Sarah Ward at the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Annual Meeting

Sarah Ward at the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Annual Meeting

Sarah Ward at the American College of Sports Medicine– June 2015 –

I attended the 62nd ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA from the 26th to the 30th May. I arrived on Memorial Day weekend and spent it on Coronado Island, which was awesome. San Diego, and Coronado, in particular, are very much Navy cities—there are three major naval stations and the Marine Corp recruitment depot. I managed to accidentally run onto the Naval Special Warfare base—there is no fence on the beach so I kept on running. Whoops!

The conference started for me on Tuesday with an Early Career Researcher & Graduate Day. Sessions were mostly on post-doctoral work, grantsmanship etc. This was incredibly useful as we don’t get a lot of this information here in Australia; it’s more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of thing.

Wednesday was all about knees for me–ACL-themed poster sessions, clinical sessions on knee examination (good to know I’m still doing it right!), and implementation of injury prevention programs.

Thursday was spent indulging in my random research interests, so I went along to sessions run by the Military Sports Medicine SIG on blast vs sports concussion and optimising readiness in special forces soldiers.

I caught up with the UNC-Chapel Hill bunch on Thursday night for some socialising—nothing quite like having a grand old chat to someone to be told later that he is the Vice-Dean of the school I will be at in North Carolina. Thankfully I didn’t say anything stupid!

Friday morning was the poster presentation time for me and my supervisor, Brian Pietrosimone, who was a few posters down the row from me. We had a 1.5 hour timeslot during which we had to stand around and answer questions. I generated some interest in my research and received really good feedback. The most hilarious moment occurred when I started chatting away to a lovely old chap about my research. He introduced himself as Roger and, as we shook hands, it finally dawned on me who I was talking to—it was Roger Enoka, one of the big guns in exercise physiology (he writes the text books)!!

All in all it was a great week, and my enthusiasm for my PhD has returned at a fairly critical juncture. There were approximately 10000 people at this conference representing various foci within sports medicine—clinicians, exercise physiologists, neuromuscular types, and the list goes on. The final program was nearly an inch thick; there was that much to see. I spent ages pouring over it trying to decide which sessions to attend—some tough decisions had to be made!
The research that is being done in this area is pretty amazing, and I look forward to what the future will bring for both the research area and me.