2 No 9
National MEETING SCHEDULE
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. While it contains views and
opinions of the Editor
who oversees the ASEP Internet Websites, visitors can have a voice as well.
We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail
the Publisher their thoughts and ideas or to respond directly via the ASEP
is presenting at the upcoming ASEP National Meeting? Oct. 2-3, 1998 in
Our internet friends worldwide can locate the American
Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) in the Dr.
MEDMarket's Health Services Index! This index contains links to health
service providers and related companies. This new capability will allow
others to find us from many different windows of opportunities. We are
located in the Medical
Resources Index Category.
Robert A. Robergs is pleased to annouce the third electronic copy of the
of Exercise Physiologyonline
will be published by ASEP the 1st of October, 1998.
National Office is located on the campus
of the College of St. Scholastica
in the Department of Exercise Physiology. The department is located in
the Science Center
in front of the Tower
Hall. Why not plan
of Exercise Physiologyonline
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of Exercise Physiologyonline
January, 1998, ASEP membership has continued to grow. As the first step
to the professionalization of exercise physiology, the Society is in the
business of preserving and improving the professional status of exercise
physiologists. The exciting thing about the organization is that it exists
because of the ongoing importance of exercise physiology by exercise physiologists.
As Winston S. Churchill said, "This is not the end. It is not even the
beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
the present time, there are 100 paying members! That's right. There are
21 members with an undergraduate degree, 49 members with a master's degree,
and 30 members with a doctorate degree. The majority of ASEP's membership
lies with BS and MS degreed professionals (70% vs 30% [PhD]. In a somewhat
different light, ASEP has averaged 11 members per month since January,
1998. That's GOOD. We are here. We will make a difference because it is
logical and right. Guess what? There are also 33 non-paying members for
different reasons, for a total membership of 133 members!!!
this is not the end. Nor even the beginning of the end. But it is, we believe,
the end of the beginning --- the beginning of the challenging and arduous
but eminently doable task of building a visionary organization to professionalize
is it about ASEP that is important to know?
In a Title?
Boone, PhD, MPH
of Exercise Physiology
College of St. Scholastica
Title is important. I am an exercise physiologist. I am not an exercise
scientist. The academic area I work in is exercise physiology. It is not
exercise science. The name of the department I Chair is the Department
of Exercise Physiology. It is not the Department of Exercise Science. My
students get either an undergraduate or a graduate degree in exercise physiology.
My students graduate as exercise physiologists!
the same building I teach, there are academic programs for nursing, physical
therapy, occupational therapy, and so forth. At the completion of their
course work, the students from these programs graduate into their respective
professions. The nursing student, as an example, is a nurse. The physical
therapy graduate is a physical therapist. Rightfully so, the academic specificity
of each program sets the stage for both professional work and title.
is in a title? Everything! I can't imagine my students would want to graduate
from college with an academic major in exercise physiology to be told that
they can not refer themselves as exercise physiologists, but rather exercise
scientists (or worst yet, exercise specialists). Would you?
it is possible to totally miss the point of an academic major. Most people
wouldn't think that would ever happen. Yet, I have had one such experience
in recent months in which a graduate from my department was led to believe
that h/she could not be an exercise physiologist without a doctorate degree.
Many people who tend to believe such nonsense have PhDs! They worked hard
for the degree and, therefore, unless everyone else walks the same walk,
they can not be one of them.
I look back at the courses I took at the PhD level, I can appreciate that
undergraduates who are in an academic exercise physiology major are taking
courses very similar to my graduate work. This point is especially true
if the exercise physiology professors are doing their job. Therefore, in
short, one could understand that certain undergraduate students have the
right to refer to themselves as exercise physiologists (even if they have
not published one article). Why? Because publishing per se, while important,
does not make an exercise physiologist. Moreover, there are many exercise
physiologists who do not publish!
in mind that I understand the difference between an undergraduate degree
and a graduate degree. Clearly, there are differences between the two which
isn't the issue in this paper. The point is my students are required to
take the following core courses: kinesiology, biomechanics, physiological
assessment, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise prescription, ECG/stress testing,
advanced exercise physiology, sports nutrition, psychophysiology and so
forth. Depending upon their specialization in the exercise physiology major
(athletic training, sports psychology, research, sports management), they
are required to take additional courses. They are also required to do an
internship in three of the four options.
addition to taking a significant number of exercise physiology courses,
the students are responsible for paying college tuition in the amount of
$60,000 or $70,000. Naturally, after graduation, the students are required
to start paying for the loans, which is even higher than the amount indicated
because of additional college expenses and loans!
is in a title? Everything from money to pride. It defines the person and,
in many cases, it is the person. For example, I have been an exercise physiologist
since I completed the PhD from Florida State under the mentorship of Dr.
