The Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP) is the professional body representing sports physicians in both Australia and New Zealand. Sports physicians are committed to excellence in the practice of medicine as it applies to all aspects of physical activity. Safe and effective sporting performance at all levels is a major focus. Alongside this is the increasing recognition of the importance of exercise in the prevention and treatment of common and often serious medical conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. Exercise does not replace traditional measures such as surgery, medication and rest in many of these conditions, but it can improve recovery and greatly improve long term outcomes.
With the goal of improving the health outcomes of their patients’ health with exercise, the ACSP was founded by a dedicated group of like-minded practitioners in 1985. Formal assessment and training structures followed between 1990 and 1993 and it was soon recognised that to give the discipline the attention it deserved, Sport and Exercise Medicine needed to be developed as a full medical specialty. This goal was achieved in New Zealand in 1999. ACSP was successful in achieving recognition of Sport and Exercise Medicine as a specialist medical discipline in Australia in 2007. ACSP conducts the only specialist clinical training program in sport and exercise medicine in Australasia. The training program culminates in the award of a Fellowship in Sport and Exercise Medicine. Training and employment in this field is restricted to fully qualified medical practitioners.