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A (resource packed!) overview of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) intercalated degree courses

14 Jun, 17 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By James Murphy

This blog follows up my previous post where I broadly discussed intercalation FAQs (READ IT HERE). Here, I intend to give medical students interested in intercalating in SEM an overview of their different options. I provide, to the best of my ability, a comprehensive list and basic description of the SEM and closely related courses offered in the UK. The information is from course web pages and from my own contact with course directors. My own observations on the courses are shown in bold italics.

Sports and Exercise Medicine courses

Sports and Exercise Medicine MSc, Nottingham University

All students on the MSc course complete compulsory modules as well as a research project.

The compulsory modules include anatomy and the assessment of sports injury. The ‘Pitch side Care of the Injured Athlete’ compulsory module is a great opportunity for students to get hands on experience in pitch side care. As part of this module students study and attend an “advanced emergency care course”(1) and also provide first aid cover at some University sports pitches. The other compulsory modules are: ‘Physical Activity in Health and Disease’ and ‘Research Methods’. The optional modules are listed on the course page.

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/courses/medicine/medical-sciences/sports-and-exercise-medicine-msc.aspx

Despite the stated entry requirements, the course directors are open to applications from intercalating students.

BSc Sports and Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London

On this course students complete 120 credits, organised in to six modules. The modules are: ‘Research Methods’, ‘Injuries and medical problems in sport’, ‘Literature reviewing’, ‘Research project’, ‘Biomechanics and rehabilitation’ and ‘Exercise as a Health tool’. The breakdown of the modules is on the below website.

http://www.smd.qmul.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/intercalated/sem/index.html

The taught research methods and literature reviewing modules prepare students to carry out research and critically appraise papers. Relating research skills to sports and exercise medicine literature allows students to appreciate the importance and application of the skills. As part of the degree students undertake a systematic review and a full research project, many students work towards, and succeed in having their work published.

BSc (Med Sci) Clinical Medicine, Glasgow University

Students can apply to undertake the Sport and Exercise Medicine subject and research project within this Clinical Medicine Degree. The degree is split into four different areas:  the ‘Core Course’ (which aims to provide students with “transferable research skills”(3)), the ‘Specialist subject’, ‘Medical Statistics’, and a ‘Research project’. For their specialist subject students can apply to take the SEM course. The SEM course aims to cover “exercise in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment of disease states”.(3)

Students undertake three modules: ’Clinical Sports Injuries’, ‘Sports Medicine in Practice’ and ‘Exercise in Clinical Populations’.

University of Glasgow B.Sc. (Med. Sci.) Clinical Medicine Sport and Exercise Medicine – Course information

http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/medicine/undergraduate/intercalateddegrees/clinicalmedicine/

Sports and Exercise Science courses

Sports and Exercise Science (intercalated), Loughborough University

Students taking the Intercalated degree study alongside the final year Sport and Exercise Science BSc students. Intercalated students take 120 credits worth of modules from a great variety of options (the list can be found on the website below). Alongside their modules students complete a research project and have the opportunity to observe sports medicine practitioners in NHS clinics in Leicester.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ssehs/undergraduate/courses/ses-intercalated/

In my opinion the list of modules offered on the Loughborough course is the most varied amongst all the SEM or SEM-related courses in the UK. With no compulsory modules this course provides students complete control over what modules make up their degree.

BSc in Medical Sciences (Sports Health and Exercise Science), University of Hull.

This degree offers students the “opportunity to engage with the theories and methods related to the bio-scientific study of sport and exercise, including sports injury.”(7) Students choose 120 credits, 40 of which are the dissertation module. Students choose at least two of ‘Human Locomotive Systems’, ‘Ageing, Obesity and Health’, ‘Fitness and Injury Prevention’. Furthermore students choose another two from ‘Environmental Physiology’, ‘Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention’, ‘Psychology in Sport Rehabilitation’, ‘Sport and Exercise Nutrition’, ‘Exercise Physiology’.

The general areas students can undertake their research project in are: psychology, exercise physiology, biomechanics and sport rehabilitation.

http://www.hyms.ac.uk/undergraduate/intercalated-degrees/intercalation

University of Hull, Sports Health and Exercise Science 2016 programme description

Sport and Exercise Science (intercalated) BSc (Hons), Cardiff Metropolitan University

Here intercalating students study ‘Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise’ and “an independent project in one or more of Biomechanics, Physiology or Psychology”(8) and then choose three optional modules.

The optional Modules are: ‘Exercise Physiology for Sport Performance’, ‘Exercise Physiology for Health’, ‘Sport Psychology’, ‘Exercise Psychology’.

http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/schoolofsport/courses/Pages/Sport-and-Exercise-Science-(Intercalated)-BSc-(Hons).aspx

BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Intercalating students join the final year of the BSc Sport and Exercise Science course at the University of Brighton. However, students are also given the chance to attend second year lectures and laboratory sessions if they wish. On the course students develop research method skills and complete a dissertation. Final and second year modules can be found in the “Course in detail”(9) section on the below webpage.

https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/sport-and-exercise-science-bsc-hons.aspx

Students hoping to gain hands on experience are able to complete a placement at a sports medicine practice on campus (numbers permitting).

BMedSci Sports Science Medicine, University of Edinburgh

This course combines SEM with the sports performance and exercise sciences (biomechanics, physiology, psychology and skill acquisition). Students can gain an “understanding of sports injuries and the health, performance and rehabilitation role that exercise can play in active sports people, specific patient groups and the wider population”.(11) The connection with the university’s SEM centre allows students to shadow members of the multidisciplinary SEM clinics. Students also acquire transferable skills such as literature appraisal, and how to plan and execute a research project.

https://media.ed.ac.uk/media/Intercalated+Honours+in+Sports+Science+Medicine/1_8iujw34v/42261371

http://www.ed.ac.uk/medicine-vet-medicine/undergraduate/medicine/mbchb/intercalated-honours

B.Sc. Sport Science in Relation to Medicine, University of Leeds

This flyer explained that on the course students have the chance to develop “research, analytical and critical evaluation skills,” and learn about “the major sport science disciplines – biomechanics, exercise physiology, psychology and motor control.”(12) The course also provides students the chance to study “the links between exercise and health from a scientific perspective”.

As part of the course students undertake a research project and compulsory modules in ‘Interdisciplinary issues in Sport and Exercise Sciences’, ‘Advanced Exercise Physiology’ and ‘Sports Medicine, Health and Nutrition’. Students also complete 40 credits of optional modules.

