Undergraduate perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series
By Daniel Broman (@Daniel_Broman)
The Isokinetic Medical Group is an internationally recognised leader in the fields of sports injury treatment, orthopaedic rehabilitation and medical research. The Education and Research Department at Isokinetic, led by Dr. Sergio Roi, is well known and respected world-wide. In the past few years, interest in the 20-year-old football medicine conference has really exploded. Some consider it the premier football medicine event in the world.
In review, the 2014 conference, “Football Medicine Strategies for Joint and Ligament Injuries,” attracted an impressive 2,259 delegates from 73 countries worldwide, including an outstanding selection of internationally recognised experts in Football Medicine. Football is the biggest participation sport in the world and it needs a medical force to cope with this – the “football medicine family” as the Isokinetic Group warmly call it – and the global football medicine community were all certainly in Milan for one weekend. Not even ‘El Clasico’ in Spain could keep the Real Madrid & Barcelona doctors away!
For me, a good conference is about many things. Obviously, scientific content and opportunity to learn new things from experts is extremely important. However, good events are also about sharing experiences more informally – catching up with old friends, making new connections, and enjoying yourself around like-minded individuals. The Isokinetic conference ticked all these boxes.
It was great to see so many young people (the average age was just over 30 years old) attend the event. We all go to conferences to listen to world experts, but the Isokinetic Group are also very passionate about providing opportunities to aspirational young professionals and bringing through the next generation of experts in the field.
Isokinetic are also fantastic at doing all the little things well and have a large team behind the scenes making sure everything runs to plan. This attention to detail gave the conference a really good ‘feel’ about it and ensured that delegates focus on enjoyment and making the most of their time.
From a scientific point of view, some personal conference highlights include:
- The ‘Grassroots and Recreational Football’ session because, for me, this is the true footballing population. It is exciting to manage professional/elite athletes, but caring for the millions of “weekend warriors” over the world is of particular importance, to ensure that football promotes long-term health benefits.
- The Science of Football summit which focused on initiatives to prevent injuries in football, as we all know that preventing problems is always preferential to treating them after they occur.
- The ‘Management of Early and Late Osteoarthritis’ in football because, observationally, I feel this is a major long-term risk associated with football, which merits more research. We don’t want to get to a stage where the millions of footballers in the world suffer from pre-mature OA.
Next year the conference returns to London with the title “Football Medicine Strategies for Player Care”. Looking ahead to the conference in 2015 and being a junior doctor working in London, I would love to see more British medical students and junior doctors attend, especially with the growing interest in SEM at Undergraduate level in the UK.
With the title of the conference, in 2015, focusing on ‘player care’ as a topic and being a physician, I would also like to see symposia/workshops on the various medical problems that exist in football. We know that cardiology, mental health, concussion, heat and travel related problems etc., play a large role in the health of a footballer and next years’ conference may provide the opportunity to learn more about these topics.
Finally, credit and thanks must go to Stefano Della Villa and Sergio Roi for their continued passion in education, research and the development of football medicine. They really do bring the football medicine family together for one weekend every year and long may that continue!
Dr. Daniel Broman (@Daniel_Broman) is a Core Medical Trainee in London, currently working in the Neurology department at the Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust. He also acts as head of medical services for Maccabi Great Britain and is passionate about pursuing career in Sport & Exercise Medicine whilst helping improving the health of the nation.
Dr. Liam West BSc (Hons) MBBCh is a graduate of Cardiff Medical School and now works as a junior doctor at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. In addition to his role as an associate editor for BJSM he also coordinates the “Undergraduate Perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine” Blog Series.
If you would like to contribute to the “Undergraduate Perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine” Blog Series please email LIAMWESTSEM@HOTMAIL.CO.UK for further information.