The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature Andrew Peterson, MD, MSPH, FAAP, who will be serving as the new digital editor for Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR), in this issue’s Clinician Profile. Dr. Peterson is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa. He completed his undergraduate education at Lawrence University and his medical training at the University of Wisconsin. He did his residency training in Pediatrics and completed fellowships in both Primary Care Sports Medicine and Clinical Research at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Peterson now directs the University of Iowa Primary Care Sports Medicine and Sport Concussion Programs. He works clinically as a Sports Medicine physician and as a team physician for the Iowa Hawkeyes and USA Wrestling. His primary research interests are related to the validation of sideline concussion tests and the injury epidemiology of youth sports.
What inspired you to pursue a career in sports medicine?
Mentorship. As a fourth year medical student, I rotated in the Sports Medicine clinic at the University of Wisconsin. I liked the content and the patients but was really impressed by how Dr. David Bernhardt guided young physicians into success in meaningful roles early in their careers. At the end of my rotation, I sat down with David and said, “I want your job. How do I get your job?” He took me under his wing and now I do what he does, but at the University of Iowa. Without his mentorship, I probably would have become a radiologist. Seriously.
What is the most common question you are asked as a sports medicine physician?
This depends on context and who is asking the question. In clinic, it is, “When will I be able to get back to….” From the press/community, it is, “Would you let your child play football?” From coaches/administrators, it is, “Should we buy this piece of equipment/technology?”
What do you find most rewarding in your current position?
Variety. No two days are alike, and I am able to spend my time caring for patients in clinic, covering events, traveling with teams, doing research, writing, working on policy, doing administrative work and teaching students/residents/fellows. I would get bored doing the same thing all day every day, and the breadth of things we are able to work on in Sports Medicine is, for me, the most rewarding part of the job.
You have been an ACSM member since 2006, how has ACSM grown and changed since you became a member?
Wow, I did not realize it has been 12 years already. Obviously, ACSM has gotten bigger with more people doing more things. And the emphasis on exercise for health has greatly increased. But, for me, the most important part of ACSM has remained the same: there is something for everyone. There are opportunities for clinicians, therapists, speakers, writers, sport nutritionists, sport psychologists, epidemiologists, public health people and researchers who focus on clinical, basic science, and translational work. Anyone who works in a field related to sports or exercise can find a niche in ACSM. And, perhaps more importantly, find out about other niches and where overlap/opportunity exists.
How has membership in ACSM influenced your career?
What I do is highly collaborative and ACSM is a big pond. It has been a great way to meet people to work with and to develop fruitful collaborations.
What is your best advice to other Sports Medicine clinicians?
I cannot do just one. So, four things:
- The best specialists are the best generalists. It is great to know a lot about your particular field. But it is also important to know a little bit about everything so you can put your expertise in context.
- The best opportunities often come disguised as hard work.
- Fail fast. If a project is not working, burn it down and move on to the next. Do not get hung up on sunk costs. Even if you have invested a lot of time, energy, and emotion into something, if it is not working, get rid of it.
- A good team physician is available, affable, and adept. If any of those traits are missing, it is hard to find success.
What are you looking forward to most in your new role as the journal’s digital editor?
It is always exciting to be on the ground floor of something. It is going to be fun to see how we use digital media to enhance the content in the print journal.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I race my bike.
Would you like to share anything else with the readers of Current Sports Medicine Reports?
We are your journal. If you do not like what we are doing, let us know. We have a great group of editors and try our best to be responsive to our readers.