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Past Issues


Vol 6 No 5 
May 2002 

ISSN 1097-9743

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The ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news items about exercise physiology. It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals, and events that shape exercise physiology.  We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their thoughts and ideas. 

From the Editor:
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, MA, FASEP, EPC

Register for ASEP email updates

The following email was received just recently at the ASEP National Office.  It is a practical demonstration of how unsuccessful the old exercise physiology has prevailed in the public sector.  This young man entered the field with dreams of translating his/her abilities into powerful realities.  I can say without reservations that he/she has failed to see the dreams and hopes of the heart unfold as a healthcare practitioner in the public sector.  The content of the email is real.  The emotions are real.  Neither is consoling and, unfortunately, there is the feeling of wasted time and worthless ideas. 

What Do You See When You Look 
Into the Heart of an Exercise Physiologist?

"Great Expectations"

The average observer (and many PhD exercise physiologists) glancing up from their intense work would hardly have suspected that the "student" had a dream.  To penetrate through the "whatever" -- is to confirm the treasures of the heart.  Is it possible that we fail a 100+ times when we share a narrow vision?  This is a brief, one-email story of a young person who has put thoughts and ideas into words.  As I read it, I'm reminded how I must do better to continually turn the heads of those who fail to understand.

"Greetings Dr. Boone,

My name is ....... and I have read most of what is online at the exercise physiology web site.  I would like to discuss a few items that I hope will be pertinent. They do reflect much of what is said in your writings dealing with the emerging career, professionalism etc..

First of all, I have a B.S. in exercise science from ...., 1992, and a M.S. in exercise physiology from ..... I finally published my thesis in the..... After recently ordering transcripts it became evident to me what I was thinking at age 18 and even at age 23-25 with my M.S. training. I guess at the time I was too caught up in my athletic career as a distance runner to seriously think about where this training would lead and to confront my professors about the industry.

At the time I  was just pursuing a dream, I guess I thought I might end up at the USOTC or someplace similar. Anyway as most former students with this training, I pursued an NSCA certification and became an excellent fitness trainer. I moved to Nashville TN in .... and I eventually found a job as an exercise specialist at a major Medical Center health promotion department.  I performed some testing, max treadmills, hydrostatic weighting, flexibility assessments, diet intakes, some community health fairs, etc., and the rediculous supervising of members on the exercise floor, where I would continually get asked what it is I do. 

As the amount of testing was cut back, my career choice  became evident to me that I could not work along side a therapist and receive insurance reimbursement. I had several health promotion jobs previous to my .... job (including a graduate teaching assistant position) so by this point I had pretty much determined I wanted to have a much more hands on (practitioner) career and not just lecture about general health. 

All my detailed graduate physiology courses (comparative cellular, medical, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, energy and metabolism, organic and biochem, nutrition, lab techniques, and thesis research courses have done nothing but put me in debt and raise my expectations to perform satisfying work. Even after ending school I had a thirst to learn more. I bought joint structure, orthopedic, rehab books etc.. to learn and as far as I was concerned I was definitely knowledgable enough to perform some skills of therapy. But of course that was not allowed. 

After all if a physical therapist wanted to learn blood draws, nutrition screening or other lab tests they should be allowed to learn and practice them. Sure I could converse about hemodynamics, phospholipids, connective tissue metabolism, oxidative phosphorlation, sports training, but who cares.  I had several years experience at that point testing athletes due to my natural interest as a Lance Armstrong wannybe. (Or so I thought). After all what I really wanted to do now was make a difference with diseased populations or injury rehab. So I continued on and later left my low paying position at .... and made much better money as an independent trainer for healthy people to pay back my private college training.

I currently have my reume on file with a large health care staffing agency who is hiring various holistic practitioners for pain management clinics. It's not looking good at the moment however. I have contaced chiropractors to possibly work as an assistant as well as other professionals. Forgive me if I sound a little emotionally heightened, I currently work as a painter, because my fitness training became difficult balancing it with a second job and dealing with health clubs so about 1 1/2 years ago I dropped it all and have turned into mister blue collar man.

