CME Puts the “Medical” in USMST
A new focus for USMST is evolving off the pitch. From the beginning, the team has drawn closer through its common bond of medicine. The practice of medicine involves continuing education, and the composition of Team USA allows it to be uniquely positioned to take advantage of its diverse medical backgrounds. Indeed, one of the founding principles and objectives of the organization was to stay committed to advancing continued medical education for its members. From internists, to pediatricians, to orthopedic surgeons, the US Medical Soccer Team has a huge range of medical expertise on the field at any given time. Off the field, the most clear evidence of a commitment to medical education comes with participation in the Global Congress on Medicine and Health in Sport. This annual conference runs concurrently with the World Medical Football Championships and draws lecturers from all over the world, typically from the participating teams and local experts. In the first two years, Team USA sent Gautam Nayak as the representative to the Global Congress. Last year, Juan Carlos Velez of the Medical University of South Carolina gave a well-received lecture entitled “Sports Drinks are Better than Water: Truth or Myth?” The talk was a tour de force of the literature surrounding the use of sports drinks versus alternate therapies in maintaining hydration and intravascular volume in competitive athletics. Dr Velez’ proved to be an outstanding representative of Team USA as well as the World Medical Football Federation. The lecture fit in perfectly with the overall theme of the conference and all the attendees walked away with a much better understanding of the pros and cons of sports drinks and a motivation to learn more on their own. Moving forward, USMST hopes to continue to foster additional participants in the Global Congress and perhaps begin a more expanded CME conference here in the United States on a regular basis, possibly in conjunction with practice sessions.