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Sport and exercise medicine in the undergraduate curriculum. Are we inspiring the next generation of sport and exercise medicine doctors and helping them overcome the barriers they face getting into the specialty?
  1. Liam Richard West
  1. Correspondence to Liam Richard West, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cochrane Medical Education Centre, Heath Park, Cardiff, C14 4YU, UK; liamwestsem{at}

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Sport and exercise medicine (SEM) in the UK is gaining the recognition of medical students as a potentially attractive career. The London 2012 Olympic health based legacy, together with the media spotlight on sports injuries, has served to further increase this interest in SEM at an undergraduate level. In this editorial, I address three barriers that students who are interested in SEM need to overcome to enter specialty training.

No SEM in the curriculum

The undergraduate curricula at most medical schools in the UK do not include any formal SEM education, either in a sports medicine or exercise medicine format. We are taught about disease rather than health. Many students feel disappointed that their education is failing to mirror NHS, and global priorities,1 of using physical activity as a modality for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases. Weiler et al 2 in the UK and Edward Phillips3 in the USA have highlighted this dearth of physical activity teaching and Joy et al 4 has stated a call to action to …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.