Information was obtained from B.Sc. Sport Science in Relation to Medicine course flyer, kindly sent to me by Stuart Egginton, Professor of Exercise Science at the University of Leeds.

List of References

  1. https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/courses/medicine/medical-sciences/sports-and-exercise-medicine-msc.aspx
  2. http://www.smd.qmul.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/intercalated/sem/index.html
  3. http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/medicine/undergraduate/intercalateddegrees/clinicalmedicine/
  4. University of Glasgow B.Sc. (Med. Sci.) Clinical Medicine Sport and Exercise Medicine – Course information
  5. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ssehs/undergraduate/courses/ses-intercalated/
  6. http://www.hyms.ac.uk/undergraduate/intercalated-degrees/intercalation
  7. University of Hull, Sports Health and Exercise Science 2016 programme description
  8. http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/schoolofsport/courses/Pages/Sport-and-Exercise-Science-(Intercalated)-BSc-(Hons).aspx
  9. https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/sport-and-exercise-science-bsc-hons.aspx
  10. http://www.ed.ac.uk/medicine-vet-medicine/undergraduate/medicine/mbchb/intercalated-honours
  11. https://media.ed.ac.uk/media/Intercalated+Honours+in+Sports+Science+Medicine/1_8iujw34v/42261371
  12. Sc. Sport Science in Relation to Medicine course flyer.

Other Resources

USEMS website

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/A_Brief_Guide_to_Intercalated_Degrees

Acknowledgements

Much of the information in this article is taken from course webpages and handbooks with the permission of the Universities. My thanks go to the course directors and leaders who gave me permission to include the courses in this article. Their help and support was much appreciated.

About the author:

James Murphy has completed four years of medicine at Newcastle University and is currently intercalating on the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine course at the University of Nottingham.

Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) co-coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. Please send your blog feedback and ideas to: manroysahni@gmail.com

A postgraduate perspective of a SEM training programme for undergraduates

24 Apr, 17 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By Andrew Shafik (@aaashafik), Guy Evans (@drguyevans) and Ajai Seth (@ajaiseth)

Are you a doctor interested in specialty training that incorporates physical activity, exercise, sport and medicine?

SEM Training Programme

Although BASEM was formed in 1952, SEM was only first recognised as a medical specialty in 2005. This was closely followed by the launch of the Faculty of SEM (FSEM) in 2006 and the first cohort of SEM trainees in 2007.

The SEM training program is a four-year training program (ST3-6), which starts after completing speciality-training year 2 (ST2). Applicants wishing to apply for SEM training (starting at ST3 level) must complete two years of core medical training (CMT), acute care common stem (ACCS) or the three/four year general practice (GP) speciality-training programme. Trainees undertaking CMT or ACCS as their core training programme are required to obtain full MRCP (UK) before entry into SEM ST3. All trainees must pass the FSEM Membership exam before the end of ST5 consisting of two parts: written and practical clinical assessments1.

The SEM training programme is varied but most trainees rotate in the following specialties:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Acute Medicine
  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Musculoskeletal Medicine
  • General Practice
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Other: Respiratory, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Radiology
  • Military
  • Elite Sport

Trainees have exposure to SEM clinics throughout the training and spend part of ST6 working with elite athletes.

Although the FSEM is looking at ways to increase the number of training places across the UK, there are currently no training programmes in Scotland or Wales and are only in certain deaneries around the UK e.g. no posts in south or south east England.

SEM Career

SEM consultants are often portfolio doctors working in several different settings that provide flexibility and security such as: NHS consultant post, elite sports teams/athletes, private SEM/MSK clinics as well as research, education or public health activities.

Standard working hours are usually between 8am and 6pm although commitments with professional sports team can fall outside these hours. Due to the little or no on-call commitments, SEM posts do not usually include banding. Working with clubs/teams is classed as private work and can be paid or voluntary.

The shape of training final report published in 2013 has set out a new broad framework for the future of postgraduate medical education and training2. This aims to make sure doctors are trained to the highest standards whereby a doctor is less specialist and therefore broader and more adaptable to meet changing patient needs for the years to come. The shift of the FSEM Diploma Exam to the new FSEM Membership Exam in recent months is one that now allows professional recognition in Sport and Exercise Medicine to all doctors3.

The future of the speciality is to continue to incorporate SEM services within primary and secondary care, by treating MSK pain, treating and preventing chronic and non-communicable disease and doing so by increasing physical activity within the general population. Whilst funding for training posts remain uncertain, there is a need for SEM physicians to ‘bridge the gap’ between primary care and orthopaedic services. This ultimately improves the patient’s journey across the system.

***********************

Andrew Shafik, BSc (Hons), is a 4th year medical student at the University of Aberdeen with a keen interest in SEM. He has an intercalated degree in Sports & Exercise Science and is a keen footballer playing for Aberdeen University Men’s Football Club 1st XI. He is also Co-Founder & Co-President @aberdeen_sems, an Ambassador for Move.Eat.Treat and a new undergraduate representative for the Scottish branch of the FMA.

Dr Guy Evans is a newly qualified Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultant having completed SEM specialist Training in the West Midlands. He is currently the Lead Sports Physician with British Swimming and works with Bath Rugby Club. He held the role of FSEM trainee representative until completion of his Specialist Training and continues to be involved with the training and education of SEM trainees and MSc students.

Dr Ajai Seth is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar and General Practitioner in the West Midlands Deanery. His sporting interests include racket sports, football, athletics and expedition medicine. He is currently Birmingham City Academy and GB para-archery doctor.

References:

  1. Evans G. A Career In Sport and exercise medicine. Student BMJ. 2016; 24: j4336
  2. General Medical Council. (2013). Shape of Training Final Report.Available: http://www.shapeoftraining.co.uk/. Last accessed 5th Mar 2017.
  3. (2017). Professional Recognition in Sport and Exercise Medicine Now Available to all Doctors.Available: http://www.fsem.ac.uk/news/faculty-news/2017/february/professional-recognition-in-sem-available-to-all-doctors.aspx . Last accessed 5th Mar 2017.

Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. He also serves as Education Officer for the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) committee and Co-President of Birmingham University Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (BUSEMS).

