July 24, 2023

Kinesiology hosts international physicians for sports medicine workshop

International Olympic Committee workshop trains physicians at Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Sport Medicine Centre
Physicians at the IOC diploma workshop stand behind a curling rock holding curling brooms.
IOC workshop participants try out curling. Victor Lun

More than a dozen physicians from around the world visited the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Kinesiology earlier this year to learn from experts in the field as the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) and Sport Medicine Centre (SMC) played host to a special workshop for medical professionals taking a unique diploma offered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The workshop — mandatory for those taking the IOC Diploma in Sports Medicine, a two-year program that equips physicians with the knowledge of how to properly care for sport injury — is held at UCalgary and four other locations annually. SIPRC is one of only 11 designated International Research Centres for the Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health supported by the IOC.

The workshop, which welcomed 14 physicians this spring, offered many different learning opportunities such as lectures, interactive presentations, practical sessions, and the opportunity to discuss knowledge and best practices with experts in sports medicine and sport injury prevention.

Workshop participants standing in front of a bus that reads, "shred concussions"

Participants at the workshop were able to learn from Dr. Kathryn Schneider, far right, whose research focuses on sports-related concussions.

Victor Lun

Dr. Kathryn Schneider, BKin’96, PhD’12, an associate professor with the Faculty of Kinesiology and clinician-scientist and physiotherapist at SIPRC, was a co-organizer of UCalgary’s latest edition of the workshop. Schneider’s research focuses on sports-related concussions.

“It’s a really exciting workshop,” Schneider says. “We’ve hosted it here in Calgary for a number of years, and what’s very exciting is that the participants in the workshop are physicians from around the globe and they all have different experiences, different questions.

“We really can learn a lot from each other, and we also get to work with a wonderful team here at the University of Calgary, the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and the Sport Medicine Centre. So, it’s a very collaborative process and a really great opportunity to learn about how different principles relevant to sport medicine are applied and implemented around the world.”

The other co-organizer of this spring’s workshop was Dr. Victor Lun, MD, a sport-medicine physician and medical co-director of the SMC. He is also a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine.

“I think it’s just allowing more people from around the world to become more skilled as a sport-medicine physician,” says Lun. “We know lots of countries don’t have the option for physicians to develop their knowledge base and skills in sport medicine, so I think this just allows more physicians to become trained and knowledgeable.”

Adds Schneider: “These sessions engaged many clinicians, researchers, students and staff throughout the course of the three days that the participants were here. So, it was a great opportunity to highlight a lot of the wonderful people we have the pleasure of working with here at the University of Calgary and highlight the collaborative team environment we work in as we hosted the workshop.”

Participants also had a chance to experience a little bit of Canadian culture, paying a visit to the Calgary Curling Club where they were taught how to curl.

“That was a real highlight this year in terms of showing others our national sport and also just having a good time,” says Lun.

UCalgary has hosted the IOC Diploma workshop since 2015 and it is scheduled to host it again in April 2024.

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