ECOSEP, A tale of European SEM Success – The future’s bright, the future’s SEM!

By Amit Chauhan (@AmitC_SEM) & Liam West (@Liam_West)

ECOSEP DEC 2014What was the aim of The European College of Sports & Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP) 2014 Sports & Exercise Medicine (SEM) Trainee Conference (November 22-23rd) that recently took place? We wanted to organise a highly interactive event for delegates from a broad spectrum of specialities and arm them with the essential skills to kick-start their career in SEM. The 150 delegate tickets sold out within 2 weeks of the event going live so if you missed out, fear not, below is a brief summary on the event!

Even though we are babies in the SEM game, between the both of us we have attended over 40 conferences around the UK and abroad – we know what juniors want from an SEM conference! Professionals take note J #Lesson1: namely, affordable admission prices, big names, practical experience and networking opportunities.

Keynote Speakers

The conference included 8 fantastic keynote talks:

  • Dr Shabaaz Mughal, Team Doctor to Tottenham Hotspurs FC and Dr Amir Pakravan, Team Doctor to Crystal Palace FC, kicked off the conference explaining the difference between Sports Medicine and Exercise Medicine.
  • Dr Ian Beasley and Steve Kemp, Team Doctor & Physio to the Senior England Men’s Team respectively talked about working within Elite Sport at home and abroad and tips to get to the top.

On the Saturday afternoon, we had 4 further keynote talks aimed at gaining the perspective of those working alongside SEM practitioners. Mike Davison journalist for the Telegraph and Managing Director of Isokinetic, gave us a great insight into how to get recruited into SEM and what the media wants from SEM. He was followed by Jon Goodman, Performance Director at the Nike Academy and Founder of Think Fitness who entertained the delegates with stories of both good and bad SEM experiences he has encountered; #Lesson2 – first be a good person before second being a good practitioner.

To close Charlie Taylor, GB Rower on the Road to Rio, and Alejandro Faurlin, Argentinean professional premiership footballer for Queens Park Rangers gave an athlete’s perspective on SEM. #Lesson3 – Know your sport, know your athlete and know when to be quiet! The first day was closed by Nikos Malliaropoulos, founder of ECOSEP and co-organiser of this event, who repeated the importance of becoming active within the SEM community as early as possible.

ECOSEP DEc 132014Embedded Workshops
In total, we organised 16 workshops over the two days; #Lesson4 – (from the feedback) practicals make delegates happy! The first set of 4 parallel workshops on Saturday addressed knee, foot & ankle, hip & groin and shoulder joints, taking delegates through the anatomy, acute and chronic pathologies, rehabilitation and then physical examination of the musculoskeletal area allowing delegates to get hands-on!

The afternoon consisted of four absolutely fantastic parallel workshops, all of which had three talks from highly qualified professionals; “Sports Cardiology” (Sponsored by Doctors Academy), “Environmental Extremes”, “Technology, Performance and Sports Science” (Sponsored by Catapult) and “Nutrition for Performance and Health” (Sponsored by Bio-Synergy). This vast array of topics not only showed the diverse careers in SEM that could await many of the delegates but also offered some interesting #KnowledgeBombs. #Lesson5 – Students take note, SEM is much more than looking after a Premier League footballer’s knee!

The aim of second day of the conference was to arm delegates with key diagnostic and management skills to succeed in SEM. How did we (hopefully) achieve this? We ran 8 workshops in total where delegates spent 30 minutes at each workshop and rotated through four workshops in the morning and four more in the afternoon. The first 4 workshops comprised of diagnostic master-classes in 1) MRI imaging, 2) Radiography and CT imaging, 3) & 4) Ultrasound of the upper and lower limbs respectively (Sponsored by Sonosite and Centre for Ultrasound Studies). #Lesson6 – The ultrasound needs to become an extension of your arm to succeed in SEM! After this, we finished off with 4 workshops on common treatment modalities used in SEM; 1) Shockwave therapy (Sponsored by Venn Healthcare) 2) Injection therapy 3) Exercise prescription and 4) Manual therapy & taping (sponsored by FirstAid4Sport). The delegates had a lot of fun using the US and shockwave machines and came up with #Lesson7 – To know abnormal, you first need to know what is normal!

Venue & Support

Lunch and refreshments were provided throughout both days in the fantastic, historic, specimen-filled St Bartholomew’s Pathology Museum. The conference was proudly endorsed and supported by numerous national and international organisations. We appreciated all the help and support we received from the 25 sponsors involved with the conference. Special thanks must go to the invaluable help from family (parents, brother and sister-in-law J) and friends who spent their entire weekend helping to ensure the event ran smoothly!

If you are an SEM enthusiast or someone new to this incredible field, make sure you attend any of the many events being organised and promoted right now, all over Twitter and Facebook. The SEM following is growing, at both an undergraduate and trainee level; there are SEM societies all around the UK, hosting high quality events with eminent speakers, and the opportunity to learn about a whole host of SEM-related topics. Going to these events is a really good way to meet like-minded individuals and possibly even organise research projects or shadowing opportunities in the SEM world.

You could (if you are brave enough) set-up your own SEM society at your university or even organise your own conference! This is a huge commitment, not to be taken lightly – you will have to invest a significant amount of time and effort, but it’s extremely satisfying and definitely worth it when you see delegates enjoying and gaining a lot from the events that you have organised. If you like the sound of this, please get in touch with USEMS. Each year, they help set up SEM societies all over the UK and also allow an SEM society to organise and run the annual undergraduate SEM conference.

For more information, or if you would like to get involved with LSEMS or the ECOSEP Student Committee, please contact me at

Amit Chauhan BSc (Hons) ECOSEP(ac) is a final year medical student at Barts and The London who achieved a first class honours in his intercalated BSc in Sports & Exercise Medicine and was awarded the Principal’s Prize at graduation. Amit is also the President and Co-Founder of The London Sports & Exercise Medicine Society (LSEMS), a regional society promoting the field of SEM to all undergraduate and postgraduate medical and physiotherapy students across London, with representatives at 8 major London universities. He was also recently elected as the President of the Medical Student Committee for the European College of Sports & Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP). His Twitter handle (as above) is @AmitC_SEM.

Dr. Liam West, BSc (Hons) MBBCh ECOSEP(ac) PG-Cert SEM, is a junior doctor in the Oxfordshire Deanery. In addition to his role as a Senior Associate Editor for BJSM, he coordinates the “Undergraduate Perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine” Blog Series. He is passionate about developing the SEM undergraduate movement and sits on the Council of Sports Medicine for the Royal Society of Medicine as Editorial Representative, founder, and is the founder & current President of USEMS. He is also the elected President of the Junior Doctor’s Committee for the European College of Sport & Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP). His Twitter handle is @Liam_West

If you would like to contribute to the “Undergraduate Perspective on Sports & Exercise Medicine” Blog Series please email LIAMWESTSEM@HOTMAIL.CO.UK for further information.

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