WHAT A GREAT DAY!
Queens Birthday Honours List published on Monday contained the names of two of my closest friends and colleagues. Wow! What a great way to start the week. Let me tell you a little about them…….
Dr Susan White AM
For significant service to sports medicine.
When Sue White first came to Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre to do her medical student elective, it was soon obvious to us all that she was pretty special. Every now and them someone comes along who you know straight away is going to be a superstar in your profession, and this was one of those occasions. A few years later after Sue had graduated and was working in the public hospital system, we had a staffing crisis at the clinic with a number of doctors away simultaneously. We remembered the brilliant medical student and contacted her. Soon after, Sue became part of the team at OPSMC and has been part of that team ever since.
Patients always wanted to see Sue, not just for her excellent diagnostic skills and effective treatment management, but because it was obvious she cared about each and every person she saw. She was also a great person to have around the clinic, becoming a confidante to many staff members and always turning up with a smile on her face and enthusiasm for the day ahead.
As well as her clinic duties, Sue soon became involved in various sports starting with Paralympic sports and subsequently with National swimming and netball programs. These involvements took Sue to Olympic and Paralympic Games as Australian team doctor. Everywhere she went, Sue was admired and respected. She has been a great role model for female sport and exercise physicians over the years.
Sue’s expertise in the area of Drugs in Sport has been recognised by her long term involvement on the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) which she now chairs. Sue is also a member of the WADA TUE Expert Group and sits on Anti-Doping Tribunals for Cricket Australia and the AFL.
Sue is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine and Surgery at Monash University, and an editorial board member of both the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine and the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Among all her sports medicine achievement, Sue has managed to bring up three wonderful children who are no doubt as proud of her this week as all her sports medicine colleagues.
Dr Karim Khan AO
‘For distinguished service to sport and exercise medicine, and to the promotion of physical activity for community health.’
When Karin first approached me (I think it was 1988) for advice about a career in sports medicine, it did not take me long to realise that here was another special individual. Karim started at OPSMC the following year as well as at Alphington Sports Medicine and remained involved at both clinics for a number of years. He passed his Fellowship exams in 1993 and was awarded FACSP. He then decided the next challenge was a PhD (What! No-one in sports medicine does a PhD!!). Of course he did a great job with his PhD which followed his seminal paper on navicular stress fractures published in 1992 and still widely cited to this day.
At the same time Karin became involved in the Australian Ballet and the Australian Womens basketball team. However everything changed for KK when he met fellow researcher Heather McKay at a conference in her native Canada.. Never one for the orthodox, Karim went off to another conference and came back announcing that he was married! He then jumped some difficult hurdles to get Canadian registration and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. There he worked initially at the Alan McGavin Sports Medicine clinic with founders Jack Taunton and Doug Clement. Along the way he completed an MBA and in 2008 was appointed a Professor in both the Department of General Practice as well as the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. More recently he spent a couple of years as Director of Research at Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha, Qatar.
Karim’s research interests developed over time from his initial interest in stress fractures, to tendon health, preventing falls in the elderly, bone strength and osteoporosis, and his most recent focus on the benefits of exercise. He has published 300 odd scientific papers and numerous books and book chapters. Karim has spoken (repeatedly) at every major sports medicine conference in the world.
Speaking of books,…… when I was first approached to write a sports medicine textbook I looked around for someone to help me and I didn’t have to look too far. Brukner and Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine has seen five editions with the second volume (yes it is too big for one volume these days) of the 5th edition due out this week. I have to say that sharing this writing experience with Karim has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my professional life. We both have similar work ethics and can be single minded when necessary. We have also had a lot of laughs.
Congratulations to both of these outstanding sports and exercise medicine professionals. Your awards are thoroughly deserved.