 

(USEMS) Q and A with Sam Blanchard: An insight into working in elite sport

20 Feb, 17 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine

By Sam Blanchard, Liam Newton, and Jonathan Shurlock

Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) recently hosted an online Q&A session, via Twitter with Sam Blanchard (@SJBPhysio_sport) – Academy Clinical Lead & International Women’s Lead Physiotherapist for Scottish Rugby Union (SRU). For those who missed it we’ve highlighted the key interactions, and some of our personal insight into working in elite sport. We’ve taken some of Sam’s answers directly from his replies to some of the questions he received throughout the Q&A evening.

Q: How did you make your first steps into professional sport?

SB: “Putting in the hours. Continuously wanting to learn, being open to criticism, reflecting and reacting. A key moment (of realisation) was lone working and feeling out of my depth. So I looked for supported opportunities.”

The idea of working in a supportive environment is essential for safe practice and your ability to learn from your experience. As a student or new graduate working full-time within a professional sports medicine team can be difficult to achieve, however semi-professional sport often provides a great stepping stone. As Sam mentioned, it’s important to seek out a club that has qualified staff to work under to help develop your clinical decision making and ensure your work tasks are suited to your current scope of practice.

Sam and the SRU recently advertised for 2 Junior positions to address this very issue and offer a structured development plan for those wanting to make the step into elite sport. First Aid/trauma course certification and basic insight into sports tapping and massage are essential. Having these extra skills will make you more valuable to a club. When contacting them it’s important to highlight what YOU can offer them!

Sam highlighted the importance of not working from an isolated and vulnerable position, in his answer to a later question:

Q: What do you think are the most important practical skills to learn in order to be a successful practitioner?

SB: “regardless of method, clinical reasoning underpins everything. Continually ask “why” to yourself and colleagues. Clinical reasoning for exercise rehabilitation provides you with tools not ‘answers’.”

Regardless of your experience, expose yourself to different practitioners and schools of thought. It’s important to find ways of thinking that suit you and your personality, to back this up, where possible, with evidence based research and slowly become your own clinician. Organise continuous professional development  (CPD) visits to different organisations and even different sports, as medical care very often transposes athletic demands.

 

Q: How often does your advice conflict with that from the medic? How do you deal with that?

SB: “In my experience, very rare! Understanding of roles & level of knowledge crucial. Recognise your own limitations & others’ strengths.”

Q: How would you recommend medical students learn about the basic principles of rehabilitation?

SB: “Try the exercises before prescribing. And be prepared to steal ideas from Twitter…”

Sam has written a really interesting piece on exercise rehabilitation, which can be found here. Improving your rehabilitation skills takes time and is as much an art as a science. Thus it is important to try out ideas, reflect on what has or hasn’t worked and learn from that. Setting an identity or purpose to a rehabilitation session ensures meeting the correct physiological adaptations. There is a great paper here on bridging the gap between training and rehabilitation, here on how to apply the principles of strength and conditioning into rehabilitation as well as how optimal loading can be used in the rehabilitation process.

Q: What qualities do you look for when interviewing/shortlisting a young Physio?

SB: “awareness of own limitations, humility, social skills, work ethic… and tea making ability”

Q: What do you think about increased ACL/knee damage post ankle injury?

SB: “GRF’s feed up so loss of range or proprioception or ability to decelerate would make sense for increased risk.”

Although it’s from a few years back, there’s a great literature review on this topic, which highlights some of the clear evidence for an increased risk of re-injury, particularly with inadequate rehabilitation. You can find that review here.

Q: Any courses or conferences you’d recommend to students or new grads?

SB: “Don’t just stick to your own professional courses. Explore S&C/sports science/coaching”.

Although a light-hearted tweet to finish on, extracurricular courses and CPD are a really important consideration throughout your training and post-graduation. And they often come with a hefty price tag. There are a number of student discounts available to courses such as Isokinetic Football Medicine Conference as well as through BASEM and our very own USEMS student conference – so look out for these. As rich an education resource these courses may be, it is important that you are working with a patient population that allows you to apply the newly acquired knowledge, making the money spent, a wise investment.

***********

Sam Blanchard is Academy Clinical Lead & International Womens Lead Physiotherapist for Scottish Rugby Union. You can find him on twitter @SJBPhysio_sport

Liam Newton works as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in the NHS as well as AFC Bournemouth Academy. You can find him on twitter @newton_liam

Jonathan Shurlock is an academic foundation year 1 doctor based in Sheffield. He coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. Please send your blog feedback and ideas to: jhshurlock@gmail.com ; or Tweet @J_Shurlock

 

 

Hey undergrads, research doesn’t bite! Reflections from recent Tom Donaldson Award Winners

30 Jan, 17 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By Manroy Sahni and Esther Wright

Manroy and Esther, both final year medical students, reflect on why they were motivated to get involved in SEM research and show how far you can take your work. Manroy was the recent winner of the Tom Donaldson Research award (http://www.basem.co.uk/awards/tom-donaldson-poster-prize/) for his project “Anxiety, Depression and Perceived Sporting Performance amongst Professional Cricket Players”. Esther was runner up with her project “The Risk Factors for Patellar Tendinopathy in Adolescent Athletes: A Systematic Review”.

From left to right: Joey Fong (3rd), Manroy Sahni (1st) and Esther Wright (2nd). Tom Donaldson 2016 Prize Winners

What are some of the benefits for undergraduates that get involved in research?

To a medical student, the word ‘research’ is a daunting one. Although medical school prepares us for work within a clinical environment, the same cannot always be said for academic medicine. Despite being taught the basics of reading and appraising a paper, as students, we rarely get the chance to actively participate in research and are required to seek out our own opportunities. Those of us willing to put in a few extra hours of work will reap the rewards, even at an undergraduate level. Opportunities to explore areas of interest can help with refining career choices, whilst developing contacts and finding suitable mentors.  Publications, presentations and posters are useful additions to any portfolio, whilst demonstrating ambition and a commitment to learning.

How do you get involved with research within SEM?

As a relatively new and rapidly advancing specialty, research within SEM provides numerous opportunities for student participation. Many hospitals will not have dedicated SEM physicians, but due to the large overlap with other specialties such as orthopaedics and general practice, finding a supervisor with an interest in SEM is surprisingly easy. To date 15 UK universities have a SEM society, providing opportunities to attend lectures and discuss research ideas with speakers. If there is no SEM society are your university, don’t fret! The National Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) holds an annual conference, inviting prominent figures within the sports medicine field to discuss their job roles and research interests. Conferences such as this create a platform to approach potential mentors and gain guidance on how to go about research as an undergraduate. USEMS also has a Facebook page, making it even easier to stay up to date with events and developments within SEM.

