Q&A with Francis O’Connor, Senior Editor of ACSM's "Sports Medicine: A Comprehensive Review"

Col. Francis G. O'Connor, MD, MPH, FACSM, is associate professor of military and emergency medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and medical director of the USUHS Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP). SMB talked with him recently about the new book.

1. Why this book? What niche or need does it fill, when there are already so many books about sports medicine?

This book's intent is unique in that is designed to be the premiere resource for board preparation and review; additionally it is multidisciplinary with contributing editors from primary care sports, orthopedics, physical medicine, and athletic training. Authors are from all medical and related specialties.

2. In addition to those preparing for board exams, does it cover developments that established sports physicians should know?

The book is current, with questions that are current, as well as all ACSM position stands and statements on line. The text also inlcudes cutting edge chapters on topics such as Ultrasound and Platelet Rich Plasma.

3. Tell us about the authors. They seem to represent a very diverse set of fields and specialties, and many are top practitioners or experts.

The authors are leaders in their fields and a virtual who's who of leaders in sports medicine. They represent clinicians in all specialities in medicine, surgery, physical therapy, and athletic training.

4. What considerations were given to design, organization and presentation of information? Will this be useful as a reference for those who are board-certified sports physicians?

The editors specifically studied current guidelines for sports medicine training and testing in medical and orthopedic subspecialty examinations...this is the foundation of the text. The sports specific section attempts to integrate the specific requirements of each sporting disclipline with practical information from the other sections. The website again augments the text with established ACSM position stands and statements.

5. Anything in here to help non-physicians such as athletic trainers, physical therapists or others?

One of the key additions to the editorial staff was Dr. Doug Casa, an ATC, PHD. The text will assist in educational programs and as a resource for both ATCs as well as physical therapists engaged in the care of athletes. A specific section of the text addresses rehabilitation of the athlete, with detailed review of modalities and rehabilitative exercise strategies.

6. You’ve been a sports physician for some time. What changes have you seen in the practice itself, or in the way that sports medicine professionals (physicians and others) train, get continuing education, or collaborate?

The changes over the last twenty years in sports medicine highlight two consistent themes; the application of technology at increasingly lower levels of care e.g. point of care US, and the emergence of integrated health care teams. More and more we are seeing health care professionals working together to provide higher quality and more cost effective and evidence based care. This text illustrates this integrative care approach by choice of editors, authors and content, with the team oriented approach heavily emphasized.

7. This book is a conventional paperback volume. With technology evolving so rapidly, what place is there for print resources? What’s the future?

While a text like this certainly a handy resource to hold and underline, and comment in as one moves forward with board prep, the combination of an online resource and Kindle application fit the emerging needs of younger learners who rely on a combination of resources.