Football doctor programme breaks new ground

UEFA has held its third Football Doctor Education Programme workshop in Budapest, with protecting players the focal point and all 54 member associations represented.

The group photo from the FDEP workshop in Budapest
The group photo from the FDEP workshop in Budapest ©UEFA

UEFA's third Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP) workshop, which took place in Budapest recently, marked a significant moment in sports medicine as 36 team doctors from across Europe completed the first UEFA course in football medicine.

The two-day workshop marked the end of the first cycle of the FDEP and was attended by representatives from all UEFA member associations, as doctors from across Europe heard presentations from nine leading experts on a variety of topics.

Professor Jan Ekstrand, first vice-chairman of the UEFA Medical Committee, outlined the attained objective of the programme. "The final FDEP workshop marks the culmination of a ground-breaking education programme which, for the first time, has recognised the specificity of football as a unique branch of sports medicine," he said. "Doctors attending the course have had the opportunity not only to learn from world-leading experts in each of the key topic areas, but also to learn from each other.

"It's a real testimony to the quality and relevance of the course content that so many first team doctors from the 54 UEFA national associations have attended the workshops and have put their skills up to scrutiny via the course assessments," he added. "The cascading function has also served a significant purpose in expanding the number of doctors who can obtain this vital education. This ultimately translates to increased player health and safety across European football – the main aim of UEFA's medical work."

While the first two annual workshops focused on emergency aid and diagnosis and treatment, the Budapest workshop's theme was Protecting the Player. It covered aspects from injury prevention to nutrition and hydration, and from psychology to head injuries and concussion. The two-day course was led by course directors Ian Beasley and Tim Meyer, first-team doctors at the English Football Association (FA) and German Football Association (DFB) respectively. will have detailed reports on some of the expert presentations at the Football Doctor Education workshop in Budapest next week.