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Another coup for the journal! The journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, publishes a small number of abstracts taken from other journals “selected on the basis of interest to our readers”. In December 1999, JAMA (1999;282:2090) published an abstract of an article by Sanjay Sharma and his colleagues entitled “Electrocardiographic changes in 1000 highly trained junior elite athletes” which appeared in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Sharma S, Whyte G, Elliott P, et al. 1999;33:319–24). Congratulations all.

Current concepts

The first advanced sports medicine meeting entitled “Current Concepts” took place recently at the National Watersport Centre at Holme Pierrpoint in Nottingham. It was organised by Mark Batt, attended by 55 delegates from Great Britain and Ireland, and judged by those present to have been a great success. Speakers included Dr Mark Batt, Professor Don Detmer, Mr Graham Holloway, Mr Mike Allen, Mr Dylan Morrissey, Mr Nat Padhiar and Mr Mike Barnes, but perhaps the greatest benefits were gained from the extended interactive discussion periods. The case presentations were excellent and are likely to be extended in future programmes. The next meeting on screening of athletes, coordinated by Brian English, is scheduled for 19 May 2000 in Loughborough. A further meeting on tendonopathies, coordinated by Cathy Speed, is scheduled for 8 December in Cambridge. All details are available from Barry Hill at the National Sports Medicine Institute.

Exercise and sport: the pros and cons for health

Benefits and Hazards of Exercise is a new publication from BMJ Books. Each chapter began life as a review article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and was updated by the authors before selection for this compendium. The contents of this book attracted considerable interest when they were first published in the journal, particularly among those readers who work in primary care and exercise professionals. As a result, in a innovative collaboration between the BMJ Publishing Group and the Royal College of General Practitioners, a one day meeting on the benefits and hazards of exercise will be held on 15 June 2000 at the Chelsea Village Conference Centre. This conference will be open to health professionals and all those involved in the exercise industry, and will bring together a selection of international experts who will discuss the latest evidence on the beneficial effects of exercise and, more importantly, how these recommendations can be put into practice. For further details, please contact Jennifer Goulding at the Royal College of General Practitioners (tel: 0207 581 3232; fax: 0207 589 1428; email: jgoulding{at}

Commonwealth Games Federation report

The Journal recently received details of the report of the Honorary Medical Adviser to the Commonwealth Games Federation, following the games in Kuala Lumpur. From August 31 to September 24 there were 3100 visits to the village medical centre and 17 people required hospital treatment. There were 859 physiotherapy visits. There were 1362 medical encounters at the 16 sporting venues. The greatest number of these (573) took place at Langawi, the shooting venue. Interestingly there were only 19 heat related problems overall. There were three reported cases of Dengue fever, and, of 640 athletes tested at doping control, there were three positive tests. The report of the Honorary Medical Adviser makes an interesting point in suggesting that training human resources (2175 medical personnel including physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, first aid, and administrative personnel) is an important legacy of any games in addition to the physical structures such as arenas, swimming pools, and other facilities.

MSc programmes in Sport and Exercise Medicine

Two new MSc programmes in Sport and Exercise Medicine, and Sport, Exercise and Society, were announced recently by University College London. The MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine is directed at physicians interested in a career in sports medicine. It will provide an introduction to best clinical practice and the underlying science and will cover the syllabus of the Intercollegiate Academic Board in Sport and Exercise Medicine. The course organiser is Mr Panos Thomas, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Whittington Hospital. The MSc in Sport, Exercise, and Society will cover sociological and psychological perspectives on sport and health. The course director is Dr Graham Scambler, Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University College London. Both programmes are modular and may be undertaken full time or part time. Further information is available from Lori Coletti, Dept of Physiology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (tel: 0207 419 3230; fax: 0207 383 7005; email: l.coletti{at}

Marathon Medicine 2000

The Royal Society of Medicine will host a conference entitled Marathon Medicine 2000 on 13–15 April 2000. This major conference will address the most important aspects of endurance sport and the programme brings together many of the most renowned experts across the globe. Among those speaking are Sir Roger Bannister, Professor Claude Bouchard, Dr Randy Eichner, Dr Lawrence Folinsbee, Professor William Morgan, Dr Bente Pederson, Professor Peter Raven, Dr William Roberts, Professor Bengt Saltin, and many other UK experts in the field. Details of registration are available from Emma Bryce, Academic Conference Department, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8AE (fax: 0207 290 2977; email: emma.bryce{at}

BASEM annual conference

Aircast are continuing their support of the BASEM Annual Congress. They will be sponsoring one of the major speakers, Professor Norbert Baachl, and presenting the annual Aircast prize. Researchers are advised to begin thinking about their projects for submission for the 2000 Aircast prize which was awarded to Nick Peirce 1998 and to Nicola Mafulli in 1999. This is a very valuable travelling fellowship which will allow the winner to visit a research centre of their choice. Attention is also drawn to other opportunities for international travel. The Sports Council offer bursaries for members to attend sports medicine events abroad and, in the past, members have been funded to attend the American College Sports Medicine meeting and other European events. If there are more applications than bursaries, the grants will be allocated on merit and applicants who present papers or posters at conferences or who can demonstrate a particular benefit to the association will be given preference.

