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UEFA football doctor education paying off

UEFA's recently launched Football Doctor Education Programme is already paying dividends in transmitting medical knowledge through Europe's national associations.

A practical session at the Scottish Football Association course
A practical session at the Scottish Football Association course ©SFA

UEFA's Football Doctor Education Programme – in which vital expertise is being passed down through the UEFA member national associations – has started to fulfil its mission of percolating information through the associations themselves.

Following on from the success of the inaugural football doctor workshop in Vienna last month, the first cascaded course has taken place at Hampden Park, Glasgow, organised by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) in association with SportPromote.

The course saw 18 healthcare professionals successfully complete all aspects, including a multiple-choice question paper as well as practical scenario testing. Dr Jonny Gordon from SportPromote, who ran the course alongside Dr John MacLean of the SFA, said the event "has been a complete success. The quality of the educational material provided by UEFA is excellent and made the workshop a very enjoyable experience for all candidates."

The effectiveness of the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme is dependent on the further dissemination of content by candidates, through the hosting of similar workshops at national level. The aim is to help the medical representatives of national associations to cascade all the knowledge shared at international level to the medical staff and club doctors of their own country.

To spread the knowledge as quickly as possible, UEFA supplies three educational tools – technical handbooks; 40 to 50 trained course delegates, who are there to advise the associations at any time; and an extensive online platform with countless articles for interactive elearning. The doctors are required to impart the knowledge gained within their country as effectively as possible.

The candidates in Scotland came from varying backgrounds. They were primarily doctors, but physiotherapists were also present as well as a dentist with an interest in sport-related facial trauma. Each candidate was taught a structured framework on how to assess and treat critically ill or injured players, as well as the management of players suffering cardiac arrest as per the European Resuscitation Guidelines.

It is hoped this first cascaded course will be the first of many across Europe, with each national association now able to use the educational templates devised by UEFA and taught at the medical seminar in Vienna.