At this point I am continuing to just grunt out a rather unenjoyable work profession and every time I thing about those wasted years I can barely stand it. I have even gotten turned down for cardiovascular tech positions because I am not a licensed cardiovascular tech, physical therapy assistant positions and others. My wife and I our finally getting a house and going back to school is out of the question at least for a few years. 

Allow me to end by saying that I have been planning on becoming a member of the organization of exercise physiologists and possibly study for the fall exam. It's just that I have been unfocused as of late and I have lost heart because each day I go to work now and paint ( I realize I am losing my valuable skills) and I would be embarassed to list my current work as a painter on the membership application.

So thats where I am, a product of a state university and a private college with lots of memories. I realize there is nothing you can do but I figured as a well educated man and the founder of ASEP you may be the one for me to complain to.  Hopefully you will get my application soon and I wish you well with your pursuits.

I do thank you for your time to read this."

The following email is my response to this young person.  Why am I posting it here?  Because I want others, who are experiencing similar difficulties, to come to terms with the power within them.  As difficult as it may be, try hard to be strong and stay true to your course of action.

"Dear ....

Sorry for the delay in responding, I've been out of town on accreditation stuff on behalf of ASEP, members, and exercise physiology.  I read your email with some understanding of what you must still be going through.  To pursue a dream, to still have it in your heart, and yet not be allowed and/or encouraged to realize it in ways that may have been promised is not just a disappointment but some form of hell.  I wish I could be more helpful, but all I can say is that your story is one of many I've read from sent to the ASEP National Office.  Your understanding of the disconnect between the "education process we professors put our students through" and the real life public sector story is the reason for the ASEP organization. 

I understand your sense of "raised expectations" and all for what.  We are working as hard as we can, and we are making progress at that on behalf of all exercise physiologists (and not just the PhD ones).  It is an uphill struggle because many PhD/EPs and, unfortunately, many non-PhD/EPs simply don't it yet.  They think sports medicine is exercise physiology and, I think, they are afraid of admitting their mistakes.  Life is too short to let the inertia of yesterday's thinking keep such a strong grip on us.  We need young professionals like yourself to get involved in ASEP, if possible.  We need leaders, such as I think you are, to help argue our case before the world. 

We are at war with physical therapy and other healthcare practitioners.  This is as I see it.  Creating a profession is tough enough, but doing it against the will of others is a challenge of major significance.  I understand the challenge, and I am in the battle for the rest of life.  At some point, I believe the door will open more and we will stop losing good people such as yourself.  You have the right to want to make a difference, and you can still do so.  Today and yesterday do not have to be memories that went wrong somehow.  Please keep the dream in front of you and never give up even if it should mean painting 40,000 houses. 

Figure it out.  Don't give up even if it means a 1000 sacrifices.  Dreams are what wake people up and get them to work.  They give up our joy and passion in life.  Our hopes give us the reason for living and coming to terms with life.  Yet, having said this, I know of some of the challenges you have written about.  That is why we created the Board Certification (the EPC exam), that is why we are accrediting undergraduate programs, and trying as hard as possible to help other exercise physiologists think outside of their years of the sports medicine myth. 

Don't lose heart, and don't give up on realizing your dreams.  I know.  Easy said, easy said.  That is life, though.  Maybe this is exactly what has been put in your path to overcome if not to realize the power within you to define who you are.  In the end, whether it is painting a house or working in sales or whatever, we can learn from it and that helps us later in sharing with others.  You haven't lost anything even if it should take another 10 years.  What matters most is the strength of your determination. Persistence is the key to life's challenges. 

For certain, don't be embarassed about working.  Many great men and women have had to do just about every job possible to realize their dreams. Take pride in doing what is right for your family.  I have great respect for you.  For the moment, what state do you live in (should you want to email me again)?  It just occurred to me that if you should live in a state where their isn't an exercise physiology association, maybe it could become an evening hobby to keep your mind fix on your goals and dreams.  ASEP can help with creating such an association in several important ways.  You could become the President of the association and a direct line connection to the ASEP vision, goals and objectives.  If this is not possible, then we can figure something out else, that is, if you want to.

