Sports Medicine Goes Public
THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 26 - NO. 10 - OCTOBER 98
In 1978, when I first took on the care of a professional hockey team, physicians involved with sports were few and the quality of care provided was inconsistent. At the same time, I was struggling with the reality that although the physiology of disease was fascinating, our ability to treat diseases associated with inactivity and lifestyle choices was really quite limited.
Making the commitment to practice sports medicine, however, was a problematic choice. First, the thought of treating this already-favored population conjured up the image of a facial surgeon in Beverly Hills. Second, the field was in its infancy and developing haphazardly; my greatest concern was its fragmentation into various "brands" of sports medicine that segmented, rather than broadened, the knowledge base. This seemed likely to keep sports medicine from fulfilling its potential as the "health model" of medicine.
Nevertheless, because the potential was there, I made the leap, learning as much as I could about the field and obtaining as broad and credible a training as possible. I then entered a career in academic sports medicine.
In the ensuing decades, through the efforts of many, it has become clear that physical activity provides a powerful opportunity to improve health in a way that no medicine or technology can. "Sports medicine" is now defined broadly, including the care of highly trained athletes, the average person who exercises for wellness, and the injured and ill for whom exercise is therapeutic. Important cross-disciplinary efforts are underway, involving numerous branches of medicine, allied healthcare, and basic science. Through such efforts, sports medicine has become the leader in health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and therapeutic exercise.
The next step, already begun, is the transfer of sports medicine knowledge, skills, and technology from the care of athletes to impact public health, patient by patient. In my new role as editor-in-chief of The Physician and Sportsmedicine, following in the able footsteps of editor emeritus Richard H. Strauss, MD, I'll have the opportunity to work with professionals from around the world to bring you this information in a way that is consistently practical and up to date. It's my goal to help you every day in caring for your active patients.
Note: Dr Matheson is chief of the division of sports medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, which provides care for Stanford's 800 varsity athletes. He has served as president of the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, been a team physician at many levels including world championships and the Olympic Games, and founded the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. We at The Physician and Sportsmedicine welcome him.
Copyright (C) 1998. The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved