Doctor education in Austria

Doctors exchanged crucial information and ideas on dealing with an emergency on the pitch during a UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP) workshop in Vienna.

A practical session in Vienna on emergency on-field care
A practical session in Vienna on emergency on-field care ©ÖFB

The importance of emergency care, and dealing with an emergency on the pitch, were the key items on the agenda for a UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP) workshop in Vienna.

Twenty-two participants took part in the workshop, with discussions and exchanges stressing the need for effective and immediate measures in the event of a life-threatening injury to a player during a match.

Dr Richard Eggenhofer, senior national team doctor at the Austrian Football Association (OFB), led the workshop and was joined as a lecturer by Dr Josef Niebauer, MBA, president of the Austrian Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention; and Dr Michael Hill, deputy for anaesthesia and intensive care and head of the emergency doctor courses in the Austrian province of Burgenland.

"The workshop was a complete success," said Dr Eggenhofer. "As a graduate of the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme, my aim for the Austrian experts was to emphasise the importance of emergency care and how to deal with an emergency on the pitch in the most effective and fastest way to save lives of players."

The FDEP programme and related pan-continental national courses lead to the dissemination of crucial information and expertise across the European sports medical community. The staging of courses at national level means that programme content filters down through UEFA's member associations.

Various topics are addressed, including injury diagnosis and treatment, on-field medical emergencies, roles and responsibilities of the football doctor, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries and the anti-doping campaign within European football. The FDEP's content has been developed and compiled in conjunction with UEFA's Medical Committee and renowned sports medicine experts.

Participants take tests at the end of each course to enable an evaluation to assess the degree of skills and knowledge obtained. The evaluation is felt to be important because alongside learning essential skills, all participants learn how to 'cascade' their own version of the course for doctors in their own country.

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