Physiotherapists have increasingly provided many of the major advances in sports and exercise medicine in the past 20 years and Professor Paul Hodges has been pre-eminent among them.
Now we regularly see sport and exercise medicine papers in the BMJ, Lancet, JAMA and even the New England Journal of Medicine. This reflects the wave of improved research and the significance of our field in addressing major health problems.
One objective measure of this new maturity in the field is grant success at national health research funding agencies. This too has been increasing for sport and exercise health researchers and clinicians in the past decades.
Now Prof Hodges has been hailed as Australia’s #1 researcher. Remember that nation produced 10 Nobel Prize winners including Howard Florey, MacFarlane Burnet and more recently Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. (See link for classic rejection letter for Dr Marshall!)
So up against cancer, genomics, personalized medicine and the like, Professor Hodges, the new slim-line marathon man incarnation, had taken the ultimate prize.
Good for him but knowing the man, he will be most pleased about his drawing attention to the important work of physiotherapists and their colleagues in research around the world.
The December 2008 BJSM issue featured Professor Hodges’ work including the cover image and a key editorial — Transverus abdominis: a different view of the elephant. His work has not been without its challengers (the sign of any iconoclastic research) and related articles in BJSM include a perspective from Garry Allison.