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Training tomorrow's doctors, in exercise medicine, for tomorrow's patients
  1. Ann B Gates
  1. Correspondence to Ann B Gates, ann{at}

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Tomorrow's doctors need to be trained to deliver safe and effective exercise advice, for tomorrow's patients. These doctors will tackle the burden of preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory conditions. They will also prescribe exercise as an integral part of the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, recovery and survivorship of many chronic diseases or non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Educating future doctors aligns with the WHO ‘25 by 25’ goals to reduce physical inactivity by 10%, by 20251 and the Toronto Charter for NCD prevention: Investments that work for physical activity.2 The Toronto Charter demonstrates that doctors are important influencers of patient behaviour and key initiators of NCD prevention actions within healthcare systems, and can influence large proportions of the population, especially their patients. Tomorrow's doctors, trained in exercise medicine, will be able to meet the burden of disease and ill health competently, confidently and capably: by being proactive on prevention and specific in their treatment with physical activity advice.

Unfortunately, undergraduate medical schools in the UK are not giving a high priority to exercise advice. Evidence shows there is widespread omission of basic teaching elements,3 such as the Chief Medical Officer recommendations and guidance on physical activity. Without a larger commitment from medical school deans, to provide this education, tomorrow's doctors will not be equipped to provide physical …

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  • Contributors This initiative has been led by Ann Gates. The team acknowledge the wealth of resources and people that have contributed to the development of this generic resource, especially: The Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), Nottingham University, Kings College London, Professor Karim Khan of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, The Wales Deanery, the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, The Royal College of Physicians Sports & Exercise Subcommittee, British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Professor Ian Hall and Professor James Lowe. Curricula development and resources were developed by: Ann Gates MRPharmS, Member of the World Heart Foundation Emerging Leaders Programme 2014. Dr Brian Johnson, General Practitioner and Honorary Medical Advisor to Public Health, Wales. Dr John H M Brooks (together with existing Kings College Medical School undergraduate course resources in association with Dr Ann Wylie and King's Undergraduate Medical Education in the Community). Dr Simon Rosenbaum PhD, Exercise Physiologist and Research Associate University of New South Wales, Australia. Dr Jane Thornton MD PhD, Resident Physician and Clinical Researcher, Policlinique Médicale Universitaire, Lausanne, Switzerland. Mr Chris Oliver MD FRCS, Consultant Trauma Orthopaedic Surgeon, Honorary Senior Lecturer Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Edinburgh and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr Ian Ritchie FRCS, President of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Forth Valley Hospital, Scotland. Steffan Griffin, Medical Student at University of Birmingham, Director at Move Eat Treat, UK. Professor James Lowe, Professor of Neuropathology, Associate Dean for Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University Medical School, United Kingdom. Professor Ian Hall, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; Professor of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University Medical School, United Kingdom.

  • Competing interests ABG is a member of the World Heart Federation, Emerging Leaders Programme, 2014. Founder and Director of Exercise-Works! Ltd.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned, un-funded, internally peer reviewed.