It’s all well and good taking part in research, but where can you present your findings at an undergraduate level?

As students we have the common misconception that research is only presented at conferences. When not developed with undergraduate attendees in mind, these are often pitched at the wrong level and may be very costly to attend. There are several other platforms which are easy to access as students and much less daunting places to develop presentations skills. Grand rounds occur regularly within most teaching hospitals, these allow a more informal approach to presentation and offer good opportunities for feedback. Regional SEM meetings also encourage student presentations within a supportive environment, not to mention the opportunities for peer education and development of teaching skills. Manchester SEM society runs an annual poster competition for undergraduate SEM projects; the Tom Donaldson Prize. This is a great starting point and shortlisted applicants will present their posters at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) annual conference.  If you’re still looking further afield, some universities and research centres will provide grants to enable students to attend international conferences, it’s always worth submitting an abstract, you never know where it may take you!

You participated in the 2016 Tom Donaldson poster competition, how did you find the experience?

Participating in the competition enabled me to present my work at the BASEM conference; a prestigious event attended by leading club and national team doctors and expert physicians within the field of SEM.  Whilst presenting my work to individuals of this calibre was challenging it allowed me to establish relationships with professionals who may vitally assist me with future research and career advice. The conference itself featured a vast number of speakers covering a variety of topics from their role in the Olympic games, to development in the treatment of particular musculoskeletal conditions. I also met a number of SEM trainees, who shed more light on the available training pathways and gave me tips to further develop my portfolio. Overall the experience was very rewarding, both educationally and as a networking opportunity. As a final year medical student, I can’t really complain about the prize money either!

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Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. He also serves as Education Officer for the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) committee and Co-President of Birmingham University Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (BUSEMS).

Esther Wright is a final year medical student at Birmingham University and a senior committee member of Birmingham University Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (BUSEMS). She has further demonstrated her interest by completing an intercalated BSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) at Barts and the London, graduating with First Class honours. Her interest in SEM stems from her own sporting experiences, both as a competitive swimmer and horse rider. She hopes to pursue a career in orthopaedic surgery, whilst maintaining an interest in SEM.

Introducing the Sports and Exercise Medicine Students Association (SEMSA) in Australia

5 Jan, 17 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By Jacob Jewson (@jacobjewson, @SEMSA_Vic )

Co-authored by Mitchell Simpson and Jack Cookson (@JackCCookson)

semsa-logo

Why do we need a student association for sports and exercise medicine in Australia?

Sport and exercise medicine is a growing health field across the world, particularly in Australia. Important for elite athletes, and your everyday sports enthusiast, this area of health is vital for maximising player performance and enhancing quality of life through the benefits of exercise [1, 2].

Despite these benefits, some health degrees do not provide enough teaching on sports and exercise medicine. Often it is up to students to search far and wide to find appropriate teaching and to hopefully stumble upon some career guidance. This has been the driving factor behind an exciting new students association founded in March 2016.

What is SEMSA?

The Sports and Exercise Medicine Students’ Association (SEMSA) is an Australian organisation that facilitates education and career development in the field of sport and exercise medicine.

SEMSA aims to promote SEM as a speciality field, covering both the management of exercise related injuries and the promotion of health through increased use of exercise and physical activity. Member education across multiple disciplines is also a key focus. The association is consistently sharing journal and news articles about advances in SEM. To further facilitate this education and development SEMSA will host a number of events and workshops to introduce members to influential sports and exercise medicine clinicians, and key aspects of the profession.

Who is SEMSA?

SEMSA was founded by a group of like-minded students and recent graduates. We saw the need for further specialized instruction in sports and exercise medicine. The committee is comprised of medical and physiotherapy students, as well as recent graduates in the medical and physiotherapy field.

We all have a passion to expose students to key concepts and practitioners in SEM, and facilitate the education of practical skills. This common interest has enabled us to work well together as a multi-disciplinary unit to provide opportunities for students from various fields.

What type of events and workshops does SEMSA host?

SEMSA’s first event, Careers in Sports and Exercise Medicine, saw over 110 SEMSA members learn from leading clinicians about their journey in sports and exercise medicine.  Dr Peter Brukner (Australian Cricket Team doctor), Dr Rohan Price (orthopaedic surgeon (OrthoSport Victoria)), Mr David Francis (Collingwood Football Club head physiotherapist) and Dr Andrew Aldous (Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians registrar) inspired our members with stories of the starts of their careers in sports medicine and their ongoing passion for the speciality. Our members also gained some practical tips on concussion management from leading expert, Dr Michael Makdissi, and Williamstown club doctor, Dr Liam West.

SEMSA will continue to hold events and workshops in conjunction with Sports Medicine Australia and the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians. The next events will include tendinopathy, women in sport and the journey of an injured player through treatment and recovery.

SEMSA was established in Melbourne, with its early membership base primarily comprised of students from Victorian universities studying medicine and allied health degrees. 2017 will see the expansion of SEMSA into NSW, and by 2018, the association aims to be recognised nationwide, with subcommittees in each state.

In doing this, SEMSA hopes to form relationships with various universities and their student societies, to promote sport and exercise medicine as an important subject in health science degrees. It is our goal to have sport and exercise medicine taught as part of university curricula, through lectures, workshops and placements, because that’s what students want [3]!

The committee is very excited to be part of a student organisation dedicated to sport and exercise medicine in Australia. We hope that it will encourage students and clinicians to consider it as a career, and understand the importance and scope of this emerging health field.

Further information about SEMSA

 Please visit our website

http://semsa.org.au

Connect on social media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/semsavic/

Twitter: @SEMSA_Vic

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Jacob Jewson, a medical intern, has learned a lot about Sport and Exercise Medicine over the last two years. He has longstanding passion for sport, particularly cricket and Aussie rules football, and found that sports medicine is a perfect fit. During his degree, he undertook research in Achilles tendinopathy. He also worked with amateur and professional football clubs around Melbourne. Now, as secretary of SEMSA, he oversees meetings and decisions to facilitate growth of the association and member events. Jacob is extremely excited about what SEMSA can offer its members in the future, and the growing global community of SEM practitioners.

