Copyright ©1997-2003 
American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.

Vol 7 No 7 July 2003 
ISSN 1097-9743
Editor: Jesse Pittsley

6th Annual National Meeting and Conference
April 1-3, 2004 
Indianapolis, Indiana
Radisson Hotel - City Center
31 West Ohio Street

Letter from the President of ASEP
Editorial from the Editor

Student Chapter News


Helping the Herd Hear
Jesse Pittsley

Greeting Professionalization Fans!
Summer time is upon us and, with probably the exception of Duluth MN, many of us are enjoying the summer weather.  Here in Lexington, KY the weather has warmed up nicely.  At least thatís what people have told me.  Unfortunately, I donít get out much since Iím currently completing my dissertation data collection. Iíve implemented a 12-week training study involving 30 subjects.  Each subject reports to the lab four times per week for approximately 40 minutes per session.  At worst, it equals out to be 120 training sessions a week.  Fortunately, we have two treadmills in our lab and I am able to ďdouble upĒ enough to cut it down to ~70 sessions.  Either way, I get into the lab before 7:00 am and leave around 8:00 at night.  It makes for some long days and unfortunately I donít get to see the sun much. 

The point to this explanation is that I must confess Iíve gotten tired of thinking about my dissertation.  As a result, Iíve been following current events more closely as well as reading more outside the field of exercise physiology.  For example, the FCC recently voted to reduce restrictions on the owning of various media venues by corporations.  This has opened a rather interesting debate in the Senate and the House of Representatives due to an attempt to have congress overturn the FCC ruling.  Without getting too deep into this rather complicated issue, many discussions regarding this topic center around whether there is a compromise in the quality and quantity of opinions being made to the American public when less individuals own a majority of the media venues.  As a result Iíve heard a variety of opinions stating that the mainstream media is slanted to the political left, to the political right, is socially left but shifts to the right when business matters are of concern, or slants to what ever side gets the ratings. 

 The issue of whether there is a ďmedia monopolyĒ and, if so, how much this hurts the ability to have a healthy democracy is interesting.  Monopolies are illegal in the corporate sector (although many would argue that slight mutations of monopolies are quite common.  But, the idea of a monopoly in media reaches far beyond monetary concerns.  For, it is not the control of money, but the control of ideas that energizes many in this debate.   Thus, a question must be raised, what if one, or a select few, organization(s) controlled what ideas were presented to the public?

The EP Herd
 Few in a democratic society would argue this would be good.  Although fewer opinions are more efficient, it is the ďanalysis to the point of paralysisĒ that turns the cumbersome wheels of democracy at their slow but deliberate pace. With that said, ideas coming from a monopolized origin would not affect the good critical thinkers of our society.  These individuals would simply trim off the fat and slice to the core of most issues.  Unfortunately, a large part of our population does not work that hard when attempting to dissect information.  This sector takes the provided information and, when action is needed, they follow the instructed steps like a herd of cattle. 

This ďherdĒ phenomenon is exactly the problem with exercise physiology.  For I fear this herd is not heading to land of green pastures and mountain streams but instead is plowing straight for the slaughterhouse.  Each year, mobs of unknowing students enter unfocused and rather elementary curriculums taught by professors who are pressured to play the ďnumbersĒ game.   Simply stated, the more students the more funding potential for the departments.  As a result, the classrooms are full with a captive audience trained to absorb information while hoping that the eventual degree with lead to a job (although many do not know what job it may be). After leaving the academic version of feeding lots, the prowls are pushed along to tradition-based certifications that probably help the financial standing of the organization providing the certifications more than they help those earning them. Finally, the livestock are cleaved into the various subunits of the market, only to meet once or twice a year to talk about the science foundation of the discipline while avoiding the issue that they are selling themselves just to put food on the table. 

Divide and Be Conquered 
 I have made this speech before so Iíll spare you the excessive repetition.  As some of you know, Iíll grab any chance to take shots at the current status of many undergraduate curriculums in exercise physiology.  This time I am addressing not the training of the herd, but its division through the splatter of certifications.  I find it amazing that many look to divide exercise physiology and not unite it.  A profession needs a strong core and foundation before it subdivides.  And, even then, it should be very strategic about its creation of tracts or categories.  A discipline with such a poor foundation in the concepts of establishing and maintaining a profession runs a strong risk of being sliced apart by established professions looking to solidify aspects of the employment market. 

It is unfortunate that one organization that includes members from a variety of health care professions may be deciding the future of exercise physiology.  To me, this fact alone shows a significant conflict of interest. Itís astounding and illogical that EPs allow others who are not in the field to decide the path we should take.  Instead of uniting EPs in the concept of a profession, different views about who governs exercise physiology continue to divide this field into tracts that conveniently slide into the alignment of the health care market.  What a great idea! (sarcasm intended).  Letís just certify EPs and channel them into their usual submissive employment tracts!

This point of view is displayed by a majority of exercise physiologists.  But, just like a majority of Americans eat too much fast food and do not exercise enough, the majority is not always right.  Whose is at fault for this?  Is if the fault of the herd for not thinking through the entire situation?  Or, is it the fault of the organization currently controlling the herd?  In other words, is there an EP monopoly?  And, does that matter?  This argument has a variety of sides I will be the first to admit I do not have a conclusive answer.  One could always argue that it is the responsibility of the consumer (the developing EPs) to critically dissect the long-term path of the certifications they earn.  On the other hand, many young EPs do not have the experience to properly reflect upon such a complicated issue.  For example, I have a hard time imagining a 22 year-old graduate asking the question, ďIf I earn this certification, what does it mean for overall development of exercise physiology?Ē  Unfortunately, this highly unlikely question is exactly the one that needs to be asked. 

