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Investigate, study, explore, examine, enquire, seek
  1. D MacAuley
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor MacAuley
 University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK;

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Research is essential for the development of sports medicine as a specialty

We need to invent a new word. A word with the same meaning but without the baggage. Few would argue with the principle that, as a medical discipline, we should examine current practice to see if it is effective, and constantly search for new treatments, therapies, and techniques. But mention research in sports medicine and see your friends and colleagues melt away. Let’s demystify this word: research is simply asking a question about what we do in a structured way.

You are a scientist. You may have forgotten now, but you started off in a scientific discipline asking research questions. As clinicians, the first step is to think about what we do: to wonder if what we do actually works. We need help from someone who can nurture our ideas in these early stages and refine these questions. Just as you would use the techniques and skills of any sport, there are …

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  • Competing interests: none declared