Jonathan Shurlock is an academic foundation year doctor based in Sheffield, UK. He co-coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. Please send your blog feedback and ideas to: jhshurlock@gmail.com; or Tweet @J_Shurlock

References

  1. Pina IL, Apstein CS, Balady GJ, et al. Exercise and heart failure: A statement from the American Heart Association Committee on exercise, rehabilitation, and prevention. Circulation 2003;107(8):1210-25
  2. Myers VH, McVay MA, Brashear MM, et al. Exercise training and quality of life in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes care 2013;36(7):1884-90
  3. Osborne SA, Adams JM, Fawkner S, Kelly P, Murray AD, Oliver CW. Tomorrow’s doctors want more teaching and training on physical activity for health. British journal of sports medicine 2016

 

To intercalate or not to intercalate…and a few other questions…

16 Dec, 16 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By James Murphy

intercalate

Image credit: http://comerecommended.com/grads-not-sure-where-to-go-next-use-career-predictor/

This time last year I was sure that I wanted to intercalate on a Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) course. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, to intercalate means taking a year out of your medical course to study an area of medicine you are passionate about or interested to learn more about. I thought that an intercalated degree would be a great opportunity to further pursue my growing interest in SEM. Many people advised me to take a year out to intercalate. A message of “don’t do an intercalated degree for an easy year or the extra application points” was reiterated several times. Despite receiving guidance, I still struggled over a few key questions. Here are those questions, and my related considerations.

Should I intercalate or just finish medical school?

Students should really think hard about intercalating. It is a great opportunity to dive into an area of interest and gain research experience. Still, whilst being fun and interesting, an intercalated degree is hard work. One must also consider the additional cost.

I agree with the sentiment that you should not intercalate just because you will pick up a couple of extra points on your job applications. But you should intercalate if you are looking to broaden your horizons, explore an area outside of your main discipline and gain a wealth of transferrable skills.

Should I intercalate in SEM or another subject?

I thought very carefully about the content area I wanted to learn more about and the skills I wanted to gain. My two key aims were to learn more about musculoskeletal injuries and their management, and about the benefits and uses of physical activity, I also wanted to learn about research methods and to have an opportunity to undertake my own research project.

I spent a student selected component (SSC) and my elective on SEM placements. I knew I wanted to further improve my musculoskeletal examination skills, knowledge of musculoskeletal injuries and learn more about the subsequent management. Exercise medicine is also a topic I wanted to explore as despite its fundamental importance, it has been relatively neglected in the medical school curriculum. Hopefully this will not be the case moving forward. (1, 2)

Research/Service Improvement is now a key component of the healthcare profession. It is also a responsibility of health professionals to stay up to date with current research. To facilitate this, I wanted to learn the basics: research methodology, critical appraisal and leading my own project.

The combination of these topics lead me to thinking about SEM or SEM-related courses.

I found that in the UK there are nine degree courses in the subject of SEM or a closely related subject open to intercalating students.

What are the similarities and Differences between SEM and SEM-related courses?

SEM courses contain common key modules. These give students the opportunity to develop their musculoskeletal examination skills and management of common musculoskeletal pathologies. These skills are widely transferable, for example in rheumatology, general practice and emergency medicine. Other common modules focus on the benefits of physical activity, its promotion and role in clinical practice.

Students taking SEM-related courses will study modules such as: exercise physiology, psychology, biomechanics and rehabilitation. I talked to some medical students taking these courses, and they stated that although the topics were interesting, they believed the knowledge gained wouldn’t necessary be useful in day to day clinical practice. However, an argument for taking a SEM-related degree would be that the roles of sports physicians within teams is now becoming broader; the team physician works closely with physiotherapists, sports therapists, sports scientists, dieticians, psychologists and strength and conditioning coaches to ensure all athletes can perform to the best of their abilities. To work effectively in these roles, it is therefore beneficial to have some understanding of sports science.

Where should I intercalate?

The courses you want to apply to and the offers you receive will dictate where you intercalate. When thinking about location, I also considered the different extra-curricular activities/opportunities for students in the vicinity of the different universities. For example, a benefit of moving to London for a year so is easier geographic access to many conferences and events.

Do I have to be interested in research to intercalate?

All of the SEM or SEM-related intercalated degrees involve a research project or dissertation. Even if students are not interested in research, they must be prepared to complete this. For those not interested in research, some of the courses do not have compulsory modules in research methods. Students could look towards these courses and accept that they may find the research project quite tough.

Will intercalating in SEM now mean I don’t need to do a masters degree in SEM later?

Intercalating in SEM is not the only chance students have to complete a degree in this area. Students who don’t wish or are unable to intercalate can complete university courses at a later stage. It is possible to undertake a part-time masters whilst working or take a year out from work to study full time on a masters or diploma course. Universities such as Nottingham, Bath, Glasgow and Queens all offer MSc courses in SEM. Bath, Glasgow and UCL/Queens (MSc) are only open to postgraduates.

Closing remark:

Intercalated degrees offer a really good opportunity to learn research skills (from idea development, to project management and writing up results) in an area of interest. To make the most out an intercalated degree students should consider their key aims for the year and try to align these with a degree course that matches.

About the author:

James Murphy has completed four years of medicine at Newcastle University and is currently intercalating on the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine course at the University of Nottingham.

References:

  • Weiler R, Chew S, Coombs N, et al. Physical activity education in the undergraduate curricula of all UK medical schools. Are tomorrow’s doctors equipped to follow clinical guidelines? Br J Sports Med 2012;46: 1024–6.
  • Gates AB, Kerry R, Moffatt F, et al. Br J Sports Med Published Online First: [October 26, 2016] doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096857

Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) co-coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. Please send your blog feedback and ideas to: manroysahni@gmail.com

USEMS 2016 National Student Sports Medicine Conference – The Highlights!

6 Dec, 16 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By Tej Pandya

conference-day

Manchester SEMSoc Committee – conference organisers.

The 2016 USEMS Student sports medicine conference was held in Manchester on Saturday 12th November. One hundred and fifty keen students attended from all across the UK -representing many different professions. It was fantastic to see such a high level of interest in sports medicine from undergraduates. Below are three of the biggest conference themes,  highlights, & further resources on these key topics – enjoy! ….

Over training syndrome – a condition that we all need to think about

Dr Leon Creaney (@AthleticsDrLeonA) kick started the day with a brilliant talk explaining the concept of over-training in elite athletes. He explained how we can spot over training syndrome (also known as unexplained underperformance syndrome) – having the same training load but recurrent decrease in performance. Causes of this include: rapid increasing in training volume, lack of recovery and training greater than 10% of the day (2.4 hours) in a 24-hour period.1 Careful monitoring is essential to prevent over training. With no specific treatment other than prolonged rest and graduated return to exercise, this can be a frustrating time for both the athlete and the medical team.

