Undergraduate perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine – a BJSM blog series
By Sean Carmody (@seancardmody1) and
Liam West (@Liam_West)
There’s been a palpable shift in the attitudes of undergraduates towards Sport & Exercise Medicine (SEM) in recent years. Well-attended student conferences, with world-class speakers, are a common feature of the calendar, and SEM societies are continuing to thrive in UK medical schools.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single catalyst for this progress. However, the emergence of SEM as an independent specialty, the Olympics and increasing awareness of the burden of sedentary lifestyles, are all contributing factors. There’s no doubt that the enthusiastic activity of students at an undergraduate level will strengthen the specialty in years to come.
Undergraduate Sports & Exercise Medicine Society
In light of the growing interest from students, the Undergraduate Sports & Exercise Medicine Society (USEMS) was founded last year following months of discussions between students around the UK. USEMS acts as the central body for students to explore the possibility of taking up a career in Sport & Exercise Medicine.
The primary goals of USEMS are to:
- Highlight the inspiring work being done by the individual student SEM societies
- Allow students who aren’t represented by a society in their medical school to participate (as well as help them to set up a society in their school if appropriate)
- Bridge the gap between those still at university and those working at the frontline of the discipline.
Among the initiatives of USEMS is a concerted effort to make networking opportunities, such as attending conferences, more affordable for undergraduates. In the future we will be organising our own conferences and one day courses, as well as arranging price reductions for students to attend SEM events. For example:
- USEMS, together with the Cardiff Sports & Exercise Medicine Society, have managed to secure a fantastic student discount for the prestigious ISOKINETIC Football Medicine Strategies Conference for Muscle & Tendon Injuries, taking place in London in April.
- We are also currently organising a stream that will run at the British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine 2013 Conference in late October.
There are a number of benefits to students attending events like this; they have the opportunity to hear from the top minds in SEM, as well as the chance to network with those professionals that may offer them the opportunity to make the first step onto the SEM ladder.
Certainly, with the continued support of the wider SEM community, SEM activity at an undergraduate level will continue to flourish. We look forward to your contributions to the USEMS movement.
To request an order form to pay for tickets to the Football Medicine Strategies Conference for Muscle & Tendon Injuries, or to submit an abstract for the undergraduate poster competition being held there, please email – Brynsav@hotmail.com
Sean Carmody is a fourth year medical student at the Hull York Medical School. He is a founder & current Communications lead for USEMS. He is also a co-founder, and the current President, of the HYMS Society for Sport and Exercise Medicine. He is also passionate about promoting a proactive healthcare system and is currently a director of the Move.Eat.Treat campaign. Sean is an accomplished sportsman, representing Ireland in Rugby League.
Liam West BSc (Hons) is a final year medical undergraduate student at Cardiff University, Wales. He is a founder and current President of USEMS and is also the founder and President of Cardiff Sports and Exercise Medicine Society (CSEMS). In addition to his role as an Associate Editor for BJSM he also coordinates the “Undergraduate Perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine” Blog Series. He has a passion for developing the SEM movement amongst undergraduates and sits on the Council of Sports Medicine for the Royal Society of Medicine as Student Representative and on the Educational Advisory Board for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.