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Dr. Cindy Chang Presents: Lessons Learned at the 2012 London Games


Immediate Past President Cindy J. Chang, MD, served as a speaker and represented AMSSM at the 2013 Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science meeting from February 21 – 24, 2013, in Point Clear, AL. Dr. Chang is a primary care sports medicine physician and a Team Physician for UC-Berkeley in Berkeley, CA.

Originally started in the late 1970s, the Joint Commission Meeting came to a halt in 1984 due to executive staff changes. When the meeting was resurrected in 1993, AMSSM became an active member and sponsor. The meeting’s mission is “to advance sports medicine by lacing together, through informal liaison and joint ventures, the nation’s leading organizations in sports medicine and sports science.” Today, representatives from 35 organizations attend the meeting.

Highlights of the 2013 meeting included the following educational sessions: Lessons Learned at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games: A Conversation About the Past and the Future; Catastrophic Injury and Sudden Death in Sports - Creating an Action Plan for Awareness, Prevention and Intervention by the NCAA; and USADA’s Chief Science Officer Larry Bowers, PhD, on the Evolution of Anti-Doping: From Biological Passports to the Cycling Investigation.

Dr. Chang served as a panelist and presenter for the Olympic Games session, providing opportunity to make her recommendations for future Olympic health care provisions based on lessons learned as Chief Medical Officer for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Most importantly, she shared the benefits of staffing more primary care sports medicine physicians at the Olympic Games in relation to enhanced patient care. Doing so would ensure that physicians with the best skill sets needed for comprehensive care of our elite athletes would be present.

Out of the 20 medical physicians (DOs and MDs) selected to serve at the 2012 Olympics, only seven were primary care sports medicine physicians; of these, our three AMSSM members (Drs. Jim Barrett, Peter Donaldson and Eric Anish) were assigned to venues outside of the Olympic Village. Dr. Barrett was the hotel physician treating the USOC administrative staff and VIP; Dr. Donaldson served at the equestrian venue; and Dr. Anish was at the high-performance center at UEL-Docklands. The other three were assigned exclusively to individual teams, with Dr. Chang as the sole primary care sports medicine provider for the rest of the US athletes in the Olympic Village. This was the first year the USA national governing bodies (NGBs) of the Olympics chose their medical staff members. In the future, Dr. Chang hopes that AMSSM and USOC Medical will work more closely with the NGBs to ensure that a good balance of healthcare providers is selected to cover the U.S. Olympic Team.

In addition to educational presentations, the meeting allowed colleagues from different organizations to get to know one another on a personal level. “The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues to discuss potential collaboration efforts in sports medicine research and advocacy issues,” said Dr. Chang.

Largely as a result of her ability to develop new and nurture existing relationships with international colleagues at the Games, Dr. Chang was selected to serve on the Program Committee for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Congress on Injury and Illness Prevention in Monaco in 2014.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of sports medicine physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM is now comprised of more than 2,200 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting. Visit www.amssm.org to learn more


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