The Physician and Sportsmedicine
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Reflecting on 30 Years of Moving Forward


2003 marks the 30th year of The Physician and Sportsmedicine (PSM). I remember reading the journal in its first decade, and being impressed with its wide coverage of topics related to exercise, sports, human performance, and health. Of course, I'm even more impressed with its scope and breadth now, but I no longer remain impartial. Join us in celebrating all year long.

What has changed in sports medicine these past three decades? Its definition, for one. Consider these viewpoints from various leaders, which span the years of PSM:

"I think of sports medicine as having four major aspects, only one of which is the medical supervision and care of recreational and competitive athletes. The second aspect is the use of exercise and sports for people who are physically or mentally handicapped. The third aspect is helping people to develop and maintain physical fitness. The fourth aspect is the use of exercise to treat and rehabilitate people who have been ill or injured."
-Allan J. Ryan, MD, first editor-in-chief, 1986
"Simply to be a physician often means being a sports medicine physician. Very few of our readers say that they are full-time sports medicine physicians, yet all of them practice sports medicine."
-Richard H. Strauss, MD, second editor-in-chief, 1992
"Sports medicine is activity-based medicine founded on a belief in the importance of exercise, motion, and activity for everyone. Sports medicine is nothing more nor less than medicine in motion. It is the most complete treatment for disease known."
-Douglas B. McKeag, MD, editorial board member, 1998
"Sports medicine is practiced in a number of venues by clinicians with overlapping but distinct areas of expertise. What ties the field together is its focus on a health model of medicine. As such, in addition to the care of athletes—their injuries, safety, and general health—sports medicine embraces preventive medicine, the role of exercise in the treatment of disease, and the underlying science of function and performance."
-Gordon O. Matheson, MD, PhD, 1999

These definitions tell me two things: (1) The perception of the field has evolved over the years. (2) The overall thrust has truly not changed that greatly. Sports medicine, at least on the pages of PSM, has for years struck a balance between caring for competitive athletes and treating everyday patients by promoting exercise for health and disease prevention.

We also posed the question of what has changed in sports medicine—and what will likely change in upcoming years—to members of our editorial board. We received a host of intriguing responses that also reflect the changing nature of sports medicine. These insights have been incorporated into the first installment of our monthly 30th anniversary department, called "Spotlight on Sports Medicine" (page 15). This department will comprise short, staff-written articles based on interviews with national leaders in the interdisciplinary fields that make up sports medicine. Each month's issue will cover advances in topics such as diagnostic imaging, cardiology, pediatrics, surgical technology, rehabilitation, women's health, etc. We hope you enjoy these reflections.

Notice that a significant part of this 30th anniversary department involves looking toward the future, which is something PSM continually strives to do. In that same forward-thinking vein, we also introduce a new monthly feature, Financial Adviser (page 21), provided by experts at Standard & Poor's, another McGraw-Hill division. Being a sports medicine physician means having diverse practice skills, and we at PSM want to help you expand your professional skills by helping boost your financial as well as your clinical acumen. Let us know what you think—and what else we can do to help you prepare for an exciting future.

Gordon O. Matheson, MD, PhD