Dr. Hamish Kerr joins us on “5 Questions with CJSM”

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are having their closing ceremony today.  Among the many sports that have been declared a success in these games is Rugby 7’s, which saw South Africa beat the New Zealand All Blacks for rugby gold.

Soon, many of these same athletes will begin tramping around the globe:   the International Rugby Board (IRB) HSBC Sevens World Series begins in Australia in October. As the series circumnavigates the globe, it will make stops from Dubai to Las Vegas, and points in between, before it wraps up in May 2015 in England (which, by the way, will host the Rugby World Cup in 2015).

And by that time, we’ll be just about a year from Rugby 7’s making its debut as an Olympic Sport in Rio.

Yes, I would say, rugby is in ascendancy as a sport right now both globally and domestically.   Here in America, for instance, youth rugby is growing at an astounding rate.  We publish frequently on the sport in our journal, and I have a particular fondness for the sport having spent some of my adult life in southern Africa and in New Zealand, where it is, arguably, religion.

HK at Twickenham

Dr. Hamish Kerr at Twickenham Satidum, home of England Rugby

One of my colleagues whom I hold in great esteem, Dr. Hamish Kerr, is intimately involved with rugby.  I have been after him for a while to a guest post on our “5 Questions with CJSM” format.  It is appropriate that we have him guesting today, as the Glasgow games wrap up……

Dr. Kerr finished medical school in Glasgow in 1998 and moved to Albany, NY in 1999 for his combined Med/Peds residency. He spent another 18 months back in Scotland in 2004 prior to starting his sports fellowship in Boston in 2005, where he worked under Dr. Lyle Micheli, who, among his multiple other lifetime honors, was recently inducted into the USA Rugby Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.

Before I took off for a summer holiday, I asked Dr. Kerr to put pen to paper and answer the following questions.




1) CJSM: You wear a lot of hats:  practicing clinician, educator, team physician.  Can you give us a run down of your various commitments.

 HK: I am principally the sports medicine fellowship director for Albany Medical College. We have a fellow, residents and medical students rotating with us year round. I have 5 faculty who see a mix of musculoskeletal medicine and sports concussion patients. I practice in two sites, one with Capital Region Orthopedics and another academic office site where we see most of the sports concussions and have a multidisciplinary clinic. We have MSK ultrasound, ImPACT, and treadmill testing available.

My 2nd role is as head team physician at Siena College. We provide field side cover for men’s and women’s soccer and basketball , plus men’s lacrosse. Siena men’s basketball made the NCAA 3 tournaments in consecutive years 2008-2010 and will host the MAAC tournament in 2015.

USA Rugby I have been working with for 4-5 years. It is a voluntary position, but very enjoyable. I have covered the men’s national team for the 15-game and the 7’s-game as a team physician both on home soil and abroad, including the UK, Mexico (Pan Am Games 2011) and Moscow (IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup 2013). I also Chair the Medical & Risk Committee and serve as a member of the Rugby Committee helping administer the game in the USA from a medical perspective. Read more of this post

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