The Centre for Sports & Exercise Medicine
The Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) forms part of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The centre boasts a fully equipped human performance laboratory and combined sports clinic at Mile End Hospital. Teaching and research across the centre covers applied exercise physiology, sports injury assessment & management, podiatric sports medicine, biomechanics, football medicine, dance medicine and the role of physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic disease.
The iBSc and MSc programmes (open to medics, physiotherapists and podiatrists) are designed to give students hands on experience of sports and exercise medicine in a variety of settings. The centre boasts links to a number of top professional sport clubs and national governing bodies where students have the opportunity to undergo placements. Graduates go on to include SEM in their clinical practise as a sub-speciality, for example in general practise, orthopaedics, rheumatology or emergency medicine, or more directly via specialist training in SEM.
The Centre’s History
Professor John King, an academic clinician, founded the first academic department of sports medicine in 1981. He was an orthopaedic surgeon who used Galen (probably the first sports physician) as his shining beacon. The first diploma course in sports medicine, with support of Institute of Sports Medicine (founded in 1958), was offered by London Hospital Medical College (LHMC) to medical doctors who wanted to pursue a career in sports medicine. The numbers were low at first, but slowly over the following decade it started attracting more doctors from abroad and over the next 2 decades, new challenges brought more changes.
In the early part of the 21st century LHMC merged with St Bartholomew’s Medical school, now The Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, which is part of William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London. The academic department of sports medicine became the Centre for Sports & Exercise Medicine. When John retired, his legacy continued under Mr Peter Hamlyn, a renowned neurosurgeon, followed by Prof Nicola Maffulli, an eminent orthopaedic & sports surgeon and currently, John’s legacy continues under the leadership of his prodigy, Prof Dylan Morrissey.