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Crossroads or threshold? Sport and exercise medicine as a specialty in the UK
  1. Michael Cullen
  1. Correspondence to Professor Michael Cullen, Musgrave Park Hospital Consultant in Sports Medicine, Stockmans Lane, Belfast BT9 7JB, UK; michael.cullen747{at}

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How successful have we been in developing the specialty of sport and exercise medicine? Dr Pigozzi’s article on the development of Sports Medicine in Europe caused me to sit back and examine how Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) has progressed in the United Kingdom since first being declared a medical specialty in 2005.1 (see page 1085) At that time Mark Batt and I described the path to specialty recognition and concluded that there was considerable work to be done to ensure that SEM became an integral and essential component of the National Health Service.2

Following recognition as a specialty and the subsequent creation of a Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM UK), there has been considerable time and energy expended to create the infrastructure to develop and promote SEM. The original specialty training curriculum was approved in 2007 and sets out the knowledge, skills and experiences expected of a doctor completing specialty training ( It has recently been rewritten (along with all other medical specialties) to conform to the revised standards of training and assessments set out by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board and will become operative in 2010.

Training posts in SEM commenced in 2007 and at present there are approximately 30 doctors undergoing higher specialty training; recent …

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