By the way, in summary, please do complain to me whenever it is necessary.  I'm working on behalf of you.  This is what ASEP is about.  We want to change things (and we have done so, even in 5 years) to make dreams possible within the context of exercise physiology.  Sounds somewhat dumb like, but it is my right, your right, and the right of others to share in the creation of our emerging profession.  Having said this, I look forward to your application to the ASEP organization.

Tommy Boone"

Just so you don't forget that ASEP is working on your behalf, please read the ASEP President's Message:

ASEP On The Move
Richard B. Kreider, PhD, EPC, FACSM
Professor and Assistant Department Chair, Director, Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Human Movement Sciences and Education, he University of Memphis, 106 Elma Roane Field House, Memphis, TN 38152-3480

In the Presidential Address that I delivered at the 4th Annual ASEP meeting, I indicated that one of my initial goals was to evaluate the activities of existing ASEP committees as well as to determine whether additional committees were necessary.  During the last two months, I have been evaluating the progress made by ASEP committees and have developed list of action items in consultation with ASEP Past Presidents and Committee Chairs.  Through the vision and leadership of our Past Presidents, Committee Chairs, and many ASEP members, significant progress has been made to advance the profession of exercise physiology.  However, we must continue to move forward if we are to realize our vision.

This newsletter provides an update about some of the initiatives we have planned for ASEP this year.  As you will see, ASEP is on the move.  However, we will need your help to accomplish some of these goals.  Please look over the administrative and committee initiatives described below and help us accomplish these goals.  The best professional organizations are those whose members take an active role in various initiatives and activities.  We can only move ASEP forward if its members actively engage in the professional development of exercise physiology.  I look forward to your involvement in ASEP.

Administrative Initiatives
Membership Information Update
In an electronic age, we have found one of the best ways to keep people informed about the activities of ASEP is through e-mail.  However, a number of our members email addresses are no longer functional.  Please look at your mailing and email address in the Directory of Membership and send an email to the ASEP National Office to let them know if the information is correct and/or needs to be revised.  They will then update your contact information on the Directory of Membership.  We are planning on developing a member email listserve so that we can enhance communication among ASEP leadership and members.

We are planning on developing an electronic newsletter that can be sent to ASEP members through the email list-serve.  The purpose will be to provide a means of updating ASEP members in a timely manner about various activities of ASEP in order to encourage their involvement.  In order to do so, we need you to update your email address in the Directory of Membership by sending an email to the ASEP National Office.

Membership Drive
If ASEP is going to make a greater professional impact, we need to increase membership.  The best way to do this is if our current members invite others to join ASEP.  Therefore, ASEP is going to provide you some incentive.  From now until March 31, 2002, you will receive a 20% discount on your annual membership fees for every professional member that you encourage to join ASEP and a 10% discount for every student member that you encourage to join ASEP.  In addition, the top three ASEP members who encourage the most professionals and students to join ASEP will receive a complimentary registration at the next ASEP Annual Meeting.  This means that if you sign up 5 professional members or 10 student members you will have no annual membership fees for one year.  If you are one of the individuals who signs up the most members, your conference registration will be waived at the next meeting.Additionally, your membership efforts will be recognized at the Annual Meeting.

Student Chapter Drive
One of the best ways to encourage student membership and involvement in ASEP is to start a student chapter at your university.  However, students won’t take the initiative to do so unless they are given an incentive and/or faculty supervisors take an active role in encouraging them to start a student chapter.  Therefore, from now until March 31, 2002, students who join ASEP as part of a new student chapter will receive a 50% discount on their annual membership fee.  I am also going to propose to the ASEP Board of Directors that we have an award at the Annual Meeting for the largest and most active ASEP student chapter.  Students at the University of Memphis have been organizing their student chapter and plan to bring this award home to Memphis.So let the competition begin!

Accreditation Drive
Accreditation of academic programs is essential to professionalize exercise physiology.  However, this requires administrative support and direction.  Therefore, over the next few months, ASEP will be developing an email list of key faculty and administrators at leading academic institutions in order to encourage them to seek academic accreditation.  If you are interested in ASEP sending a letter to faculty colleagues, Department Chairs, Deans, and/or Provosts at your institution, please email the appropriate names, titles, addresses, and email addresses to my office.  I will send a personal email letter to these administrators to inform them about ASEP accreditation.

