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The coming of age of sports medicine

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 01 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:621

Growing demand must be matched by specialist accreditation and recognition

  1. Mark E Batt, Senior lecturer in sports medicinea,
  2. Donald A D Macleod, Consultant surgeonb
  1. a Centre for Sports Medicine, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH
  2. b St John's Hospital at Howden, Livingston, Edinburgh EH54 6PP

    Recent proposals are set to change the way sports medicine is perceived and practised in Britain. Sports medicine is not new but has been practised away from mainstream medicine as a hobby or in the domains of private practice and physiotherapy. There has been no formal accreditation or recognition of the specialty and little or no provision for sports medicine within the NHS. Its Cinderella status in Britain reflects the struggles of an emerging discipline within the confines of the traditional medical paradigm. But this position is not universal. Other countries have successfully produced models of education and practice of sports medicine to suit their own healthcare systems.

    The term sports medicine is emotive as it has connotations of care limited to the sporting elite. This is wrong. More accurately described as sport and exercise medicine, the specialty covers the entire spectrum of human performance and reflects the total medical care of people who …

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