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Peers at the Pier – A BASEM Conference 2022 Round Up

On May 26-27, the Faculty joined around 400 virtual and in-person delegates in Brighton for one of the biggest events in the sport and exercise medicine calendar – the BASEM Conference 2022.

In addition to the many informative sessions held during the two days, the event was also a welcome chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones while meeting face-to-face for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

We held our own sessions on both days of the conference; our Moving Medicine team gave an excellent presentation on the first day, while on Friday we hosted an innovative debate session on clinical governance in sport. For those with tickets to the event, sessions are currently available to watch on demand for a limited period. For everyone who couldn’t make it along, we’ve presented a brief round up below.

Day 1

In the first morning session following the keynote speeches, our Moving Medicine team took to the stage to talk about physical activity. The session was chaired by Dr Catherine Lester, and featured presentations from Dr Harriet Collins, Dr Ashley Ridout, Dr Farhan Shahid, and Dr William Wynter Bee.

Dr Collins told us about the benefits of empathic listening as the basis for having more effective conversations about physical activity. Dr Collins demonstrated how empathic listening and responses can make consultations more rewarding and productive for all involved. These skills are a core part of the learning in our Active Conversations online course.

Next, Drs Shahid and Wynter Bee talked about the relationship between physical activity and mental health, with a particular focus on depression and anxiety. They showed us how movement can be used in both the treatment and prevention of mental health conditions.

To close out the session, Dr Ridout took to the stage to discuss the benefits of physical activity for those with long-term conditions. Drawing on the research carried out in our recent Risk Consensus Statement, Dr Ridout presented a series of ‘impact statements’ that highlighted how the benefits of exercise clearly outweigh the risks for those with long-term conditions.

Day 2

The second day of the conference kicked off with an informal meeting of our Out of the Blocks initiative. The initiative aims to support new SEM consultants in their first five years of practice, and the breakfast meeting provided an opportunity for members to get together and form networks that will benefit their careers for years to come.

For our second session of the conference the room was set up in parliamentary debate style, with opposing banks of chairs facing each other. This innovative debate-style session was chaired by Faculty Education Committee Chair Professor Courtney Kipps, and aimed to get people involved and thinking about the big issues around clinical governance in sport.

The house considered two questions; whether clinical governance should be the key priority in elite sports, and whether it was more important to involve patients in clinical governance in sport than in other areas of medicine. Each topic was proposed and opposed in opening statements from our panel of expert debaters – Dr Jo Larkin, Dr Graeme Wilkes, Dr Alastair Nicol, and Professor Mike Loosemore – before opening up to the floor.

The session sparked lively and thought-provoking debate, with a host of insightful thoughts shared by all those in attendance. For the record, the house concluded that clinical governance should be the key priority in elite sport, but that it was not more important to sport than in other areas of medicine.

Many thanks to everyone involved in making these sessions, and the event as a whole, such a resounding success.

Conference sessions are currently available to watch on demand for those with event tickets. You can find them here.