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Sports and exercise medicine has a long tradition in Finland. Organised medical care of athletes has been available since the 1930s. The Finnish Society of Sports Medicine was founded in 1939 and is probably the oldest nationwide sports medicine society in the world. Today, the society has about 500 physician members (5.2 million population) and publishes, along with the Finnish Society of Sports Physical Therapists, its own journal (three or four issues a year) and, together with the other Scandinavian societies, the international peer reviewed journal Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (six issues a year). Organisation of instructional courses, seminars, and symposia on sports and exercise medicine is also an important part of the work of the Finnish Society. Every other year, one of the Scandinavian societies organises the international Scandinavian Congress on Medicine and Science in Sports (300–600 participants). In 1998, this congress was held in Finland.
In 1946, the first sports medical centre was opened at the Olympic Stadium of Helsinki. In 1956, a similar unit was founded in Turku. Today, Finland has six sports and exercise medicine research centres funded by the Ministy of Education (Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Oulu, and Kuopio). Each has a staff of between five and …
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