Sports & Exercise Medicine or Sports Medicine is a specialized and distinctive branch of medicine which deals with the promotion and implementation of regular physical activity and exercise for health promotion and fitness, and prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illness including chronic diseases of lifestyle; the prevention, diagnosis and treatment including rehabilitation of injuries occurring during physical activity and sports; and the prevention, diagnosis and management of medical conditions occurring during and after physical activity and sports.
The following are the major domains for Sports & Exercise Medicine training:
- Physical activity and exercise prescription in health and diseases.
- Physical activity, exercise and sports-related injuries and medical conditions. Prevention of injury and illness; diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injury and management of medical problems; and return-to-play decision making etc.
- Sports and human performance enhancement by training, nutrition, psychology and other evidence-based scientific methods and techniques.
- Sports pharmacology, antidoping, substance and drug abuse in sports; and other related ethical issues.
- Medical care of sporting events and teams, which may include pre-participation physical examination, on-site and emergency Sports & Exercise Medicine and travelling with sporting teams.
- Medical care and physical activity, exercise and sports in challenging environments and altered physiological conditions like at extreme high altitude or depth or extreme environments.
- Medical care and physical activity, exercise and sports in special populations or specific groups like children, adolescents, females, elderly or master athletes, or athletes with underlying medical conditions or injuries or disabilities etc.
- Intrinsic and extrinsic skills as outlined by International Syllabus in Sport and Exercise Medicine Group (ISSEMG), 2016-17.
In India, the first recognized specialization course in sports medicine was started around 1986-87 for registered medical graduates (MBBS). It is a two-years Post-Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine (PG DSM) also called Diploma in Sports Medicine (DSM) or D. Sports Medicine. In 2010, three-years degree or Doctor of Medicine (MD) course in Sports Medicine was started for the first time. These are the only recognized specializations courses in the field of Sports Medicine in India. Sports (or Sports Medicine) or Sports & Exercise (or Sports & Exercise Medicine) Specialists/Doctors/Physicians are those medical doctors who have successfully completed these recognized specialization. Indian Society of Sports and Exercise Medicine (ISSEM) is the only national-level society in the country by these recognized medical specialists in the field of Sports & Exercise Medicine.