BASEM education

A major meeting of BASEM education took place on 29 February to discuss plans to develop the education programme. With increasing interest in sport and exercise medicine these courses have become very popular and are often oversubscribed. Barry Hill is updating the list of tutors for BASEM courses. If you wish to volunteer to become involved in BASEM education or you have heard a lecturer whom you would like to nominate, please contact Barry Hill at NSMI.

BASEM Scotland

BASEM Scotland has been busy over the last few months with a number of important events. As part of their continuing medical education programme there were two outstanding evening meetings. The first was presented by Professor Susan Ward, Director of the Centre for Exercise, Sports Medicine And Science (CESAME) on respiratory physiology, and the second by Dr John Shaw Dunn of the Anatomy Dept at Glasgow University, with the intriguing title “Smelling the formulin”. The third lecture in the series was on imaging in sport with Dr Paul Duffy. One of the highlights of the Scottish Calendar is the weekend course at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore from 5–8 May which is a must for those with an interest in adventure sports and evening entertainment! Further details are published elsewhere in the journal. Collaboration is the secret of BASEM success in Scotland and the re launch of newsletter, in partnership with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine and Sport Scotland, is a further example. The annual researchers day, a partnership with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Scotland, is the major focus for sports medicine and sports science students in Scotland. BASEM Scotland also supports the audit of the Sports Injury Clinic network by Gordon Turner, a physiotherapist, on behalf of Sport Scotland. Faith Gardner, the current chairperson of BASEM Scotland recently completed her term of office and Jim Inglis, who is currently Vice Chair, takes over shortly. Further information on BASEM Scotland activities is available from the Secretary, Mrs Lindsay Thomson, at FASIC, Centre for Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh, 46 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ (tel: 0131 650 2578).

CPD in sport and exercise medicine

Dr Nick Webborn, medical director of NSMI, who has a particular interest in medical education recently circulated a paper addressing the issue of continuing professional development (CPD) in sport and exercise medicine. Emphasising the importance of CPD across all medical specialties, he suggested that CPD in sport and exercise medicine is inevitable. While the Intercollegiate Academic Board of Sport and Exercise Medicine is responsible for establishing CPD, a nominated college or intercollegiate CPD office can take individual responsibility. Although higher specialist training programmes may take some time to establish, sport and exercise medicine practitioners should, in the meantime, be able to display their continuing professional development to ensure good medical practice. At present the NSMI–BASEM educational partnership is the major provider in sport medicine education in the UK and will be pivotal in all future developments.

BASEM and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland region of BASEM is working very closely with the Sports Council for Northern Ireland (SCNI) to develop a strategy for sports medicine which will be integrated into future SCNI policy. The main working group has representatives from all aspects of sport and medical provision including the Department of Health and the Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland, and is chaired by Eamon McCartan, the chief executive of SCNI. There are three main subgroups dealing with research and education, clinical services within the NHS and in the private sector, and medical care of the elite athlete. It is proposed to develop a Commission for Sport and Exercise Medicine within the region to help integrate developments across the province.

Doctors and doping

The General Medical Council have responded to the request by BASEM for clarification of their recent statement on doctors and doping, after the issue was raised by the British Olympic Association at the BASEM annual general meeting . The full statement is published below. Members of BASEM are opposed to drug abuse in sport and the GMC statement endorses the position of the medical profession with regard to the deliberate use of prohibited performance enhancing drugs.

gmc statement

“Doctors who prescribe or collude in the provision of drugs or treatment with the intention of improperly enhancing an individuals performance in sport would be contravening the GMC's guidance, and such actions would usually raise a question of a doctor's continued registration. This does not preclude the provision of any care or treatment where the doctor's intention is to protect or improve the patient's health.”

Sport and Exercise Medicine and Science Council

The National Sports Medicine Institute, in their newly reconstituted format, arranged a meeting of their Sport and Exercise Medicine and Science Council on 1 March at the European Fitness Convention at Olympia. The meeting was addressed by Professor Angus Wallace, chairman of NSMI, who outlined the future direction of NSMI, and proposed an annual UK Congress for Sports and Exercise Medicine and Science in 2003. It is also proposed to have a major sport and exercise medicine conference at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

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