Event medical cover is a great way to gain experience in SEM

Dr Clint Gomes (@drclintgomes) fantastically explained what is involved in providing event medical cover at major cycling championship events.2 Getting skilled up- either as a medical student with organisations such as St John Ambulance or as a doctor on courses such as AREA/SCRUMCAPS is key to making yourself flexible. He also gave these tips for success: knowing the sport and type of injuries you may encounter, recognizing and working within the limits of your competence, and not being in “spectator mode” during the event. If working for a smaller club, selecting your own medical kit and asking the club to reimburse your costs will help you to be fully prepared on match days. Finally, after the event, reflect on what went well and what could be better, so that you be even better next time! To hear more about this, listen to the brilliant BJSM podcast by  Prav Mathema.

Motivational interviewing can be useful technique for behavior change 

The brilliant Dr Amal Hassan (@oh_amalhassan) spoke in the afternoon about how we can motivate our patients to be more physically active.  The vicious cycle of: presenting to the doctor, inadequate exercise advice, increasing pain and symptoms leading to the belief that “exercise will make it worse” and then returning to the doctor is a key example of where motivational interviewing can be used to change attitudes. Where possible, using the patients own language, clarifying understanding and asking open questions can help build the collaborative relationship- remember change is not short term!

Be wary of “Female Athlete Triad” in your female athletes

Dr Isobel Heyworth (@IsobelHeyworth) spoke passionately about the importance of recognizing chronically low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction and low bone mineral density in female athletes –  commonly referred to as “The Female Athlete Triad.” 2 Often these symptoms can be difficult to measure in an amateur setting- make sure to ask the difficult questions! Recovery of energy status may well be days or weeks but it can take years to recover bone mineral density so it is important to emphasize this to your patient.

Huge thanks to all organizers, attendees, and presenters!

Thanks to all the fantastic speakers who gave up their time on a Saturday to come to rainy Manchester! Also, thanks to all the sponsors, including our platinum sponsor BASEM, to help keep the costs down and support undergraduate education.

References

  1. Seene T, Kaasik P, Alev K, Pehme A, Riso EM. Composition and turnover of contractile proteins in volume-overtrained skeletal muscle. International journal of sports medicine. 2004 Aug;25(06):438-45.
  2. De Souza MJ, Nattiv A, Joy E, Misra M, Williams NI, Mallinson RJ, Gibbs JC, Olmsted M, Goolsby M, Matheson G, Barrack M. 2014 Female Athlete Triad Coalition Consensus Statement on treatment and return to play of the female athlete triad: 1st International Conference held in San Francisco, California, May 2012 and 2nd International Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana, May 2013. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014 Feb 1;48(4):289-.

 

Tej Pandya is an intercalating medical student at the University of Manchester and currently President of the Manchester Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (@semsocuk). All enquiries can be directed to semsocuk@gmail.com

Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) coordinates the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. He also serves as Education Officer for the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) committee.

Please send your blog feedback and ideas to: manroysahni@gmail.com

 

Five pearls from the first Swiss Sports and Exercise Medicine Student’s Day – for future doctors

26 Nov, 16 | by BJSM

Swiss Junior Doctors and Undergraduate Perspective on Sport and Exercise Medicine Blog Series

By Justin Carrard, @Carrard.Justin

I am very honored to launch the new Swiss Junior Doctors and Undergraduate Perspective blog series. This series will help amplify Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) as a medical specialty in our country. It will also encourage dialogue and raise awareness about SEM issues, both unique to Switzerland, and global. Topics of interest will likely include: (i) access to ‘hands-on’ learning opportunities (ii) strategies to raise awareness about and implement physical activity in the daily care of patients, (iii) the integration of research and practice.

os_pm_quali_bahn

The Swiss Society for Sports and Exercise Medicine (SGSM) recently held its first Student’s Day in Interlaken1. A diverse lineup of Swiss SEM experts shared their insights. Presenters included: Dr. André Leumann (sports orthopaedic surgeon), Dr. Boris Gojanovic (sports physician), Dr. Patrik Noack (sports physician) and Prof. Matthias Wilhelm (sports cardiologist).

The goal of the conference was to introduce students to key aspects of SEM. I greatly enjoyed the day, and share my 5 take home messages.

Which postgraduate training is the most appropriate to become a sports doctor in a country that does not have SEM speciality?

As explained in the editorial of the recent Swiss BJSM edition1, Switzerland is one of the European countries in which SEM is not yet a speciality. Thus, it could be a bit tricky for medical students to find their way to become a sports doctor. In our country, about 60% of all sports doctors have a general medicine postgraduate training: about 15-20% are orthopaedic surgeons, 10-15% are physiatrists and 10% have another specialty (e.g., paediatrics, cardiology and respiratory medicine). Medical students should then basically decide whether they prefer to work in a practice, in an operating theatre or in a rehabilitation setting. As Dr. Patrik Noack highlighted through fascinating clinical cases, a broad clinical training base (such as the one of a general practitioner) is suitable for somebody who is keen to become a team doctor and work on the sporting fields. While the Swiss training for general medicine enables a lot of rotations in different specialties (additionally to the core training in internal and general medicine), the following areas are recommended: orthopaedics and traumatology, emergency medicine, cardiology, paediatrics or physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Who is consulting a sports doctor practice and why are they doing it?

As Dr. Gojanovic explained, most patients currently consulting a sports physician are active ones suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSK) or less frequently sedentary people who want to become active and look for counselling. Typically, each sports doctor has some elite athletes among their practice. It is not common in Switzerland that ill patients consult a SEM physician even if mounting scientific evidence points to physical activity’s key role in the treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)2. As pictured in figure 1, SEM is much more than musculoskeletal medicine. SEM  offers a great opportunity as a modern way to prevent and treat NCDs.

swiss-1

Is only endurance training useful in reducing the overall mortality?

Health care practitioners often think that endurance training only is the only type of regular physical activity that reduces the overall mortality3. However, as Ruiz et al. showed: “muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer in men”4. Thus, the World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity of aerobic physical activity and muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week5.

Do elite athletes recover faster from injury than standard patients?

