ACSM Clinician Profile
This issue's American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Clinician Profile features Kimberly G. Harmon, M.D., FACSM. She is the director of the University of Washington Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship and is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Practice and the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. She lectures on a local, regional, and national level and is on the editorial board of several sports medicine journals. She also is active on a national level. She is the current president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, is a fellow of ACSM, and is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice. She has been a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport committee and serves as a consultant to the NCAA on special projects. Dr. Harmon's research interests include tendinopathy, sudden cardiac death, and concussions in athletes.
YOU HAVE BEEN AN ACSM MEMBER SINCE 1993. HOW HAS ACSM GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MEMBER?
ACSM has become more politically active and more active in the area of public policy. ACSM also has worked hard to collaborate and develop strong coalitions with other organizations when working toward a common goal. Campaigns, such as the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative, can have an important impact on how medicine is practiced.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CLINICIAN IN THE 1990s COMPARED WITH TODAY?
I began practice in 1998. The primary difference that I see between now and a decade ago is that access to information has become much more available. With the advent of online medical journals and resources, researching a topic no longer requires a trip to a medical library. The volume and accessibility of information makes research both easier and more difficult: it's easier because you can get to the information quickly, and it's more difficult because there is so much of it.
HOW HAS MEMBERSHIP IN ACSM INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
I was introduced to ACSM by a friend who was an exercise scientist. She convinced me to go to my first Annual Meeting in 1993 when I was still a medical student. I was impressed by the breadth of topics covered. I also was able to meet and network with other sports medicine professionals. ACSM offered me my first opportunity to present in a public forum and led to contacts and friendships that have been valuable to my career and life.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO OTHER SPORTS MEDICINE CLINICIANS?
As a clinician, it is important to stay active and involved in professional organizations that represent your interests. Keeping current with the latest developments in the field keeps things fresh and interesting, and networking with others in your field allows an exchange of ideas. As a discipline, it is important that sports medicine professionals continue to research and explore new concepts and treatments. For a clinician, it is especially important that clinically applicable research be fostered.
WHERE DO YOU SEE ACSM HEADING IN THE FUTURE?
ACSM will continue to thrive and prosper. Networking and collaborating with other organizations with common purposes will be important for advancing important issues.