British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine Winter Symposium – from Top to Toe

Undergraduate perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine  a BJSM blog series

By Liam West (@Liam_West)

tennis playerStudents and newly qualified doctors that are interested in SEM are usually very keen to undertake post-graduate qualifications or courses to expand their knowledge base. The British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine (BIMM) is a society that offers SEM modules that cover a variety of interesting topics, such as – detailed MSK examinations, spinal disorders, ergonomics of the upper limb, SEM and the lower limb, pain management. They also integrate approaches to occupational aspects of MSK disorders.

BIMM is passionate about empowering the next generation of SEM practitioners to progress the field. The society has the following long term aims:

  • Disseminate knowledge about musculoskeletal medicine among the medical profession.
  • Stimulate and encourage clinical research.
  • Co-ordinate efforts to increase the teaching of this specialty within the established educational structure.
  • Promote the specialty within the NHS.

I recently attended the BIMM conference “Winter Symposium – from Top to Toe” in London. The primary aim was at general practitioners interested and practicing in SEM. However, sessions covered topics different from your usual SEM meeting. In the morning, speakers tackled difficult issues such as the barriers to implementing musculoskeletal care in the context of NHS reforms, how to put policies into practice and how to manage the consultation of a patient with lower back pain in primary care. They also addressed the placebo effect of empathetic care in musculoskeletal disease, giving delegates interesting insight into how their actions – even before diagnosis – can be critical in the disease outcome. In the afternoon the conference reverted back to practical workshops covering MSK assessment in small groups.

Take home messages

  • Look into BIMM and its courses – one of them may be the perfect fit for you
  • You need to know the barriers facing optimal NHS MSK service provision before you can actually overcome them to provide it!
  • Be nice and empathetic with patients – even if they have a frustrating presentation!!

I encourage students to research BIMM to see whether any of the modules or courses that they run are of interest. Stand out from the crowd on your CV and learn skills to help differentiate you in the future! You can read more here.


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.

Dr. Liam West BSc (Hons) MBBCh is a junior doctor at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He is a founder and current President of USEMS and is also the founder of Cardiff Sports & 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 Editorial Representative and on the Educational Advisory Board for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine. His Twitter handle (as above) is @Liam_West and you can find Liam on Facebook as well.



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