The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature Scott Pyne, MD, FACSM, in this issue’s Clinician Profile. Dr. Pyne is the past sports medicine specialty leader to the Navy Surgeon General and an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. In addition to directly supporting numerous military medical treatment facilities, he has served as team physician for the U.S. Naval Academy and medical director of the Marine Corps Marathon. His diverse professional interests include the medical management of exertional heat illness and management of mass participation events. He currently coaches youth football and lacrosse.
You Have Been an ACSM Member Since 1998, How Has ACSM Grown and Changed Since You Became a Member?
I am not sure that ACSM has grown and changed as much as I have. The Annual Meetings I attended early in my career were overwhelming and, in many ways, frustrating. I would clarify overwhelming with the sheer volume of topics and presentations making it difficult to choose which topic to attend. As I was accumulating clinical experience, I had so many comments and questions to ask the more seasoned presenters that I was frustrated when I could not find the chance to get their attention. I thought I had much to add to the conversation but had little opportunity to add to the discussion. As the years have gone by, I have become more comfortable with myself folded into the mass of experts. I have a more balanced and confident approach and seek out less seasoned physicians listening to their issues and putting them at ease. ACSM’s advocacy and online capabilities are the most noticeable areas of growth to me.
What Was It Like to Be a Clinician a Decade Ago Compared with Today?
My experience has been primarily as a physician serving active duty and family members in the U.S. Navy. Ten years ago, we were shocked with the events of September 11, 2001, and many of us were unsure of what steps the country would take in response. Since that time, deployments to places far away from home have become an all-too-familiar reality to most of us on active duty. Medical care is the same as it was a decade ago, and my reimbursement has not been affected by the whims of Medicare and insurance companies. Patient care still involves communicating and partnering with patients and their support systems to prevent, treat, and deal with injuries and illnesses of athletes. New procedures like heat tolerance testing, prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma, stem cells, viscosupplementation, and musculoskeletal ultrasound have recently entered outpatient sports medicine practice. Time will tell if their benefits become part of the standard practice. I only hope that these additional procedures and skill sets will be additive rather than replacements for hands-on evaluation and treatment in the education process of new physicians.
How Has Membership in ACSM Influenced Your Career?
Membership in ACSM has instantly given me a body of colleagues across specialties and geography with whom to share common goals. I have developed close friendships with colleagues who have assisted me with both day-to-day medical care and more global system-wide issues. These relationships have proven useful in connecting my military medicine practice with civilian counterparts.
How Do You Use the ACSM Network in Your Daily Work?
While teaching sports medicine fellows, residents, and medical students, I often refer to work done through ACSM to guide treatment and management approaches with patients. As a coach of youth athletes, I bring topics of exercise, injury prevention, and treatment to the teams, coaches, and parents I work with.
What Is Your Best Advice to Other Sports Medicine Clinicians?
Remember to talk to your patients and address their concerns. It is so basic, but we often forget to listen to our patients’ issues. If you show that you understand, can relate to their situation, and are a partner in meeting your patients’ athletic, health, and life goals, you will both benefit from the experience. I often tell patients that I somewhat selfishly want them to get better, so I can take partial credit for their success. I am an instant partner. Learn about the activities your patients participate in by critically evaluating the movement, mechanics, and interactions so you can better appreciate their requirements and thereby be better able to help them attain their goals.
Where Do You See ACSM Heading in the Future?
I see greater involvement of ACSM in national and international health advocacies. I would like to see the organization continue to grow in numbers of sports medicine clinicians and believe it has taken steps in this direction. I would like to see more informal discussion forums similar to the special interest groups, but without defined goals, allowing the discussions to go where they lead themselves.
Would You Like to Share Anything Else with the Readers of Current Sports Medicine Reports?
Sports medicine is a fabulous field and I am indebted to my wife, Cindy, for all of her support in this career path. ACSM has truly helped me develop as a physician and teacher in ways that would not otherwise be possible.