‘What I wish I’d known then’ – Professor Christa Janse van Rensburg

In this new BJSM blog series, we ask a range of senior practitioners and researchers in Sport and Exercise medicine about their career, and what advice they would give to students who may find themselves in the same shoes that they were once in. The series is kindly coordinated by Dr Corina Bello.

  1. What attracted you to the specialty you now work in?
    • My love for sport, both as a participant and spectator
  2. What was the best decision you ever made?
    • Combining my passion for sport into my profession
  3. What was the biggest risk you ever took?
    • Enrolling for my medicine degree without financial back-up. Absolutely worthwhile
  4. What 3 things are you most thankful for in your medical career?
    • Great mentorship; Opportunities given
  5. What is your greatest strength?
    • Perseverance (“I will bounce back”)
  6. What is the most challenging project you have ever undertaken?
    • Pursuing two M degrees at the same time; my MSc in Sports Medicine and my MMed in Physical Medicine (the last one lead me to qualify as a rheumatologist
  7. What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself – say between the age of 25-30 years-old?
    • Believe in your dreams
  8. What tips would you give to students/junior doctors to improve their career prospects?
    • Embrace every moment with colleagues as a learning experience; Do not be afraid to travel uncharted waters; Belief in your potential
  9. What keeps you motivated?
    • Making a difference for patients and athletes. Creating opportunities that come to fruition for students and colleagues.
  10. What would you say is your greatest contribution to sports medicine SA and greatest personal achievement?
    • Greatest contribution – the biggest number of qualified SEM physicians in SA was taught by me (more than 100)
    • Greatest personal achievement – earning my full professorship/writing a chapter on rheumatology conditions in the SEM practice in the prescribed book for my students (Clinical Sports Medicine; Brukner&Khan)/invited as a scientific committee member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) WORLD CONFERENCE ON PREVENTION OF INJURY & ILLNESS IN SPORT

Thanks, Prof van Rensburg!

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