The Physician and Sportsmedicine
Menubar Home Journal Personal Health Resource Center CME Advertiser Services About Us

[EDITOR'S NOTES]

A Little 'Sports' Medicine Miracle

Elizabeth A. Joy, MD, guest editor

THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 30 - NO. 6 - JUNE 2002


I had one of the most rewarding nights of my medical career tonight. I delivered the baby of a woman whom I treated for an eating disorder 7 years ago.

I remember the day her parents first brought her to see me, the sports medicine specialist. She was so angry. At age 15, she'd had her eating disorder for several years. It had taken a huge toll on her and on her family. Her parents were reaching out for anything that would work. The patient told me she'd eaten nothing for 3 days before her visit, and that I couldn't make her eat. It's intimidating even when a 15-year-old is yelling at you at the top of her lungs. Yet I stood my ground, related the treatment plan, had my nurse draw her blood, and told the girl to come back in a week.

Over the years, I became fairly close to the family; after all, I was seeing their daughter nearly once a week. I saw her graduate from high school and get married. I was thrilled when she came in for her first prenatal visit. I thought, "What a save!" It's so hard to watch patients suffer and struggle day after day. It's such a delight to see one come so far. Tonight she delivered a beautiful 7-pound baby girl. She was a trooper throughout labor and delivery. No complaining, no yelling, no tantrums. A far cry from our first visit 7 years ago.

So what does this have to do with sports medicine? The girl's parents would have never sought me out to help care for their daughter's eating disorder were it not for my sports medicine training. And my background in family practice allowed me to participate in the birth of her child.

As primary care sports medicine providers, many of us are uniquely trained to provide a wide variety of services for our patients. Whether it's evaluating a painful back, treating asthma, motivating a patient to improve his or her lifestyle, or delivering babies, primary care sports medicine fits the bill. While not all of us practice obstetrics, I hope we are all serving as role models to students and residents, and that our breadth of knowledge and skills provide an opportunity. An opportunity to treat the whole patient, not just an eating disorder or painful knee.

Now the baby will be my patient, too. I look forward to her well-child visits, her preparticipation exams, and maybe even the birth of her child. It's moments like these that make practicing "sports" medicine very special.

Best,
Elizabeth A. Joy, MD
Editorial Board Member


RETURN TO JUNE 2002 TABLE OF CONTENTS

HOME  |   JOURNAL  |   PERSONAL HEALTH  |   RESOURCE CENTER  |   CME  |   ADVERTISER SERVICES  |   ABOUT US  |   SEARCH