Thwarting Teen Violence, One-on-One
THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 25 - NO. 3 - MARCH 97
Regular readers may remember last issue's Editor's Notes, in which I introduced pediatrician Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, who works in the rough environment of West Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His article this month, "Teen Violence Prevention: How to Make a Brief Encounter Make a Difference" (page 69) is anything but theoretical. He gives practical advice on dealing with teenagers and their problems—including depression, fear, and the temptation to rely on guns and knives as the primary tools for resolving disputes or countering perceived slights.
Why address teen violence in The Physician and Sportsmedicine? Sports medicine doctors do not live in a sports-centered isolation chamber. In fact, most doctors who practice sports medicine do so as a small part of their overall practice. Their real job is usually primary care, which reflects all the vicissitudes of daily life. Sometimes their work includes dealing with the consequences of violence, inside or outside the home.
The preparticipation exam and sports injury assessments, for example, often bring the sports medicine physician in contact with teenagers—some of whom are caught up in the web of violence that increasingly permeates our society (1). At such times, physicians have an unusual opportunity to talk to teenagers on a one-to-one, trusting basis, either as part of their primary practice or through their sports connections.
Can physicians help their patients decrease the chances of getting killed by gunfire or otherwise enmeshed in violence? Dr Ginsburg says yes.
P.S. Of course, we also offer practical articles on more traditional topics, including corneal injuries, exercise-induced asthma, osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow, and the female athlete triad. Also, you'll find good advice for your patients about lunchtime nutrition and exercise-related skin problems, plus our annual list of sports medicine fellowships.