Copyright ©1997-2004 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.


  Sunday September 5, 2004
 Vol. 8 No. 9

 Editors: Dr. Lonnie Lowery and Dr. Tommy Boone 

What's New?


September Student Editorial
Does an EP Deserve Licensure?
Julia Minev, BS
Comparison of Training Loads And Physiological Responses In Athletes: Consideration Of Body Weight Implications (2004; 7(3):134-139.)
Venkata Ramana, et al.
When Is A Person Believable?

Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, MA, FASEP, EPC

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Check out the HPN Links!

Seventh Annual Meeting Abstract Submissions
Meeting Date: April 8-9, 2005
The ASEP Editors
Ask the Professor
With Dr. Don Diboll

(coming soon!)


Does an Exercise Physiologist Deserve Licensure?

Julia Minev, BS

What is an Exercise Physiologist (EP)? How much schooling does he or she need?  Does he need to take an exam? Is he licensed to practice?  Licensure is apparently a hot topic in the world of exercise physiology. I have just completed my bachelors degree in Nutrition along with 1800 hours of a dietetic internship and I am facing a tough question:  What would I like to do with my life? You might you ask, What does that have to do with Exercise Physiology? Well, I have considered becoming an Exercise Physiologist (EP) along with the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential to broaden my scope of practice. 

I began to research what is entailed in becoming an EP and how they are recognized. It appears pretty intense to me: a four-year college degree (or more), the Exercise Physiologist Certified Exam (EPC), and if you want to go clinical, a minimum of 1200 hours of clinical experience may also be required.

My next question about becoming an EP was How would my patients know I am credible?  Well, they wont as I see it. Unfortunately, EPs are not licensed, nor are they uniformly certified. This means that anyone that has completed some form of training in the area of Exercise Physiology can call themselves a specialist. How do clients/patients know who is really legit? 

Providing EPs with a license will protect the public. In theory, state licensure will validate that EPs have acquired the knowledge for safe performance. A licensure exam would eliminate the unqualified and protect consumers from harm. This sounds so simple; what is the problem? The problem is that academic programs around the nation vary so greatly and there is no standard. Therefore, in order to reach a completely professional status, a standard set of course work (a.k.a. accreditation Ed.) would logically include hands on experiences in anatomy, kinesiology/ biomechanics, and exercise physiology labs - and internship hours in actual practice must be required in order for one to become licensed. Not only will licensure protect the public from meaningless credentials, it will also provide other clinicians with proof that professional responsibilities have been successfully completed. This should result in greater respect. In my own experience working with clinicians, I have observed that even licensed and certified professionals have difficulty gaining respect and credibility at times. Without a license or certification, I cant even imagine!

So why hasnt this happened yet?  From my point of view, its disorder. There is a lack of conformity in academics, organizations, requirements, and job advancements. According to Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, MA, FASEP, EPC: EPs have been working so hard in developing research interests and application to the athletics and sports, rehabilitation and lifestyle matters, they simply have not thought about it.  Most professors at the university level have a PhD and are involved in education and research although, those who chose to work in their field have a very different view - and job description - as an exercise physiologist. 

I feel that there is a great need for EPs in the clinical as well as community realm in todays world. The licensure of EPs will be a step toward emphasizing their importance in a society stricken by obesity and its related disease states. The incidence of overweight is a dangerous 60% and is partly due to diet, yes, but also due to an increasingly common sedentary lifestyle. To me, EPs can be especially useful in the form of prevention in schools, hospitals, corporations, health/wellness facilities, or community settings. Proper exercise education and reinforcement of behaviors may be the key to helping America become active. As an RD-eligible and an aspiring EP, I feel that diet and exercise go hand in hand. Once EPs gain the proper professional status, their education and resources may be the answer we need to help improve Americas health. In my opinion, I agree that EPs need licensure to establish and broaden their scope of practice, gain more respect and credibility, and become standard and recognized.  

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Copyright ©1997-2004 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.  All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). Any reproduction, retransmission, or republication (in whole or in part) of any document or information found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless otherwise agreed to by ASEP and expressly granted in writing to consent to reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved. 



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