This month's American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Clinician Profile features William W. Dexter, M.D., FACSM, who is the director of sports medicine at Maine Medical Center and professor of family medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and at the University of Southern Maine, where he also serves as head team physician. Dr. Dexter also serves as team physician for Cheverus High School and the Portland Pirates (AHL). After graduating from Dartmouth College and the Medical College of Virginia, he completed his Family Medicine Residency at Maine Medical Center and his Sports Medicine Fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He has given more than 170 invited presentations nationally and internationally. He serves on numerous review and editorial boards and has published more than 45 book chapters, articles, and abstracts. He is very active in ACSM, having served on the Board of Trustees, Strategic Planning, Clinical Leadership, and Nominating Committees, and is currently the chair of the Medical Education Committee. Married to Cindy and a father of three, he is an avid skier, golfer, and a rugby enthusiast.
YOU HAVE BEEN AN ACSM MEMBER SINCE 1989. HOW HAS ACSM GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MEMBER?
One of the more positive changes I have seen is the move toward more translational research being presented at the Annual Meeting. From a clinician's perspective, the medical education offerings have expanded tremendously. The Annual Meeting literally has "something for everyone." Additionally, the continued success of ACSM'S Team Physician™ Course and the advent of ACSM'S Advanced Team Physician™ Course and International Team Physician courses all have been well received. Overall, I am very proud of the evolving role of ACSM in leading national efforts in sports medicine and health.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CLINICIAN IN THE 1980s AND 1990s COMPARED WITH TODAY?
The single most striking change, for me, has been the emergence of primary care sports medicine (PCSM) as a growing vibrant specialty. I have been so fortunate to "grow up" professionally during the past two decades with the mentorship and role models of ACSM clinicians Robert Johnson, M.D., FACSM; William O. Roberts, M.D., FACSM; W. Ben Kibler, M.D., FACSM; Stanley A. Herring, M.D., FACSM; James C. Puffer, M.D., FACSM; and Douglas B. McKeag, M.D., FACSM to name a few. PCSM did not exist when I entered medical school. I now direct a fellowship training program in this discipline.
HOW HAS MEMBERSHIP IN ACSM INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
I love going to the Annual Meeting and looking at the posters to see where sports medicine is headed - the basic research that will inform my practice down the road. The opportunities for professional growth and development that I have been able to access through ACSM are phenomenal. Through involvement in various committees, I have been able to teach internationally, help set policy, and pursue medical education.
HOW DO YOU USE THE ACSM NETWORK IN YOUR DAILY WORK?
Participation in ACSM informs every aspect of my professional life: teaching students, residents, and fellows, my clinical practice, our division research efforts, and so on. The colleagues and friends I have met through ACSM are a valuable resource for me in every facet of my work, as well.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO OTHER SPORTS MEDICINE CLINICIANS?
Be an active participant in ACSM - attend the Annual Meeting, submit programming, join a committee. The benefits will come back to you many-fold for your time and effort. I think active involvement in ACSM helps keep me young - at least professionally.
WHERE DO YOU SEE ACSM HEADING IN THE FUTURE?
ACSM, under the leadership of James R. Whitehead, a dedicated staff, and member leaders, has positioned us to play an increasing role in charting the course in exercise science and clinical sports medicine. Remember: Exercise is Medicine™!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANYTHING ELSE WITH THE READERS OF CURRENT SPORTS MEDICINE REPORTS?
See you at ACSM's Annual Meeting May 27-30, 2009 in Seattle!