July 13, 2012
When I graduated from medical school in 1977, sports medicine did not really exist as a career. There were a couple of prominent sports medicine docs around in Olympic teams but they were trained in rheumatology (Brian Corrigan) or orthopaedics (Howard Toyne).
After 18 months hospital work in Melbourne I headed over to the UK to “practice on the Poms”. This involved initially an orthopaedic job in Kingston-on-Thames in the south west of London. My first exposure to sports medicine was a half day seminar held at Kingston prior to a rugby international at Twickenham which was just down the road. At that seminar I met Peter Sperryn then secretary and driving force behind BASM and co-author of the then sports medicine bible, Sperryn and Williams. He told me about a BASM one week introductory course to be held at Loughborough and I subsequently attended that.
On returning to Melbourne in 1982 I undertook the combined RACGP/ASMF sports medicine course in 1983. This involved one afternoon a week and was an excellent course. It was there I first came across Dr Fred Better who was to be a major influence and supporter of my sports medicine career. Sadly Fred passed away some years ago, but I was honored to give the eulogy at his funeral and initiate the annual FC Better lecture at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre.
Two significant things happened in the years after that that changed my life and led to the development of sports medicine as a medical specialty in Australia. In 1985 a meeting was held to form the Australian College of Sports Physicians, and in 1986 the Victorian Government invited tenders to open a sports medicine clinic at Olympic Park ………..