ACSM Clinician Profile
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature John P. DiFiori, MD, FACSM, in this issue's Clinician Profile. Dr. DiFiori has served as the chief of the UCLA Division of Sports Medicine since 2002. He also serves as codirector of the primary care sports medicine fellowship program at UCLA. Dr. DiFiori is a team physician for the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. He obtained his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine and completed his family practice residency at Lancaster General Hospital. He has been a member of ACSM since 1991, currently serves as a section editor of ACSM's official clinical review journal, Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR), and is a member of ACSM's Medical Education Committee.
You Have Been an ACSM Member Since 1991. How Has ACSM Grown and Changed Since You Became a Member?
The membership has grown not only in number, but also in the diversity of the members, their interests, and expertise. The College has remained the leader in exercise science and has significantly expanded the educational offerings that pertain to the clinical aspects of sports and exercise medicine.
What Was it Like to be a Clinician in the 1990s Compared With Today?
Advances in medical technology have dramatically affected the way in which we learn, teach, and take care of our patients. Digital imaging systems and, more recently, portable musculoskeletal ultrasounds have played a big role in that. The ability to electronically search for and retrieve the latest published research has greatly improved the evidenced-based approach to patient care at the point of care and has made it easier to stay abreast of the literature when teaching students, residents, and fellows. In the past, patients relied almost solely on the advice of their physicians, family, and friends when it came to their medical care. Now, it is common for patients to have researched their conditions online and present prepared with questions about their evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options. Nonetheless, the heart of patient care still relies on diligently sorting through the history and the physical exam to establish a plan that is individualized for each patient.
How Has Membership in ACSM Influenced Your Career?
Being a member of ACSM has given me the opportunity to broaden my understanding of sports and exercise medicine. ACSM's Annual Meeting provides a unique forum for scientists and clinicians to exchange research and share their experiences. Through my ACSM network, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other members on research projects and educational presentations that otherwise would not have been possible. The personal and professional relationships that I have developed over the years with other ACSM members have been tremendously rewarding.
How Do You Use the ACSM Network in Your Daily Work?
I routinely access the journals available on the Web site, including CSMR and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE) for teaching, research, and for patient care. In addition, I have met many accomplished colleagues through ACSM who have been very generous in sharing their time and expertise to improve my learning and understanding of problems associated with exercise science and medicine.
What Is Your Best Advice to Other Sports Medicine Clinicians?
Challenge yourself to continue to learn and grow in your career. Sports and exercise medicine is a dynamic and vibrant field. Staying current requires effort, but the time invested is more than offset in providing the best advice possible for the patients who seek our care.
Where Do You See ACSM Heading in the Future?
In the future, I believe ACSM will further advance the role of exercise in health, wellness, and disease management, in part through policy development efforts. ACSM also has a wonderful opportunity to advocate for injury prevention and to articulate evidenced-based care in the clinical sports medicine arena.