Department for Health


David Cloke

Sport and Exercise Medicine

Since graduating from the SEM programme I have become a consultant upper limb surgeon in Northumbria. My clinical interests are in arthroscopic surgery, particularly of the shoulder (instability and rotator cuff tears), and trauma. I originally enrolled on the Bath Sports Medicine MSc course in 2003. At the time I was looking for something to strengthen my CV when looking for registrar posts, without spending time out of clinical work. I have always had an interest in sports medicine from a surgical point of view, but the course offered an opportunity to do something outside of the usual sphere of orthopaedics. Although we see plenty of both amateur and professional athletes, I think that we in orthopaedics often focus too much on what we can or can’t do with a knife, rather than the overall needs of that individual. This course offered me insight into how I could take all these factors into account. I have managed to fit the course around other commitments, including my Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) exam.

The particular highlights, overall, were the Sporting Mind and Exercise Physiology modules, which gave me an insight into the overall care of athletes that I would not otherwise have gained. The week residential course in Bath (in the glorious June sunshine!), meeting up with others on the course and the week I spent with Manchester United are experiences I will dine out on for a long time.  I was also granted foundation membership of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (UK), having passed the diploma examination of the Bath course.

I am delighted to have been awarded a distinction for my MSc dissertation, and have a paper in press with the British Journal of Sports Medicine resulting from it.  A further paper has also been submitted to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

In the future, I aim to integrate sports and exercise medicine into my practice, particularly shoulder instability. As a member of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, I look forward to preparations for London 2012, and any areas in which I could be involved. I have enjoyed the Bath course, and recommend it to anyone with an interest in Sports and Exercise Medicine. I hope to remain involved with the course in the future.

Glen Rae

Sport and Exercise Medicine

In 2006 I was a locum GP who was working part time for Sunderland AFC providing reserve team match cover. During the course of the last 3 years my career has grown in the field of Sports and Exercise medicine and I now work in a full time capacity as Club Doctor and ‘Head of the Medical Department’ at Sunderland AFC.

I always wished to pursue a career in Sports and Exercise Medicine, in fact during my GP Registrar training I worked voluntarily for York City FC. I started the diploma primarily to increase my knowledge and skill base whilst gaining a formal qualification in this field. I felt this would facilitate my progression to become a sports medicine physician and open new avenues in the development of my career.

The course at Bath appeared to be a well recognised and established and the diploma seemed well regarded. The course is very “sports doctor” focused throughout each module but also provides an understanding of the roles of other members of the medical and coaching teams who are essential to the success of an athlete. I enjoyed all aspects of the course but in particular the modules on functional anatomy and sports injury and rehabilitation were of particular interest. The clinical weekends were excellent; not least because Bath is a beautiful city with some great restaurants; they provided an opportunity to meet a host of enthusiastic people, both peers and tutors alike, who were only too happy to help as much as they could with any problems I encountered. I have kept in touch with many of these colleagues and remain in regular contact professionally.

The online and distance learning aspect of the course does allow flexibility with regards to other commitments and time pressures; however it certainly required a degree of discipline and an understanding wife (not least when our daughter arrived mid course in November 2007)! The online course was easy to get to grips with and despite me not being prehistoric my fears of returning to medical school libraries with heavy, hard to find journals were completely alleviated by the e-library available at Bath, it’s fantastic.

I found the diploma challenging and enjoyable and was delighted to achieve a distinction. I would thoroughly recommend it to those wishing to pursue a career in Sports and Exercise Medicine.