| Editors: Dr. Lonnie
Lowery and Dr. Tommy Boone
Does an EP Deserve Licensure?
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
Does an Exercise Physiologist Deserve
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
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
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
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
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