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BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0411417
  1. Peter Skew, president1,
  2. Susannah Baron, specialist registrar in dermatology2,
  3. Mark Wilson, author of The Medic's Guide to Work and Electives Around the World2,
  4. Simon Eccles, chairman3,
  5. Adrian Park, Wellcome clinical training fellow4
  1. 1British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine, Watford
  2. 2Leeds NHS Trust
  3. 3Department of Metabolic Medicine, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College
  4. 4BMA Junior Doctors Committee

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What is a career in dance medicine like, and what opportunities exist for graduates?

Dance medicine is a small field and requires expertise available only from working in the field--classic catch 22. I worked for the English National Ballet for 11 years after an unintentional introduction, and some doctors have become involved casually on tours first and then built up an understanding.

Expertise in sports medicine and training is a good start, and an intimate knowledge of dance technique would be a bonus. Some orthopaedics, podiatry, and musculoskeletal medicine skills are necessary. The unexpected side is dealing with international class athletes with theatrical temperaments, which can provide interesting challenges at times; most dancers, however, are dedicated, talented, and charming.

There are several dance groups to approach, and some existing treatment centres that could offer training. Progress in the acquisition of skills will be ad hoc but offers the opportunity to build a career …

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