Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature BMJ Group Improving Health Awards

Sports and exercise doctors: the unsung heroes of champions

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 14 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1787
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz, freelance journalist
  1. 1London, UK

Zosia Kmietovicz introduces the sports and exercise medical teams shortlisted for the 2012 BMJ Group award

How difficult can it be to keep a muscle clad gymnast or sprinter motivated and injury free, you might ask. Professional sportspeople are well known for their commitment, hard work, and sheer grit. More difficult perhaps is the task of reassuring and encouraging someone who has survived a heart attack to adopt an exercise programme. But working with sports professionals and nervous patients requires similar qualities—patience, perseverance, and innovative thinking. To be outstanding takes meticulous data collection, a dogged approach to auditing, and a high degree of responsiveness.

The 12 entries for the BMJ Group award for sports and exercise, a one-off category for the Olympic year, had those qualities in abundance. What distinguished those who made it to the shortlist was their multidisciplinary and reflective approach.

Leicester Kidney Exercise Team

The eureka moment for the first team shortlisted came when the members realised that although patients having dialysis needed reasonable comfort, they did not need to be stationary—a …

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