The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature Kevin R. Vincent, MD, PhD, FACSM, in this issue’s Clinician Profile. Dr. Vincent currently is the Peter Indelicato, MD, endowed professor of orthopedics and sports medicine, division chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Florida (UF). He is also the director of the UF Running Medicine Clinic and the medical director of the UF Sports Performance Center and the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Vincent received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine at the University of Connecticut, a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science at the University of Massachusetts, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida. After completing his graduate training, he attended medical school at the University of Florida. He received his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and regularly presents at both national and international conferences, particularly in the areas of running, running medicine, sports medicine, sports nutrition, resistance exercise, and exercise adaptations in healthy and clinical populations. Dr. Vincent is the founder and course director of the annual UF Running Medicine Conference. He has been a member of ACSM since 1992 and currently serves on its Board of Trustees and on the following ACSM committees: Clinical Sports Medicine Leadership, Clinician Engagement, Program Planning, and Medical Education. He is the Clinical Pearls editor for Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR) and an associate editor for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®.
You Have Been an ACSM Member Since 1992. How Has ACSM Grown and Changed Since You Became a Member?
It is hard to believe that I have been a member of ACSM for more than 20 years! During that time, I think the College has grown not just in size but also in scope. Sports medicine is a very broad term that encompasses adaptations to exercise from the molecular level through the intact system. Over the past 20 years, ACSM has expanded its scope to include the vast array of responses to exercise from the most basic through applied. In addition to exercise responses, ACSM includes the care and treatment of athletes, both after injury and with in-depth examination of injury prevention. It is a very difficult balance to meet the needs of such a diverse group of members, which ranges from basic scientists, applied scientists, through practicing clinicians. It is amazing to me that the College has found ways to make sure all groups are not only included at its Annual Meeting but also in an array of specialty conferences such as the Team Physician Course, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Expo, Exercise is Medicine®, and the Integrative Physiology of Exercise. I think that I would sum up the changes by stating that the College has become broader, more diverse, and more involved in increasing the knowledge of both professionals and laypersons regarding the benefits of exercise and safe sports competition.
What Was It Like To Be A Clinician A Decade Ago Compared With Today?
One of the biggest changes over the past decade is having to be more and more aware of what insurance payers will cover and the proliferation of documentation requirements. These changes have made being a clinician more complicated. In the past, a clinician would work with the patient to develop a plan designed to treat a presenting issue. Increasingly, that plan has to be amended or shaped by an ever-changing landscape of regulation, benefit reductions, and increasing co-pays. As with any scientific-based specialty, changes in technology and available treatments require that the clinician stay up-to-date on the latest literature and scientific advances. This highlights the need for access to continuing education and in more accessible forms such as webinars, online content, and electronic journals. The proliferation of information and electronic media also has empowered patients with more information. Patients will now come to a clinic already having preresearched what they believe is wrong and what they think is the appropriate treatment. This also can prove to be challenging, particularly when that information is incorrect. Although changes in the insurance landscape, technology, and information have made being a clinician more complicated, it is still a very rewarding profession and I feel privileged everyday that people trust me with helping them improve their health and function.
How Has Membership In ACSM Influenced Your Career?
Being a member of ACSM has been essential to my success, both as a research scientist and a clinician. Through my involvement in ACSM, I have been exposed to the latest research and advances that have shaped both my research and treatment of patients. Consistently, I learn more effective and appropriate ways to treat my patients and help restore their level of function. Many times, we learn what treatments work, which ones don’t, and what the best course of treatment is for a given problem. Beyond research and patient care, ACSM has provided me with a wealth of professional development and exposure. I have had the opportunity to be on committees and panels with world-renowned leaders in the field. Those opportunities have helped me grow in ways I can’t begin to list. I have been a member of ACSM first as a graduate student in Exercise Physiology and second as a sports medicine physician. Having been a part of the College from both perspectives, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am without my involvement in ACSM.
How Do You Use The ACSM Network In Your Daily Work?
My involvement in ACSM provides a network of professionals, both clinical and nonclinical, who I can contact for assistance with a myriad of issues. The connections I have made allows me to call clinical colleagues with questions on how best to treat a patient, and if I have a question or need advice about an experimental design, nutritional supplement, or exercise adaptation, the answer is just an e-mail or phone call away. These connections help me access information from experts in the field and keep me from being isolated in an information vacuum.
What Is Your Best Advice To Other Sports Medicine Clinicians?
My advice would be to get involved with ACSM and stay up-to-date with the advances in the field. We exist in a time where information is ever changing and available. Treatment pathways and options are ever changing, so if we continue to treat medical problems as we always have and not stay current, we will find ourselves left behind and we will not provide the best treatments for our patients. I also recommend getting involved actively with both your local chapter and at the national level with committees, presentations, and outreach activities. The College and our field are better when we all stay active and involved with promoting healthy lifestyles for people of all ages, genders, and cultures.
Where Do You See ACSM Heading In The Future?
I see ACSM staying at the forefront of promoting healthy lifestyles, exercise participation, and sports safety. With the reductions of physical education in school, increased levels of sedentary behavior and obesity, as well as advances in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, the College needs to be a leader in both scientific discovery and community outreach. The members of ACSM are aware of these issues; it is our challenge now to educate the public and providers at the local level on the importance of sports safety and healthy lifestyle behaviors. The College needs to enfranchise providers across the spectrum including, but not limited to, athletic trainers, nutritionists, therapists (physical, occupational, speech, art, massage, etc.), exercise specialists, nurses, physicians, and physician assistants so that everyone involved in the education and care of the public are discussing with their clients/patients the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Would You Like To Share Anything Else With The Readers Of CSMR?
As I mentioned earlier, I think it is vital to stay involved with continuing education. Stay current with advances in the field, the latest literature, and improvements in technology. However, with the proliferation of information, it is important to critically assess the value and validity of the information. Consider the source (scientific journal with peer review, personal opinion, blog, advertising, marketing, etc.), and make an informed decision on whether the information is valid and appropriate for influencing your clinical judgment.