As more people of all ages in Singapore take up exercise to stay healthy, demand for sports medicine services is set to rise. But such expertise is currently only available at a small group of specialist clinics.
To equip medical practitioners, including general practitioners, with the knowledge and skills to meet this growing demand, LKCMedicine and Changi General Hospital (CGH) launched a new Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine. The programme will enable participants to better prevent and treat the growing number of musculoskeletal and sports-related injuries and ailments in a population which is rapidly ageing but staying active longer.
The programme, whose first intake of students will start in late July, brings together CGH’s extensive expertise in sports medicine with LKCMedicine’s expertise in exercise science and physiology.
Besides exercise prescription, injury management and prevention, the diploma caters to primary care doctors and specialists who wish to further their knowledge in areas such as sports nutrition, biomechanics and physiology, as well as to military doctors, the bulk of whose cases are musculoskeletal in nature.
The introduction of this new diploma, the first of its kind at postgraduate level in Asia, is timely as there is limited medical expertise in the prevention and non-surgical treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions in athletes and the general population, including the elderly.
The diploma is led by Programme Director, LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Research and Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology Fabian Lim, and Course Director (Clinical), Adjunct Associate Professor Roger Tian, Senior Consultant, Sports Medicine, CGH.
“While sports medicine has its roots in caring for athletes, it can also play important roles in chronic disease prevention and management, and in caring for the elderly who are prone to musculoskeletal injuries,” said A/Prof Lim.
“Equipping general practitioners and family medicine physicians with this additional knowledge and skill set brings care to the heartlands, so that injuries can be prevented and managed at the primary care level, and more complicated cases can be promptly referred to the specialist clinics.”
A/Prof Tian said, “Prior to this, such courses were only available in Australia, the UK and US. The Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine will provide doctors interested in sports and exercise medicine with an accessible and professionally recognised training programme that will benefit both their practice and patients.
“Furthermore, there is increasing evidence regarding the role of physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes. The skills imparted will enable doctors to use exercise as a tool in the battle against these diseases with confidence.”
To be conducted on a part-time, largely online basis, the year-long diploma covers sports-related injuries, exercise prescription for the elderly and patients with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. The online lectures, taught by stellar local and international experts, are combined with workshops and clinical attachments at sports medicine clinics in Singapore.
Practitioners who complete the qualification, which has been endorsed by the Singapore Medical Council, can display the credentials and will be better equipped to provide medical support for sports programmes and events.
For more information on the Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine, please click here.