Concentrate on the Herd
How do we get people to ask a question of that nature?  How do we get people to see beyond the commonly accepted truth? The most important action one can take when an intellectual monopoly exists is to make his/her counter opinion available to the public to inform others that other ideas exist beyond the common truth.  In other words, one should focus on the herd and not the monopoly.   The more visibility a logically developed perspective receives, the greater opportunity of members of the herd may begin to question their current beliefs.   This is the reason this newsletter and ASEPís journal the Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline exist.  The members of ASEP simply want EPs to know that another perspective exists.  By focusing on educating of the herd (and thus avoiding the bureaucracy of the monopoly) one concentrates on developing and marketing concepts. 

It is my conclusion that a limited amount of perspectives is not the best way to evolve a concept or profession.  I also feel that an ACSM monopoly does exist.  Interestingly, not all faults can be placed on that organization for this.  It is the responsibility of other organizations (ASEP et al.) to market their ideas to exercise physiologists with the hope that they will listen.  I encourage all who visit this site to make others aware that exists and that, regardless of personal opinion, one should consider the concepts ASEP addresses.



Letter from the President of ASEP
Steven Jungbauer

As President of ASEP, I was pleased to represent the national professional organization of Exercise Physiologists at ACSMís Joint Review Committee on Accreditation meeting held in San Francisco, CA on May 31, 2003.  A special thanks to ACSM for inviting ASEP to attend this meeting and the opportunity to provide our perspective on professional issues related to Exercise Physiologists. 

Since this meeting the ASEP Board of Directors has been considering comments from our membership, ASEP affiliated state organizations, and representatives of several sister organizations regarding ACSMís proposed development of CAAHEP accredited programs for fitness professionals and clinical exercise physiologists. 

At the June 25th meeting of the Board of Directors we came to the following conclusions:

1. Although ASEP is encouraged that ACSM appears interested in assisting in the professionalization of Exercise Physiologistsô and has invited our input on this matter, we do not feel that it is in the best interest of practicing Exercise Physiologists to support this effort. 
2. This effort may actually slow the significant progress already made by Exercise Physiologists to become a legally recognized allied health profession through ASEP academic accreditation, board certification, licensure, and self-governance. 
3. Exercise Physiologists would be better served if ACSM supported and endorsed ASEPís efforts to professionalize Exercise Physiologists rather than developing duplicative accreditation programs. 

As a Board, we felt it was our professional responsibility to explain to ACSM the logic behind our decision.   We feel that such an explanation was important to: 

1. Prevent the misinterpretation of our position as an expression of negativity towards ACSM.
2. To help ACSM understand the frustration among Exercise Physiologists towards this initiative. 
3. To describe how we feel that this effort may be detrimental to the exercise physiology-health-fitness industries and professional development of Exercise Physiologists. 

In a letter from the ASEP Board of Directors we outlined our opposing position based upon the following four items:

1. Developing individual professions is inconsistent with ACSMís mission and multidisciplinary membership.
2. Highlighted the disappointment of Exercise Physiologists towards ACSM if they continue an effort to infringe upon the Exercise physiologists scope of practice. 
3. Explained that ASEP is already meeting professional needs of Exercise Physiologists and that ACSMís support of ASEP would provide a more timely and appropriate solution to the crisis in the exercise industry.
4. Shared our analysis of the impact that more professionals and certification will have on fitness and exercise industry.
Exercise Physiology is a profession built upon a defined scope of practice, standardized academic training, and certification upon graduation of an accredited academic program. But great importance is the fact that a profession must have self-governance through a national organization whose sole purpose is to protect and defend the profession and its scope of practice. ASEP is working to achieve these professional goals and legal recognition through regulation or licensure. 

Purpose of the ASEPNewsletter
This monthly newsletter is designed to update the members of the ASEP organization and the general public on the current events regarding ASEP.  The newsletter will contain actions recently taken by the Board of Directors as well as any recent information, decisions, and future goals of ASEP.  There will be featured updates from the chairpersons of the leading ASEP committees, news briefs regarding the recent advances in the professional development of exercise physiology and guest editorials.  If you would like to contribute to this newsletter or if you are just looking for general information regarding ASEP, feel free to contact me at the following e-mail address.  Also, don't forget to sign up for the "ASEP E-mail Updates" of this newsletter. 

Register for ASEP email updates

Editorial Policy
The ASEPNewsletter is not a refereed newsletter.  Newsletters are open-ended so as to present a diverse set of opinions.  The papers in the each issue are concerned with issues and topics that have a bearing on the professionalization of exercise physiology.  As Editor, I especially welcome articles that critically address specific features of ASEP and its efforts to develop exercise physiology.  Views that support ASEP's vision, goals, and objectives as well as views that do not provide valuable lessons for our readers. 

Submitted Papers
Submitted papers should be unpublished and non-copyrighted.  Submission of a paper will imply that it contains original unpublished work and is not submitted for publication elsewhere.  The Editor will pursue a policy of timely and meaningful review of each paper.  After the paper is accepted, the author(s) must provide the paper's final version in an electronic file on a diskette.  The paper should follow the example of published articles in the ASEPNewsletter.  The text format is flexible (regarding center headings, side flush headings, and so forth).  The reference style should conform to the style presently used in the JEPonline.

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