Sport and Exercise Medicine: The UK trainee perspective (A twice-monthly BJSM blog)
Guest blog by Dr Sivanadian Mani-Babu
I attend a good many conferences concentrating on different aspects of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) to glean valuable information from experts. However, in early March this year, when I attended the Third Annual London Deanery Sport and Exercise Medicine Conference, my focus was slightly different since, along with my colleague Dr Ademola Adejuwon, we were responsible for organising this particular festival of knowledge! Having been offered this organisational baton a year ago, it was our pleasure to accept this assignment with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation, with the following précis describing some of the experience.
We decided that the theme this year would be “From preparation to rehabilitation: The Role of Sport and Exercise Medicine throughout an active life”. Coming up with a title may well have been the hardest part of the planning process, imagination not always coming naturally to those scientifically minded, well me at least. Though the prospect of the Olympics gleams bright on the horizon, we aimed to also focus on life leading up to and subsequent to physical activity.
What were the successes of the day?
We were thankful to welcome a diverse mix of speakers/talks including a key note lecture given by Dr Stuart Miller on the challenges faced within Paralympic Sport, with other talks ranging from nutrition & supplementation to rehabilitation from injury. We were also happy to hear from Prof Fares Haddad regarding the development of the UCL Institute for Sport, Exercise and Health.
Our audience of delegates came from many varied backgrounds and it was particularly gratifying to hopefully inspire junior medics interested in pursuing a career in SEM.
What advice would I pass on?
●Be ready to make a contingency plan for speaker cancellations and delays – especially if they are travelling across our capital city and its glorious transport network.
● Be organised. (Some might say being slightly obsessive helps).
● Share the organisational responsibility with a colleague – more ideas and less stress
● There is a fine balance between trying to motivate people to assist you with organisation, without irritating them too much.
● Feed your audience well. Holborn Bars provided some unexpectedly tasty gastronomic treats.
● Allow time for networking – feedback from delegates often focuses on this.
● If you have the chance to organise a conference, get stuck in and do it!
In closing, to those who are thinking about a future career in SEM, to paraphrase a famous 80s TV programme introduction: If you have a query about life in SEM…if no one else can help…and if you can find them…maybe you can ask… your nearest SEM registrar.
Thank you once again to the London Deanery for supporting this conference and also to our speakers and session chairs.
Dr Siva Mani-Babu is Specialist Registrar in Sport and Exercise Medicine. He currently works in London at Imperial College Hospitals. He is also the current London Deanery SEM Trainee representative.
Dr James Thing co-ordinates “Sport and Exercise Medicine: The UK trainee perspective” semi-monthly blog series.