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The University of British Columbia was the first academic institution in Canada to develop a Division of Sports Medicine. In 1979, the multi-disciplinary concept was accepted by the Faculties of Medicine and Education, creating one of the earliest sports medicine units in the world. From rather humble beginnings in a portable building with an initial staff of two, the current Division of Sports Medicine, The Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre consists of almost 50 people involved in patient care, education and research. With over 1200 patients per week visiting the clinic, patient care provides the opportunity for the education of medical students, residents, fellows and practicing physicians. In the first decade, research activity flourished. International recognition for patient care, clinical and experimental research has resulted. This excellent work continues.


The Sports Medicine Division at UBC has a track record of progressive and international leadership. The scientific excellence of the Division of Sports Medicine is demonstrated by:

  • The level of peer-reviewed research funding
  • The publication record in peer-reviewed journals
  • The involvement of the Faculty of the Division of Sports Medicine, UBC on International Sports Medicine Commissions, the IOC Medical Committee, the Executive of the Sports Medicine Councils of Canada and BC, The Executives of the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologists and the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, and the Board of Trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine
  • Several Faculty chair and sit on Federal and Provincial Grant Selection Committees
  • The involvement of the Faculty of the Division of Sports Medicine, UBC on the review and advisory boards to the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, Physician and Sports Medicine and Medical Post. Faculty also act as reviewers for the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, the Journal of Applied Physiology, the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the International Journal of Sports Medicine, the Australian Journal of Sports Medicine, the New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine, and Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise
  • The large number of research trainees who are attracted to the Centre from across Canada, the United States and other countries; since 1980, 5 Post-Doctoral Fellows, 12 PhD students and over 70 Masters students have completed their degrees and training at the Clinic Twenty Sports Medicine Fellows have received clinical and research training and there have been several Visiting Clinical Research Fellows from other countries
  • The publication of The Sports Medicine Manual which was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and written by the Faculty of the Division of Sports Medicine, UBC
  • The involvement of the faculty of the Division of Sports Medicine in the writing of many chapters in sports medicine textbooks


Clinical Services


The existing clinical services provided by the Division of Sports Medicine, UBC, offers a comprehensive team of 8 primary care physicians, 3 orthopaedic surgeons and 6 physiotherapists. In addition there are consultants who give the Clinic patients high priority in Physical Medicine, Spinal Surgery, Vascular Surgery, General Surgery, Neurology, Cardiology and Dermatology. Priority support has always been in place for high performance athletes of British Columbia, and to members of 16 national teams through cooperation with the PacificSport Group and SportMedBC. Faculty of the Division of Sports Medicine also support the efforts of the Doping Control Program as directed by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). Clinical support has, and is, provided to the Vancouver Canucks, the BC Lions, and in the past, has been given to the Vancouver Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association and the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club.

The main focus of the Clinical Services in the diagnosis and management of exercise-related injury or illness. This includes the all-important history, physical examination and appropriate investigations to arrive at a diagnosis. Prudent management entails activity modification, rehabilitation exercises, optimizing equipment/footwear, medications as required, and braces/orthotics. We have close working relationships with local companies who manufacture or fabricate braces and orthotics.

Our Physiotherapy department plays an integral role in patient education and rehabilitation programs. Surgical opinion and management is available through experienced Orthopedic consultants with specific interest and expertise in the treatment of exercise related musculoskeletal conditions.

Although not housed within our centre, we also have close links to sports nutritionists, psychologists, podiatrists, massage therapists, chiropractors and pedorthists as important resources for our patients.


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