Therapeutics Education Collaboration (TEC):
Description: Navigating evidence-based research can be overwhelming but is necessary if one wants to practice up-to-date standard of care. Therapeutics Education Collaboration (TEC) is a great resource for learning more about up-to-date evidence-based drug therapy that is practical and relevant to health care providers. Dr. James McCormack, professor in the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Michael Allan, associate professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Alberta, host the podcast “Best Science (BS) Medicine” through the web site. Their mission is to encourage critical thinking and exercise healthy skepticism when approaching evidence. One interesting topic recently covered was a discussion of stem cell therapies. With more than 385 episodes, there are plenty of topics relevant to any specialist including sports medicine. There is a subscription charge to access some podcasts (~every 4th podcast and any podcast older than 3 months); however, 75% of the podcasts are free and useful. The podcast is not the only resource on the web site. There are videos, links to courses, and other tools that can be helpful for a multitude of different topics in primary care or sports medicine. Multiple episodes of the podcast are put out each month to keep the web site fresh with new content. TEC can be an effective and entertaining way to try to keep up with many aspects of evidence-based medicine.
Cost: Free (subscription = US $50/year or US $25 for students)
National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research:
Description: Since 1965, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (NCCSIR) has been collecting data on catastrophic injuries and illnesses of athletes. Aggregating these data have helped develop health and safety policies to protect athletes. Per this web site, their research focuses on “generating reliable data that can be used to make sports safer for athletes, increase the amount of information that is available about catastrophic sports injuries, and to increase general awareness of catastrophic injuries in all sports.” Anyone can submit data to this organization through a very easily navigated web site. They publish yearly reports of this data that is accessible through the home page. This web site allows practitioners to contribute to the advancement of sports medicine research with only a small time investment by reporting a catastrophic sports injury or illness. NCCSIR is run through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and headed by Director Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, MSPH, ATC, LAT; Medical Director Robert Cantu, MD, MA, FACS, FACSM; and Research Associate Leah Cox Thomas, MS, CRC, LRT/CTRS.
Description: Spine Universe provides information about multiple different spinal conditions and respective treatments directed at both patients and health care providers. They state that “Spine Universe is a web site devoted to patient and health care professional education, providing clear, straightforward information on conditions related to the spine, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis.” The web site is very easy to navigate with tabs at the top of the site as well as a tab differentiating patient-based information vs professional health care providers. Here you can find updated guidelines, case studies, as well as other resources pertaining to multiple pathologies of the spine. There are helpful guides for patients and a forum section where people can reach out to find support or ask for advice from the community where moderators can help guide people to articles on the web site or encourage them to discuss their issues further with their health care provider. This web site is kept up to date regularly by a board of editors consisting of multispecialty, multilevel providers.
International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation:
Description: Outdoor wilderness and mountain activities are frequently pursued by athletes. The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) can be an excellent web site for both patients and health care professionals to find reliable information about a dearth of topics surrounding safe participation in these activities. The UIAA, recognized by the International Olympics Committee, was founded in 1932 and represents 92 separate member associations internationally. Their primary goal is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing by, “preserving their spirit and tradition, advancing safe and ethical mountain practices, promoting responsible access, culture and environmental protection, and supporting youth participation and the Olympic movement.” You can access skills videos, a database of UIAA tested equipment and details surrounding testing specifications, evidence-based advice and recommendations for health topics involving high altitude, editorial pieces on topics such as “Golden rules for novice climbers,” and “Advice for women going to altitude,” fun promotional videos about mountaineering events happening around the world, and so much more. A robust administration, headed by elected officials who run the organization, keep up the web site. Details surrounding their leadership and how they operate can be found in the “Organization” tab.
Cost: web site = free with some exceptions. There are some links to products that have associated costs, yet the utility of the web site is not lost if only the free content is utilized (e.g., The International Alpine Handbook is $3.99). Membership = (See the “become a member” link on their web site. They do not take individual memberships, only organizations).
Tame the Beast:
Description: Pain is a large hurdle in sports medicine and can be challenging to overcome. Lorimer Moseley, a leading pain scientist, and Dave Moen, a physiotherapist, developed an excellent web site to spread awareness of modern pain science and evidence-based advice on pain treatment. The web site begins with a simple yet effective video illustrating chronic pain and new approaches to beating it. These details are expanded in other links on the web site. There is a section with information about how to better understand pain, organized in an easily understandable FAQ style. Here you can find more links to other web sites, books, videos, and podcasts that focus on modern pain science that can be helpful for both patients and health care professionals. While some of these links are to products with a charge associated with them, they are optional and not necessary to get benefit from this web site. There is another section with testimonials of patients who have controlled their pain using modern pain science techniques. Overall, the web site is very easy to navigate and can be a helpful resource to refer patients with chronic pain to, as well as health care providers looking for evidence-based resources to help in managing and treating patients with chronic pain.
Cost: web site is free. There are links to some books or online courses that come with a charge, but the majority of the links are free.