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ECOSEP: bringing the European SEM family together
  1. Liam West1,
  2. Nikos Malliaropoulos2,
  3. Suzan de Jonge3
  1. 1Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Thessaloniki, Greece
  3. 3Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Liam West, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; liamwestsem{at}

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Advancing the field of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) requires organisations and societies to collaborate. Common scientific and educational standards need to be developed to promote attainment of high levels of practical skills within SEM. We feel that the best practice is pan-European and not limited to one nation's view alone. Our personal experience is that the smaller the country, the better the international collaboration, while countries with larger populations, all speaking the same language, are under less pressure to cooperate internationally. This can lead to researchers opting to publish in a national journal written in their native language and losing out on global reach. This slows international knowledge exchange and clinical progress.

ECOSEP—the European College of Sports and Exercise Physicians—was founded with the aim of advancing the competency of sports physicians and, thus, facilitating optimal care for their own and, more broadly, the citizens of Europe. It was to achieve this by providing continuing education, publishing research, collaborating with other sports medicine organisations and providing information to the public. ECOSEP was one of the Patronage Societies of the IOC 2014 Congress on Injuries Prevention and recently achieved Observer Membership of the WHO European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA Europe). This, in addition to significantly raising the Fighting Inactivity Committee (FIC) status, will enable ECOSEP to partner with HEPA Europe and participate in its annual meetings and other activities.

ECOSEP member benefits

Have you considered the benefits of being an ECOSEP member? ECOSEP embraces a broad, full membership of SEM physicians, and associated members, particularly trainees in SEM and scientific contributors who teach relevant aspects of SEM from various disciplines. ECOSEP also welcomes medical students who wish to specialise in the growing specialty of SEM. Other benefits of ECOSEP Membership include Sports Medicine Assessment and Rehabilitation courses, and a very unique sports pitch-side trauma and emergencies course. As one of 13 ‘BJSM Member Societies’, ECOSEP members have full access to the wide range of BJSM content. ECOSEP leadership, together with the leads of the 12 other member societies, contributes to shaping BJSM with the view to making it the first choice content provider and digital medium for sports clinicians.

ECOSEP proposes to establish a mechanism whereby expertise in teaching and research can be shared, particularly with those European communities that have not yet established expertise in SEM.

ECOSEP/Bauerfeind Travelling Fellowship

The ECOSEP/Bauerfeind Travelling Fellowship Programme is a great success; the 2015 programme application details are on the ECOSEP website ( The successful applicant gets the chance to experience SEM in various centres across Europe—QMUL Centre of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CSEM), Great Britain; London Sports Care; London Independent Hospital, England; Institute for Sports Medicine (SMI) Frankfurt am Main, Germany; High Performance Centre (CAR of Sant Cugat-Consorci Sanitari of Terrassa), University of Barcelona, Spain; Isokinetic Medical Group, Bologna, Italy; National Track and Field Centre, Sports Medicine Clinic S.E.G.A.S., Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Travelling Fellow represents her/his own country and, showing leadership skills, acts as ECOSEP's ambassador on tour and is committed to the future development of SEM in Europe. The 2014 Fellow, SdJ, met many sports physicians and trainees across Europe and built a strong network that will help her clinically and academically in the future. She saw the various ways SEM is practised across Europe, enabling her to learn from their various strengths.

The Travelling Fellows are selected for their potential of a SEM career and their outstanding professional capabilities. We hope that they shine on the tour, making friendships as well as important professional connections in the different centres and setting a high standard for future SEM travelling fellows.

Annual undergraduate SEM conference—London

While ECOSEP is striving to improve the current collaborations with SEM, it is also investing in the future of the speciality. The year 2013 saw the inaugural annual undergraduate SEM conference—a well attended two day event in London with plenary and practical sessions covering various SEM topics. ECOSEP has now expanded to develop an undergraduate as well as a junior doctors’ committee and, therefore, this year's conference will be aimed at undergraduate and also newly qualified students interested in a career in SEM.

Hosted in the Olympic region of East London at QMUL CSEM, delegates will be able to network with their peers and some of the UK's leading SEM professionals while accruing some essential SEM knowledge and hands-on skills. Outside of the conference the student and junior doctor committees are working to increase the knowledge and access to the speciality across Europe. To attain high levels of international SEM cooperation, ideally, sports medicine trainees from different countries will attend sports medicine courses together. In the mean time, ECOSEP will look to host an online network for sports medicine trainees, so that they can share thoughts and experiences. We are passionate about inspiring the future workforce and leaders in SEM to ensure that the speciality continues to grow for years to come.

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  • Competing interests None.

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