Elite athletes do not heal faster per se compared to standard patients. As young and fit patients, they belong to the left side of a normal (or gaussian) distribution of the needed healing time. Dr. Leumann highlighted that some factors, like nutrition, could be optimized in order to support the healing process. Clinical controls will then be performed more frequently in order to detect as soon as possible a consolidation/healing state compatible with intensive physiotherapy. Thus, although the healing process of elite athletes might not be faster, the injury management is more timely and sophisticated.

Is a left ventricular wall thicker than 12 mm always pathological?

Twelve millimeters thickness is a commonly accepted definition to diagnose left ventricular hypertrophy and consequently suspect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) among athletes6,7. However, this criteria was established within white athletes and should be critically reviewed among black athletes, “in whom deaths attributed to HCM are more common”8. Basavarajaiah et al. found that 18% and 3% of black athletes shown left ventricular wall thickness greater than 12mm and 15mm respectively without other cardiac abnormalities9. To conclude, there is potential for false positive HCM diagnosis if physician use the criteria derived from studies among white athletes.

“Together, we reach new heights”1

Forty students participated in this free teaching day around SEM. We heard directly from some of the leading physicians in the country about the many facets and perspectives in the field. The SGSM wishes to engage students and junior doctors to share ideas and motivations to develop the SEM field in a relevant way. In that way, the SGSM invites engagement with its new Swiss Junior Doctors and Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society.

*********************

Justin Carrard (@Carrard.Justin) is a first year internal medicine resident based in Biel/Bienne (Switzerland). He is the newly appointed Swiss Correspondent for the brand new BJSM Swiss Junior Doctors and Undergraduate Perspective Blog Series. He is currently implementing the new Swiss Junior Doctors und Undergraduate Sports and Exercice Medicine Society. Justin aims to raise SEM awareness among Swiss medical students and modern solutions it provides to big public health issues like non-communicable diseases. As an ex-competitive swimmer, Justin has a keen interest for endurance sports and regularly practices them with passion.

Email: justin.carrard@gmail.com                                  Twitter: @Carrard.Justin

If you would like to contribute to the “Swiss Junior Doctors and Undergraduate Perspective on Sport and Exercise Medicine” Blog Series please email justin.carrard@gmail.com for further information.

References

  • Kriemler, A. Leumann, B. Gojanovic. Together, we reach new heights: Swiss Sports Medicine Society (SGSM/SSMS) joins BJSM Br J Sports Med 2016; 50:1099
  • Derman W, Schwellnus M, Hope F, Jordaan E, Padayachee T. Description and implementation of U-Turn Medical, a comprehensive lifestyle intervention programme for chronic disease in the sport and exercise medicine setting: pre-post observations in 210 consecutive patients. Br J Sports Med. 2014 Sep; 48(17): 1316-21.
  • Wen CP, Wai JP, Tsai MK, Yang YC, Cheng TY, Lee MC et al. Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study. 2011 Oct 1; 378 (9798): 1244-53.
  • Ruiz JR, Sui X, Lobelo F, Morrow JR Jr, Jackson AW, Sjöström M et al. Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study. 2008 Jul 1; 337: a439
  • http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_adults/en/
  • Pelliccia A, Maron BJ, Spataro A, Proschan MA, Spirito P. The upper limit of physiologic cardiac hypertrophy in highly trained elite athletes. N Engl J Med 1991; 324:295–301.
  • Sharma S, Maron BJ, Whyte G, Firoozi S, Elliott PM, McKenna WJ. Physiologic limits of left ventricular hypertrophy in elite junior athletes: relevance to differential diagnosis of athlete’s heart and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2002; 40:1431–6.
  • Maron BJ, Carney KP, Lever HM, Barac I, Casey SA, Sherrid MV. Relationship of race to sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003; 41:974–80.
  • Basavarajaiah S, Boraita A, Whyte G, Wilson M, Carby L, Shah A et al. Ethnic differences in left ventricular remodeling in highly-trained athletes relevance to differentiating physiologic left ventricular hypertrophy from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Jun 10; 51(23): 2256-62

 

 

 

The Undergraduate Perspective blog series revitalized – an invitation to all

14 Nov, 16 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series

By Jonathan Shurlock and Manroy Sahni

Are you an undergraduate interested in a career in Sports and Exercise Medicine? Or a sportsperson keen on injury surveillance, prevention, and rehabilitation? Do you have a role in healthcare and are passionate about physical activity for your patients, clients, and community of practice?

Then we may have the perfect opportunity for you. Share your experiences and interests, while you build your skills and networks.

sprinter-on-the-blocks-sunHere at the BJSM we have been working hard to revamp our blog series: ‘The Undergraduate Perspective on Sport and Exercise Medicine.’

We are looking for undergraduates motivated to curate a blog on the SEM topic of your choice!

Traditionally our blogs have been 500-750 word research or story based submissions, with at least 2 references. We invite you to submit your ideas and/or drafts to either of the emails below. BUT we are also looking for innovative formats! Why not send in a video blog, or a virtual interview, or anything else you can think of! Surprise us!

Drop us an email if you want to discuss an idea for a blog or want a bit of advice with the process.

Please send draft submissions to the blog coordinators at jhshurlock@gmail.com and manroysahni@gmail.com

Still have questions? Let us summarize.

What do we want from you?

  • Enthusiasm for the world of SEM
  • Honesty: we want to hear about all of your SEM experiences, good or bad
  • Motivation to obtain new experiences and skills
  • Passion and commitment to write clearly and share innovative ideas with our audiences

What do we want from the content?

  • Engaging: exploring current hot topics in SEM
  • Accurate: grounded in a reliable evidence base (at least one BJSM reference)
  • Relatable: we want YOUR perspective on SEM as an undergraduate

What’s in it for you?

  • Development of your knowledge, skills and experience relevant to SEM
  • Online publishing of your writing, free to share
  • Exposure of your work to our global SEM network (our blog has 200, 000 views per year)
  • Networking opportunities with the professional SEM community
  • Mentorship, support and feedback on your writing

Previous writing experience is not required; we will support you through the processes of formulation, draft revision, formatting, and submission. If this opportunity is of interest to you, we welcome you to the team.

