The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, in this issue's Clinician Profile. Dr. Finnoff recently started a new position at Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Previously he served as an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) at Mayo Clinic. He completed his residency in PM&R at the University of Utah and a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Mayo Clinic. He is the author of multiple research articles, book chapters, and review articles. Beginning in 2012, he will serve as the section editor for the "Spine Conditions" section of Current Sports Medicine Reports.
You Have Been an ACSM Member Since 1999. How Has ACSM Grown and Changed Since You Became a Member?
I joined ACSM when I was a resident in PM&R, thanks to the recommendation of a mentor. When I attended my first meeting, I was amazed at the size and diversity of the organization. Over the years, ACSM has continued to embrace and nurture the diversity of its constituents. I believe this is a strength of the organization and has enabled ACSM to remain the leading organization in sports medicine.
What Was It Like to Be a Clinician More Than a Decade Ago Compared with Today?
Uff da! That is an old Norwegian expression commonly used in Minnesota. In this case, it means, "I cannot believe I have been in practice for more than a decade." In all seriousness, not only my practice but also sports medicine knowledge and technology have changed dramatically during the past decade. Sports medicine is acquiring legitimacy as a specialty within medicine. It is recognized that sports medicine encompasses more than just orthopedic injuries and requires knowledge in a wide variety of conditions, ranging from dermatology and psychology to endocrinology and cardiology. Regarding changes in medical knowledge and technology, a decade ago I did not know a single sports medicine physician who used diagnostic or interventional ultrasound in his or her practice. Now, it is common. The first report of rapidly infused hypertonic saline for the treatment of exercise hyponatremia was published approximately a decade ago. Now, hypertonic saline is part of the standard medical supplies in a marathon medical tent. Now, vitamin D is considered important not only to bone metabolism but also to athletic performance. Although I only listed a few examples of the changes that have occurred during the past decade, I believe that we live in an exciting time and that sports medicine is going to continue its rapid evolution in the future.
How Has Membership in ACSM Influenced Your Career?
The relationships I have established with ACSM members have had a significant impact on my career. For example, when I was a young clinician, the first person to give me the opportunity to write a chapter in a sports medicine text was William O. Roberts, MD, MS, FACSM. He had attended a presentation I gave on cycling injuries at a regional sports medicine conference, and shortly thereafter, he invited me to write a chapter in a sports medicine book he was editing. ACSM is filled with members who have served as mentors and colleagues to me throughout my career. I have no doubt that, without their advice, support, and direction, my career would not have been as successful or fulfilling.
How Do You Use the ACSM Network in Your Daily Work?
I have established a large network of ACSM colleagues with whom I regularly correspond. This network provides me with an immediate "panel of experts" that I can consult with when needed, but more importantly, they are a great group of friends with a similar passion for sports medicine.
What Is Your Best Advice to Other Sports Medicine Clinicians?
One constant in life is change. This is particularly true in medicine. Medicine continually changes as our knowledge increases. Therefore, my best advice to other sports medicine clinicians is to read. As one of my mentors once said, "You find what you look for, and you look for what you know."
Where Do You See ACSM Heading in the Future?
I believe ACSM will continue to be the preeminent organization for sports medicine scientists and clinicians in the world. ACSM has demonstrated consistently a commitment to its mission statement of promoting and integrating scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life. This can be seen in the quality of its journals, position stands, certifications, annual meetings, and educational products.
Would You Like to Share Anything Else with the Readers of Current Sports Medicine Reports?
ACSM is a volunteer organization. It is successful because of the quality and dedication of its members. I would like to thank those of you who volunteer your time and expertise to ACSM and to encourage those of you who have not volunteered to get involved.