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The American Medical Society of Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is an organization dedicated to supporting growth in the sports medicine field. AMSSM offers educational resources, research opportunities, and collaboration among sports medicine physicians around the world. Irfan Asif, M.D., chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, has been involved with AMSSM since medical school.

“I started working with AMSSM very early in my medical career before I even decided to pursue family medicine as a specialty,” said Asif. “The organization opened my eyes to the world of primary care sports medicine versus other avenues of treating athletes and sports-related patients.”

When Asif joined AMSSM, the organization had less than 500 members. Today AMSSM boasts over 4,500 members across the world and offers robust resources to sports medicine students and physicians.2021 04 13 14 01 42 Window 1

“AMSSM propelled me into my career as it enabled research opportunities and access to education that I might not have received in other organizations,” said Asif.

Asif has served in several leadership positions over the years, most recently as the chair of the AMSSM Collaborative Research Network. As chair, Asif led the planning for the April 13 Exercise Medicine and Physical Activity Promotion Summit as part of AMSSM’s Annual Meeting. Asif also led the academic interest group, planned an all-female panel to talk about expanding sports medicine to welcome female physicians, and gave a lecture on integrating physical activity promotion into residency and medical school programs.

Other faculty members and fellows from the department attended and presented at the meeting, sharing insights on sports medicine research completed in collaboration with the sports medicine fellowship in 2020 to the 2,500 meeting attendees.

Ian McKeag, M.D., director of the sports medicine fellowship and assistant professor, presented about the Global Humanitarianism Service Grant that he and his father, Doug McKeag, M.D., were awarded in 2019. The father-son team used the funds to purchase medical equipment for a rural village in Nepal and took a trip in February 2020 to train local providers on how to use the equipment to care for their communities.

Ian McKeag, M.D.Ian McKeag, M.D., and Douglas McKeag, M.D., traveled to a village in Nepal as part of the Global Humanitarianism Service Grant“I think we were able to do a lot of good on that trip,” said McKeag. “I hope to do more in the future and that our presentation encouraged others to help those beyond our borders.”

Doug McKeag, M.D., was one of the founding members of AMSSM and was integral to Asif’s growth within the organization.

“Doug helped me grow, and now I can help his son, Ian, and others become leaders,” said Asif.

Ian McKeag finds great value in AMSSM and noted that it was a place where sports medicine physicians can gain perspective and bounce ideas off of each other. McKeag leads the sports medicine fellowship within the department and encouraged his fellows, Mallory Lewis, D.O., and Patrick Outz, M.D., to present cases and research abstracts.

“AMSSM offers dedicated groups for students, residents, and fellows that are interested in sports medicine,” said Lewis. “I also was able to attend a breakout session and network with women in AMSSM during the “Women in Leadership Lead (WiLL)” session where we discussed various topics in the sports medicine field and connected as female physicians.”

Lewis also presented a case study entitled “Bilateral Anterior Knee Pain in a Young Active Female with End-Stage Renal Disease.”

Outz noted the value of being able to network with sports medicine colleagues and receive feedback on research and cases. He presented a case about an athlete that had COVID-19 and how he worked with him during recovery.

“I was and am very proud of both of our fellows and the hard work they put into their case presentations and research abstracts,” said McKeag.

Along with the research and academic presentations given by department members, faculty and staff also participated in a video competition created to encourage innovative approaches to motivational interviewing, exercise as medicine, and other sports and lifestyle medicine topics. McKeag’s video about the dos and don’ts of motivational interviewing won third place in the competition. Video submissions can be viewed here.

AMSSM works to create collaborative relationships between sports medicine physicians around the country to increase awareness and innovation for the discipline of sports medicine. Learn more about AMSSM’s mission here.