For some final inspiration, here are some examples of previous blogs:

Exercise Addiction – too much of a good thing? By Daniel Taylor-Sweet (@dtaylorsweet)

Aspiring to get ahead? Sports Physio tips from the UK to Qatar. By Johnathon King (@Jonny_King_PT) & Liam West (@Liam_West)

Doctor’s role in physical activity adherence: how can we keep patients on the road to better health? By Steffan Griffin (@lifestylemedic)

References:

  1. Taylor-Sweet. Exercise Addiction – too much of a good thing? BJSM Undergraduate Perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine blog series. Online. [Available from: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/2016/01/08/exercise-addiction-too-much-of-a-good-thing/]
  1. King, West. Aspiring to get ahead? Sports Physio tips from the UK to Qatar. Undergraduate Perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine blog series. Online. [Available from: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/2015/03/20/aspiring-to-get-ahead-sports-physio-tips-from-the-uk-to-qatar/]
  1. Doctors role in physical activity adherence: how can we keep patients on the road to better health? Undergraduate Perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine blog series. Online. [Available from: http://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/2015/05/01/doctors-role-in-physical-activity-adherence-how-can-we-keep-patients-on-the-road-to-better-health/ ]

Get to know our new undergrad series coordinators:

Manroy Sahni (@manroysahni) is a final year medical student at the University of Birmingham and a newly appointed Lead Coordinator for the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. He is currently Co-President of Birmingham University Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (BUSEMS). As a key part of his role, Manroy organises seminars and practical sessions to raise awareness of the specialty and facilitate networking. He also serves as the Education Officer for the national Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) committee. Manroy’s avid interest for research is demonstrated by his successful completion of an intercalated degree, clinical research elective in New Zealand and Tom Donaldson award for best poster presentation at the 2016 BASEM / FSEM conference. As a Move Eat Treat ambassador he promotes a healthy and active lifestyle and pushes for increased incorporation of lifestyle issues into medical education. Outside of medicine he enjoys football, tennis and running.

Email: manroysahni@gmail.com     Twitter:@manroysahni

Jonathan Shurlock (@J_Shurlock) is an academic foundation year 1 doctor based in Sheffield and a newly appointed Lead Coordinator for the BJSM Undergraduate Perspective blog series. He is an advocate for clean sport, and works as a Research Assistant the FIMS Reference Collaborating Centre of Sports Medicine for Anti-Doping Research. He was awarded the BASEM Undergraduate Research Prize on the basis of this World Anti-doping Agency funded work. Jonathan is member of the USEMS committee, and Football Association Medical Society (SE) Social Media Officer. In his last year as medical student, he successfully introduced and delivered physical activity teaching into the Brighton and Sussex medical school undergraduate curriculum. Jonathan spends his spare time running in circles (around a track) and climbing any nearby boulders.

Email: jhshurlock@gmail.com    Twitter:@J_Shurlock

 

A MUST read for any Undergraduate Student considering a career in Sports & Exercise Medicine

31 Oct, 16 | by BJSM

Undergraduate perspective on Sport & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog

By Andrew Shafik (@aaashafik)

asems-logo-cropped

Aberdeen Sports & Exercise Medicine Society@aberdeen_sems recently held its first ever event #ASEMSWelcomeTalk. This general introduction to SEM featured three speakers from varying disciplines: Professor Francis Smith (SEM Consultant), Ashley Armstrong (Sports Physiotherapist) and John Psyllas (Scottish Institute of Sport S&C Coach).

The talks all shared a common theme of  ‘General SEM Advice’ with a few KEY TAKE HOME points for any Undergraduate Student considering a career in Sports & Exercise Medicine:

  1. Get experience
  • Start at the grassroots and work your way up (Professor Smith). This will allow you to gain the respect of your colleagues once you are established and working within the field, making you the best person for the job.
  • Some great establishments for gaining experience include the military and BUCS, who are happy to have students shadowing SEM professionals.
  • Contact your local sports clubs. Medical and physiotherapy students may be able to assist in pitch side care if they have certain Sports First Aid requirements, allowing first hands SEM experience at the grassroots level.
  1. Network/Mentor
  • The guys at the top are OPEN and APPROACHABLE so get in touch with them to gain experience, discuss a SEM piece of work that interests you or even to ask for general advice. The worst they can say is No.
  • Be the dumbest person in the room (John Psyllas)- continually surround yourself with clever people and you will always find yourself learning something new. Finding a mentor who has already undergone the SEM training process can prove invaluable to teaching you the ropes of SEM.
  • Networking is key– networking will assist you with getting experience, getting your foot in the door and potential work opportunities. Ashley and John shared that many of the opportunities they both had of working in elite sport have come through their network once getting their feet in the door. Professor Smith also shared the story of Dr Jonathan Hanson (@SportsDocSkye) who started off his SEM career as a student when he shadowed Professor Smith at Montrose FC during his intercalated degree.
  1. Education/accreditation
  • Education- courses such as MSc Sports & Exercise Medicine may not be deemed essential when applying for certain SEM jobs but can allow you to pip competition i.e. ‘Maximise your chances by doing everything you can’ (Ashley Armstrong)
  • Accreditation- courses (such as SCRUMCAPS Advanced Trauma First Aid) may assist you with certain SEM opportunities
  1. CPD- continue to develop yourself through
  • Books/journals/conferences/workshops/network/social media
  • Twitter & Facebook are very useful sources in keeping up to date with HOT SEM topics/research- follow conference hash tags and SEM professionals can also be very beneficial
  1. Research
  • Research- involve yourself in research as well as keeping up to date with the latest research through journals such as the BJSM
  • Blogs- get writing about SEM topics that interest you (like I’m doing here)
  1. Family/relationships
  • A very important point but largely missed out, you need to have supportive and understanding family/friends as SEM is a field that can involve long hours and lots of travel so a stable support network is crucial.
  1. Eyes on the prize!
  • Similar to anything in life, there will be a lot of sacrifices along the way. Keeping your ‘eyes on the prize’ will keep you goal-orientated and motivated at all times.

Special thank you to the 3 speakers who made our first event so successful:

  • Professor Francis Smith- ASEMS Honorary President
  • Ashley Armstrong @ashleya262
  • John Psyllas @Johnpsyllas85

********************

Andrew Shafik (@aaashafik) is a fourth year medical student at the University of Aberdeen with a keen interest in SEM. He is a footballer playing for Aberdeen University Men’s Football Club 1st XI. He is Co-Founder & Co-President @aberdeen_sems and an Ambassador for Move.Eat.Treat.

Stay tuned to the undergrad series – we have some exciting new announcements coming soon!

 

 

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