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I realised the other day that it was 30 years since I did my first overseas tour as a team doctor (World University Games, Edmonton, Canada, 1983). Since then I have lost count of the number of trips that I have with a succession of Australian national sporting teams (swimming, athletics, field hockey, soccer and cricket). It has taken me to Olympic, Commonwealth and World University games, World Championships and World Cups.
It has always seemed pretty straight forward, you travel with the team, you just do your job as conscientiously and enthusiastically as you can, you contribute to the team in as many ways as possible, and you get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment. You get to work with some amazing athletes and at times make a small contribution to their success.
And yet what seems a fairly simple task does not go well for many sports medicine professionals. I have heard many stories of doctors who have ‘failed’ on tour and their …