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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The infrastructure of sport and exercise medicine in Canada Ting, Justin William


Currently, the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) is seeking special designation for sport and exercise medicine (SEM) from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Infrastructure is a key criterion in a medical discipline recognition model. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the infrastructure of Canadian SEM in a quantitative and qualitative manner using a mixed-method study of a cross-sectional survey and focused interviews. The survey study examines the demographics, physician practice profiles, academic presence, research activity and organizational presence of Canadian SEM physicians. The focused interviews examine the promoters and barriers of providing SEM education, providing event coverage and conducting SEM research; and the benefits of SEM organizational bodies to the practice of SEM. The survey response rate was 55%. There is a national distribution of SEM physicians. The majority of respondents act as consultants and dedicate the majority of their practice to SEM. Eighty-six percent of respondents teach SEM and teaching is primarily done in a clinical setting. The post-secondary affiliation of a physician and the population size of where a physician practises predict the amount of time that a physician dedicates to clinical teaching and research. Approximately half of the respondents provide event coverage in a typical week and nearly one-third of respondents had conducted research within the past five years. Various forms of enjoyment are the main promoters for teaching, event coverage and research while lack of financial compensation and time are the main barriers to these activities. Interviewees appreciated SEM organizations for network and educational opportunities and identified many areas for improvement. The current SEM physician demographics, geographic distribution, practice profiles, and support from other health professionals indicate that SEM has sufficient infrastructure to support a focused practice. There is a willingness to teach among SEM physicians; however, there may be a need for stronger SEM curriculum in medical education. The barriers to SEM teaching, event coverage and research will need to be addressed to progress Canadian SEM. Professional SEM organizations are managing SEM physician activities and are viewed as leaders to promote SEM as a profession.

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