The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is proud to feature David T. Bernhardt, M.D., for this issue's Clinician Profile. He is professor of Pediatrics and Orthopedics/Rehabilitation in the Division of Sports Medicine (CHS) and is co-director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Bernhardt graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1989, completed residency at the University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital in 1992, and completed a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Wisconsin in 1994. He is active clinically in primary care sports medicine, general pediatrics, and pediatric fitness clinics. Dr. Bernhardt serves as a team physician for the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department. He has been an ACSM member since 1993, and his research interests are in female athlete concerns, mild traumatic brain injuries, and pediatric fitness/obesity. Dr. Bernhardt has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and received an American Academy of Pediatric Teaching Award in 2008.
YOU HAVE BEEN AN ACSM MEMBER SINCE 1993. HOW HAS ACSM GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MEMBER?
The size and breadth of ACSM has continued to grow; however, the focus of the organization continues to center upon promoting health through exercise and sport with scientific rigor at its foundation.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CLINICIAN IN THE 1990s COMPARED WITH TODAY?
Similar to the 1990s (which really doesn't seem that long ago), today's clinicians are continuing to expand diagnostic tools and treatment options for their patients in hopes of keeping them physically active. The number of diagnostic tools continues to expand (e.g., computerized neurocognitive testing and better imaging equipment). In addition, treatment options are more than relative rest and rehab. Injection therapy, particularly ultrasound guided injection therapy, seems to be the hot treatment option of this decade. Continued scientific study of these diagnostic and treatment options is needed to prove their worthiness.
HOW HAS MEMBERSHIP IN ACSM INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
ACSM's journals have allowed me to stay abreast of cutting-edge research as it relates to sports medicine. This has not only helped in my daily sports medicine practice but also is a major help in both sports medicine fellowship education and related research. ACSM's Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to network and hear incredible talks by world-renowned sports medicine educators and researchers. For me and many others in the organization, the Annual Meeting functions as a place where more research and education ideas are generated.
HOW DO YOU USE THE ACSM NETWORK IN YOUR DAILY WORK?
Presently, I regularly use the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative to promote exercise for the many different patient populations I see on a daily basis - the overweight pediatric patient, the pediatric patient with chronic disease, the overweight patient with degenerative joint disease, and the healthy patient who is injured and trying to return to sport or fitness activity.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO OTHER SPORTS MEDICINE CLINICIANS?
Every day is an opportunity to learn - from your patients and other experts in the field. Sports medicine is still a relatively young field with more questions than answers. Get involved in ACSM by presenting cases and your research to advance all of our knowledge.
WHERE DO YOU SEE ACSM HEADING IN THE FUTURE?
I see ACSM expanding its role as a player in policy-making related to exercise and fitness in schools, the workplace, and the government, which ultimately will lead to better health of our citizens.