kaizer Chiefs Football Club; founder and Director of Sports Concussion South Africa; sports concussion consultant to World Rugby; and serves on tribunals for the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport.

jon p at work

Dr. Jon Patricios, President of the South African Sports Medicine Association

He has authored a case report on thoracic outlet syndrome in CJSM and is someone I have collaborated with on a talk focused on the use of social media by sports medicine clinicians, given in Orlando, Florida  at the 2014 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

j pat

Jon Patricios, Speaking at ACSM 2014 on Social Media for Sports Medicine Clinicians

Somehow, among these many duties, he found the time to sit down for a chat, which you will find here in the podcast.  Thanks Jon, and we’re looking forward to seeing you soon in Hollywood, Florida at #AMSSM15 !

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The 2015 Meeting of the American Society for Sports Medicine


Site of the 24th Annual Meeting of the AMSSM

The 24th meeting of the American Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is taking place in 10 days in Hollywood, Florida, and we could not be more excited.

The first person plural is appropriate here, as indeed it is not the ‘royal we’ that is excited:  a significant number of this journal’s Editorial Board will be present at the meeting, ranging from the Editor in Chief, Chris Hughes (coming in from the UK) to Associate Editors such as Tom Trojian (Thematic Issue editor) and the illustrious Doug McKeag (Editorials co-editor), one of the first presidents of the AMSSM.  We’ll be having our annual Editorial Board meeting and dinner on Thursday April 15, in the midst of the proceedings.

We are the official journal of AMSSM, and as we do with each meeting of our partner society we are publishing in our March 2015 issue the research poster , research podium, and case podium abstracts for the meeting’s proceedings.

In honor of the meeting’s theme for 2015, “Return to Play,” we have selected seven recent articles published in the CJSM whose focus is on that topic, and we have made them freely available until April 30; check out the “Return to Play” collection here.

We’ll have a lot coming your way from the proceedings:  updates on the meeting itself; an interview with Jon Patricios of South Africa, the 2015 AMSSM travelling fellow; twitter pics and more.  So be sure to follow the blog, our twitter feed (#AMSSM15 is the hashtag), and if you’re on site in Florida look us up:  we’ll have a booth, and we’re eager to see you.


Rugby and Injury Prevention

As I write, it’s early afternoon in the Midwest of the United States.  I hope wherever you are as you read this you are enjoying yourself.  If you’re reading this over the weekend, you may be taking advantage of the many sporting offerings around the globe that involve one of the football ‘codes.’

It took me a long time, as an American, to learn that the ‘football’ I grew up with was  only one of many games sharing a similar genealogy;  and, what’s more,  in most of the world, the word ‘football’ would be understood to refer to a completely different sort of game than what I saw on an NFL Sunday.


The Paul Bunyan trophy,
awarded to the winner of
Michigan v. Michigan State
Football (American!) game

I’m probably ‘preaching to the choir’ if you’re reading this, but today there are many different types of football games being played around the globe.  There are several NCAA American Football games (I have an eye on the Michigan v. Michigan St. (MSU) game, having grown up in Grand Rapids, Michigan); there are of course many ‘Association football’ (soccer) games going on (Arsenal v. Liverpool is one of the highlight matches in the Premiership).  England upset Australia in Rugby Union earlier today; and the Edmonton Eskimos face off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League this evening.

And more out of ignorance than intent, I am probably forgetting to mention any number of fixtures happening in Australian Rules football, Rugby League, or Gaelic football this weekend.

Lots of ‘football.’  Many ‘codes.’

Though most of my current practice in the Northern Hemisphere fall is devoted to caring for injured American football players, I wanted today to look at a different code.  I thought it the proper time to write about a recent news item on rules changes in Rugby Union.


The New Zealand All Blacks
performing their famous
Haka before a match with France

What prompted me to tack in this direction was a BBC article I read on line yesterday, “Rugby and Concussion:  Are Big Hits Bringing Big Headaches?”  There is controversy in the world of Rugby Union, according to the BBC, over how to manage game day concussions.

Barry O’Driscoll, a well-regarded member of the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) Medical Committee, has resigned in protest over proposed new rules for Pitchside Concussion Assessment (PSCA) in Rugby Union matches.  The new approach will replace what previously was a mandatory end to a player’s game and week rest period if a suspected concussion had occurred.  PSCA incorporates a functional assessment by a medical provider, which the BBC states includes the following:

  • A Pitch-Side Concussion Assessment can be asked for by a team doctor or referee if they suspect a player is concussed
  • The referee signals a PSCA has been requested via radio link and with three taps to his head
  • A substitute comes on while the PSCA takes place in pre-agreed place, usually a medical room
  • The injured player is assessed for symptoms, asked a series of questions – Where are we? What’s the score? etc – and given a balance test similar to the ones in drink-driving cases
  • One failed question, four balance errors and the presence of one or more symptoms means the player is removed from game*

*PSCA summary taken from BBC article

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