Five pearls from the first Swiss Sports and Exercise Medicine Student´s Day – for future doctors

The Swiss Society for Sports and Exercise Medicine (SGSM) recently held its first Student’s Day in Interlaken1. A diverse lineup of Swiss SEM experts shared their insights. Presenters included: Dr. André Leumann (sports orthopaedic surgeon), Dr. Boris Gojanovic (sports physician), Dr. Patrik Noack (sports physician) and Prof. Matthias Wilhelm (sports cardiologist).

The goal of the conference was to introduce students to key aspects of SEM. I greatly enjoyed the day, and share my 5 take home messages.

Which postgraduate training is the most appropriate to become a sports doctor in a country that does not have SEM speciality?

As explained in the editorial of the recent Swiss BJSM edition1, Switzerland is one of the European countries in which SEM is not yet a speciality. Thus, it could be a bit tricky for medical students to find their way to become a sports doctor. In our country, about 60% of all sports doctors have a general medicine postgraduate training: about 15-20% are orthopaedic surgeons, 10-15% are physiatrists and 10% have another specialty (e.g., paediatrics, cardiology and respiratory medicine). Medical students should then basically decide whether they prefer to work in a practice, in an operating theatre or in a rehabilitation setting. As Dr. Patrik Noack highlighted through fascinating clinical cases, a broad clinical training base (such as the one of a general practitioner) is suitable for somebody who is keen to become a team doctor and work on the sporting fields. While the Swiss training for general medicine enables a lot of rotations in different specialties (additionally to the core training in internal and general medicine), the following areas are recommended: orthopaedics and traumatology, emergency medicine, cardiology, paediatrics or physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Who is consulting a sports doctor practice and why are they doing it?

As Dr. Gojanovic explained, most patients currently consulting a sports physician are active ones suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSK) or less frequently sedentary people who want to become active and look for counselling. Typically, each sports doctor has some elite athletes among their practice. It is not common in Switzerland that ill patients consult a SEM physician even if mounting scientific evidence points to physical activity’s key role in the treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)2. As pictured in figure 1, SEM is much more than musculoskeletal medicine. SEM  offers a great opportunity as a modern way to prevent and treat NCDs.

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Autor / Fonte:BMJ Blogs