MASTERS IN SPORTS MEDICINE A FIRST FOR UKZN
Sports Medicine education at UKZN took a new direction this year with the inception of a Masters in Sports Medicine degree focusing on the medical applications of exercise physiology.
The initative of Professor Edith Peters-Futre, the Programme Co-ordinator at the Discipline of Human Physiology, the new academic programme has attracted the attention of some of South Africa’s leading academics and practitioners of sports and exercise medicine. Work towards designing the new degree was achieved through the collaborative efforts of Professor Peters-Futre; Professor Andrew McKune, Associate Professor in Sports Science; Mr Mark Tufts, the Academic Programme Co-ordinator of Human Physiology and Professor Willam Daniels, the Head of the School of Medical Sciences.
While the previous three-year Masters Programme had a wider focus on exercise physiology and orthopaedic aspects, the new programme provides more specialised training in the medical application of exercise physiology. The two year academic programme combines course work (50 percent) and research (50 percent) aimed at applying the recent “Exercise is Medicine” theme of the American College of Sports Medicine.
According to Professor Peters-Futre a new approach in structuring the degree had been adopted to provide health care professionals with the background to manage the high prevalence of chronic lifestyle disorders. It would include a focus on metabolism, muscle, endocrine and cardio-respiratory exercise physiology, environmental physiology, nutrition, drugs and ergogenic aids, wellness and rehabilitation.
She said the training practitioners in Sports Medicine receive through the degree could be invaluable for the treatment of chronic conditions including obesity, respiratory disorders, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome; and assist elite sports performers and recreational exercisers.
“We decided to give the new course a specialised focus rather than a broader less in-depth general coverage of Sports Medicine,” said Professor Peters-Futre. Well known local Sports Medicine practitioners and academics assisting with the teaching on the course will include Drs Bruce Biccard, Glen Hageman, Mike Marshall, Kevin Subban and Professor Johan van Heerden.
A point of interest is that two homeopaths are among the diverse grouping of people who have registered for the course, said Professor Peters-Futre. She added that it was exciting to have “mature and experienced” sports science practitioners register for the course.