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WHY HOLD A MEDICAL CONFERENCE

One of the most important tools driving quality patient care and physician confidence is professional collaboration and medical research.  Based on this simple premise, Medicine of Cycling began hosting an annual medical conference in 2010.

The conference provides a venue for health care professionals to collaborate and improve the care they provide to cycling athletes. Our expert faculty educates physicians, helps establish treatment norms and works to set standards of care for cycling athletes. Each year approximately 100 physicians attend the activity.

This course targets the most encountered and highest impact practice gaps realized by physicians.  Conference topics include: concussion, primary care, cardiology, physiology, nutrition, dermatology, urology, orthopedics, wound care and psychology. In addition to presentations we host a hands-on trauma training activity - Medical Emergencies in Cycling Course.  We also have special sessions on athlete law, and speakers from UCI and the US Anti- Doping Agency.  Each year we strive to add more value added content.

Why is cycling different from other sports:

Cycling is an unusual sport in that athletes are widely dispersed through the US, train separately from their teams, and travel for many months of the year to competitions in the US and abroad.  Similarly, team physicians either travel with athletes and/or provide care remotely from their practice locations.  Because of the transient nature of the sport, physicians do not have an opportunity to establish standards of acceptable care.  Further, physicians treating cyclists span many specialties – family practice, emergency medicine, orthopedics, cardiology and sports medicine.  Unfortunately, there is little collaboration and shared information among medical professionals representing these different practices.  Medicine of Cycling provides a forum for physicians to share their experiences and gain expertise.

Practitioners who choose to become involved with cycling teams and/or race events report that their expertise is developed over time through experience and not by further training, continuing medical education courses, or reading medical literature specific to the needs of cyclists.  Prior to Medicine of Cycling, there were no training or educational programs specific to this sub-group of practitioners available in the United States. The majority of the medical literature that cycling team physicians reference focuses on other sports that may have some overlap with cycling such as football for concussions, running for overuse injuries, skiing for downhill acceleration injuries, or motorcycle racing for high-speed impact trauma. Cycling medicine focuses on a cross-section of the above medical issues and those unique to cycling.

Why Medicine of Cycling:

Medicine of Cycling works to improve the medical care that cycling athletes receive and achieve better outcomes for injured cyclists.  The organization was founded in 2010 by a three avid cyclists concerned for the care of cycling athletes.  Mark Abramson was USA Cycling President from 2008-2010, is a former competitive college cyclist and is currently CEO of a startup software company.  Anna Abramson, MD is an attending physician and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and is Mark’s wife.  James Watkins, MD, is a trauma surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and a long time cycling enthusiast and adventurer.  For the past few years, Drs. Abramson, Watkins, and Mr. Mark Abramson have been discussing the scope of the problem with professional team owners, managers, doctors, and competitive cyclists.  The two doctors and current Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of USA Cycling are in the optimal position to work closely with professional teams and team physicians to understand the pitfalls of the current system and create a usable model to improve outcomes for cyclists.

GUIDELINES

There are currently no guidelines to aid the practitioner in providing primary care, acute evaluation, and training oversight of professional competitive cyclists. Similarly, there are no consensus statements or avenues for physician review.

Last year Medicine of Cycling established a concussion task force.  As a result of much discussion on concussion and traumatic brain injury, the task force published a guideline report: “Concussion in Cyclists for Team Managers and Coaches.”  The report is published on our website and has been distributed to USA Cycling race directors.  We have established a bike fit task force and are in the process of assembling three more groups to address research, pre-season screening, and credentialing and certification.  If you are interested in working on a task force, please send your CV to medofcycling@gmail.com  As these task forces gather data, we will publish future guidelines.

TESTIMONIALS

"Great conference! Thanks for putting this group together in one place."

"The conference improved my understanding of USADA practices and helped me think of how to start conversation regarding PEDs with cyclists of all ages."

"This conference helped to improve my head injury awareness and roadside evaluation of athletes during cycling competitions."