Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I do what I do

Why do I care so much about how we perform Pre-Season Screening and Return To Sport Testing? Passion, I believe that we can change the current "way of doing things" by questioning our current system and challenging our old beliefs.
What do I think we can accomplish together?
A Paradigm Shift, I believe that together as passionate sports medicine professionals we can reshape the approach to screening and testing of athletes, soldiers and police & fire personnel. 
How will this be accomplished?
By Daring to Dream & A Commitment to Lifelong Learning.

I dream of a way to improve the objectivity of how we in the sports medicine community determine if and when an athlete is ready to begin or resume participation in competitive sports & physically demanding occupations. I spent my early years in the sports medicine community watching and listening to experienced clinicians, physicians, athletic trainer's  and coaches debate and argue about if and when an individual was ready to return to action. These heated debates taught me that passionate debate about gut feeling really got us nowhere. We had little more than our opinion of what we thought was in the best interest of the athlete and took an educated guess about what the chances of re-injury/new injury were to that athlete is they went back to soon.

Test Don't Guess
My dream is centered around the idea that we use an integrated & collaborative approach to determine objective tests and measures to help us determine if an individual is ready to participate.

We have a tremendous amount of information available to us from  some of the greatest researchers of injury prediction and little collaboration or integrated communication between them, all the while the majority of our colleagues (Sports Medicine Professionals) continue to  "do what we have always done" because no one has taken the initiative  to lead the necessary conversation to get the ball rolling.  When we test pre-season we Gain the advantage of foresight. If we test/screen pre-season we will know who is ready and who is not. We gain the opportunity to proactively take action, to stop saying "I wish I knew about__________ before the  season started, I would have done something about it". We gain the ability to target our resources to the appropriate athletes. We gain the knowledge needed to make an informed decision regarding when to return an athlete to participation.

A Call To Action
Why do you do what you do? What's next?

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