Committee Initiatives
Over the last month, I have been in contact with Past ASEP Presidents and Chairs of ASEP committees.  Based on this, I have provided some action items that I have asked committees to work on this next year.  In addition, I have launched two other major initiatives.  The following summarizes some of the major projects each committee will be working on this year.  If you are interested in assisting with any of these efforts, please contact me or the Committee Chair’s to volunteer.

Certification Committee- Chair, Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, FASEP, EPC
Conduct an item analysis on the written examination and review skills evaluated in the EPC practical exam.  Develop a list of knowledge, skills, and aptitudes (KSAs) for exercise physiologists (EPs) and then compare these KSAs to the written exam and practical exam to make sure the examination properly evaluates these competencies.  Develop an ASEP Guidelines Manual that can be used for EP practitioners and candidates studying the EPC exam. Finalize the EPC “Grandfather” criteria.

Accreditation Committee- Chair, Dale R. Wagner, PhD, CSCS
Finalize methods of evaluation and prepare members of the Board of Accreditation to begin reviewing applications.  Develop a list of email addresses for Department Chairs, Deans, and Provosts of institutions with exercise physiology and/or exercise science programs.Investigate obtaining endorsements for ASEP accreditation from appropriate organizations.

Licensure Committee- Chair, LaGary Carter, DA
Develop a State licensure manual that can help ASEP members obtain State licensure.

Public Education Committee- Chair, Robert Robergs, PhD, FASEP, EPC
Develop a list develop of ASEP members who can serve as ASEP Ambassadors for interested media to promote ASEP.  Develop a web page with a list of ASEP Ambassadors, contact information, and areas of expertise that can be posted to the ASEP web page for individuals in the media to contact.

Research Committee- Chair, Serge P. von Duvillard, PhD, FACSM
Develop an ASEP Research Award for students and faculty for the best paper presented at the ASEP meeting and published in the Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline or Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline.  This award will be presented at the ASEP annual meeting.  Develop a letter to be sent to prospective funding agencies seeking support of grants to ASEP.  Investigate developing a Research Foundation for ASEP grants.

Annual Meeting Committee- Chair, Robert Robergs, PhD, FASEP, EPC
Evaluate potential sites and finalize dates and the location for the 5th Annual ASEP National Meeting.  Develop an Annual Meeting Application Form so that individuals interested in hosting the meeting can submit a proposal to the Annual Meeting Committee.  Develop a list of potential invited speakers.

Resource Committee- Chair, Tim Ziegenfuss, PhD, CSCS, EPC
Establish a process for individuals to contribute funds to ASEP.  Explore grant/funding opportunities for ASEP.  Solicit support from corporations and industry to support ASEP through research grants, funding of the annual meeting, and public education.  Develop a list of potential vendors and exhibitor guidelines for groups interested in exhibiting at the annual meeting. 

Other Initiatives
ASEP Journals
The Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline and Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline are currently indexed by SPORTDiscus.  However, I would like to increase the exposure of these journals.  Therefore, I have asked Dr. Robergs to further explore the process of having these journals indexed by Medline or other appropriate indexing services.  To do so, we will need ASEP members and others to continue to submit quality research and scholarly reviews to these journals.

ASEP Fellowship
I have asked the ASEP Board of Directors to nominate active ASEP members to become Fellows of ASEP (FASEP) as well as establish credentials and an evaluation process.  My goal is to have prominent members of ASEP to become Fellows so that we will begin to see FASEP listed as frequently as other organizations fellow credentials (e.g., FACSM or FAACVPR).  I believe that this will increase visibility of ASEP in a similar manner as EPC.

Membership Challenge
As I stated in my Presidential Address, our choice is simple.  We either let exercise physiology remain an undefined academic area leading to jobs under the umbrella of other professional groups and/or organizations or we take steps to create our own destiny and profession.  ASEP has laid the foundation so that we can build a better future for exercise physiology.  Now it is up to us to make it happen.  I have developed a challenging agenda of new initiatives and committee assignments.  I ask that you support ASEP by getting involved in one of these initiatives.  If we accomplish the tasks desribed, we will make a difference.