This month's American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Clinician Profile features Carrie A. Jaworski, M.D., FACSM, FAAP, who is the director of Intercollegiate Sports Medicine and the head team physician at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. In her role as head team physician, she is directly responsible for the health care and well-being of nearly 500 student athletes and oversees the athletic training and physical therapy services provided to these athletes. Dr. Jaworski also is an assistant professor of family medicine within the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern's Chicago campus. She utilizes this role to educate residents and medical students about the role of sports medicine in the care of all patients and frequently lectures in the city and nationwide. Previous experience includes starting and directing the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, where she also was an assistant program director within the Family Medicine Residency. She has served as a physician at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics and in the medical tent at the Ironman Championships in Kona. She is a Fellow and recently elected Board of Trustee member for ACSM.
YOU HAVE BEEN A MEMBER SINCE 1999. HOW HAS ACSM GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MEMBER?
The biggest change has been in the diversity of our membership. I really have seen the College open its doors to a multitude of different groups with similar interests, as well as our international colleagues. This has served to further strengthen our presence within the sports medicine world.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CLINICIAN IN THE 1990s COMPARED WITH TODAY?
The emphasis on a much more holistic, as well as multidisciplinary, approach to the care of athletes is definitely more mainstream now than a decade ago. Much of this is based upon the fact that athletes are often very savvy consumers who rely upon numerous providers, rather than just their physicians, to help direct their care. This has forced us as clinicians to be even better at what we do by making us work outside of our own comfort zones. It also has helped to lead us down new research paths to provide more evidence-based care in the treatment of athletes. Overall, this has created a much more positive environment where multiple providers can work together to help devise the best treatment plan for a particular athlete.
HOW HAS YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN ACSM INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
ACSM has been a wonderful resource for me throughout my career. As a sports medicine fellow, it allowed me to meet and learn from a vast array of sports medicine experts through various educational opportunities, particularly the Annual Meeting. ACSM also was where I had my first opportunity to present at a national level, which allowed me to gain confidence and further my own knowledge in the process. As an attendee, I have been able to broaden my scope by learning from and collaborating with experts from within all the branches of sports medicine and exercise science. Hearing research firsthand from the many gifted researchers and scientists at our Annual Meetings always inspires me to reach beyond my own limits.
HOW DO YOU USE THE ACSM NETWORK IN YOUR DAILY WORK?
The wealth of Web-based information that ACSM provides, as well as the many friendships that I have formed within the organization, never leave me with a question unanswered. I love that I can reach out to a contact across the country knowing that they can lead me in the right direction, whether it is a clinical- or research-based question. The best part is that with each new meeting or event, that network grows larger.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO OTHER SPORTS MEDICINE CLINICIANS?
Become an active member! ACSM has so many different committees and interest groups that there really is a place for everyone to get involved. The Annual Meeting is a perfect example. Here, all of the groups assemble, so it is a great way to expand your network of colleagues and open new doors of opportunity to participate in projects and research. As part of the program committee, I am amazed by all that our members do to contribute to ACSM. If presenting or being on a committee seems like too big a step, start by visiting an interest group meeting. You will be glad you did.
WHERE DO YOU SEE ACSM HEADING IN THE FUTURE?
ACSM really has taken a large leadership role in promoting physical activity in conjunction with the American Medical Association and other governmental agencies. I am so proud of the work we have done thus far to unite everyone on the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative. I see this program as an area for continued growth within the College for many years to come.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANYTHING ELSE WITH THE READERS OF THIS JOURNAL?
ACSM has a wealth of resources and opportunities that all of its members should take advantage of on a regular basis. Be sure to share your own expertise with the rest of the College by being an active member. Through the hard work and dedication of our members, ACSM will continue to thrive.