HL20: James Andrews - Preventing Kids' Sports Injuries

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , December 23, 2010

ASMI offers education, training programs, and conferences for parents, nurses, coaches, and athletes to help get the information out. Last year, as president of the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine, Andrews initiated a national program called the STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention) campaign, and pediatricians, nurses, physical therapists, and others have gotten behind this campaign to try to educate parents, grandparents, national media, coaches, and athletes about the statistics surrounding sports injuries. As its name suggests, overuse has become a significant concern as kids move increasingly toward playing one sport year-round. Its website, offers loads of educational information about injuries attributed to activities particular to specific sports, and offers guidelines for guardians about preventing injuries that require surgery—an outcome that can end a kid's athletic dreams much too early.

"We have to change the system in some 20 sports that are involved in this campaign. It's a massive job," Andrews says.

Some of his admittedly little time away from the OR is spent helping to recruit medical talent to STOP's scientific advisory board. Those people add to the information and learning opportunities about sports injuries and how they develop.

"That's my passion and really what I'm proud of," he says.

Asked how he manages to treat all his patients the same regardless of their celebrity, Andrews has a simple credo that should work whether one is an accomplished surgeon or, for example, a hospital senior leader.

"Show a lot of confidence, don't make it too complicated, and don't beat around the bush," he declares. "People can read between the lines if you don't act like you know what you're doing."

Listen to audio interview with James Andrews, MD.

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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