Ron Byrd (an exercise physiologist). I stopped being a physical educator
in 1971. It is amazing to me that I'm still explaining this point to other
educators. I can still remember a colleague at a previous university who
was determined to convince me that I was a physical educator. Why? Well,
because my undergraduate and master's degrees were in health and physical
only imagine how the reader may view such an idea. It doesn't make sense
to me. Rather, as a person gets more or different degrees, that person
has a right to the new academics titles. In fact, although I haven't worked
in public health since earning the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree,
I have the right to refer to myself as a public health professional. By
the same token, when I finish the Master of Arts degree in Management,
I have the academic right to the professional title and all that it defines
(an so it is with my students who graduate as exercie physiologists).
are important! They define who we are and what we do. The problem with
exercise physiology as a career field is that unfortunately there isn't
an academic history to examine and study (i.e., outside of contemporary
version of the closure of the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory). Surely, someone
other than I has figured out that we, as exercise physiologists, are (and
have been) more than the idea of two decades of outstanding productivity
from the "fatigue lab."
physiology has without question been influenced by the great men and women
of the past. Their contributions to the scientific discovery of facts about
human performance are tremendous. We owe them plenty because they created
a window of opportunity where it did not exist. That doesn't mean, however,
that it would not have been created at some point along the way. Physical
educators have, for example, accomplished much of what physiologists and/or
medical doctors set out to do decades ago. Our heritage is rightfully more
in the hands of educators than doctors. It is more aligned with academic
course work than laboratory experiences, although the latter is changing.
the right course work and hands-on experiences (both practical and research),
students can be academically prepared to be exercise physiologists. They
should be academically prepared by exercise physiologists and not by medical,
physiological, or biological science departments. The acquisition of knowledge
and its organization for dissemination in college classrooms by exercise
physiologists prepares the students for service in the profession of exercise
of course, not all academic programs are equal and, for the most part,
there are significantly more "exercise science" programs than "exercise
physiology." Not only are there problems with lack of consistency from
one college program to the next, there are disagreements as to which courses
should be included in such programs. To be sure, since there is a difference
in what constitutes an academic degree versus an academic emphasis, programs
that offer a degree in exercise physiology are (potentially) better than
programs with an emphasis. Generally, therefore, students from academic
programs with a major in kinesiology or human performance and an emphasis
in exercise science (or even exercise physiology) are not as well prepared
as students from departments with a degree in exercise physiology.
a degree in exercise science is not without problems because one doesn't
know (without analyzing the course work) if the major (by title) is a new
program of study or simply a change in the department name in which the
old course work still remains in place. All one has to do is look up several
colleges on the internet to verify this point.
problem is multi-dimensional, but it shouldn't take from what has already
evolved as a natural state of academic and professional development. Consequently,
only academic exercise physiology programs graduate exercise physiologists.
Programs by the name of exercise science can not graduate exercise physiologists
no more so than an academic major in science can graduate a biologist.
problem lies not with the academic exercise physiology programs, but instead
with programs that do not offer a major in exercise physiology. Such programs
should be updated with an adequate listing of course work. In some cases,
many of the college instructors may require better academic training. This
is not a new thought or criticism. The issue of quality instructors dates
back for decades. Part of the problem is the lack of a professional organization
to guide the development of the professional and, in particular, the development
of the instructional courses in exercise physiology.
surprisingly, it is difficult to emphasize the importance of title without
discussing the importance of qualified faculty to oversee rigorous requirements
for exercise physiology students. In fact, it is now time more than ever
before to address both issues at the undergraduate level and not just at
the doctorate level. Exercise physiology is now more than only an in-depth
academic preparation at the doctorate level. Graduate programs are important
but now undergraduate programs that offer exercise physiology course work
are important too.
the era has ended when only PhDs can be called exercise physiologists.
With the ending of one era and the beginning of another era, there is justification
in acknowledging an exercise physiologist by title. This approach is consistent
with the earlier examples of being a nurse after earning an undergraduate
degree in nursing.
physiology societies and sports medicine organizations have not worked
to promote the identification and/or upgrade of the content of what constitutes
an exercise physiology curriculum, it the responsibility of the exercise
physiologists who teach in the academic settings to do so. However, college
professors have been very slow in addressing this point. Exercise physiologists
have joined the college ranks as professors, and have ended up teaching
essentially the same three or four exercise physiology courses year after
year. The professors have not addressed the issue of curriculum revision
from an exercise physiologist's point of view. Essentially no one has addressed
which courses should be taught, how they should taught, how much hands-on
experiences or laboratory opportunities are required and so forth. Not
until the organization of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists
(ASEP) has there been an emphasis on academic development and consistency
from one college to the next.
the lack of significant in-roads into communicating "what is what" -- exercise
physiologists have thus done their work without considering the pitfalls
of continuing without serious thought given to professionalism, program
prerequisites, and cognate course requirements at all levels of the students'
education. As a result, there is the notion that certification by sports
medicine groups will legitimize the field. Surely, everyone realizes that
any certification process that doesn't require a specific educational foundation
(as in a college degree) is essentially useless. It is truly a bandage
that will not work. It can not correct the problem of lack of attention
paid to professionalism.
ASEP is the professional organization committed to the unity of exercise
physiologists and the professionalization of exercise physiology, it will
attract the attention of national and international thinkers. Many of these
thinkers will embrace the move towards more academic programs (majors)
in exercise physiology and less in exercise science. Specialization will
gradually fall by the wayside as professionalization through better and
more comprehensive course content and hands-on laboratory and internship
opportunities become commonplace. The academic structure will be degree
specific with professional expectations and outcomes. The Society will
empower exercise physiologists thus enabling them to advance in the job
market. It will embrace all aspects of exercise physiology, particularly
the title of the profession.
is in a title? Everything! Exercise physiology defines who we are and what
we do. Today, we are a mix of exercise scientists and exercise physiologists.
In the near future, more of us will be exercise physiologists and less
exercise scientists. There is a difference. Interestingly, Charles Tipton
used the title "exercise physiology (ogists)" nearly 80 times in his paper
entitled, "Contemporary Exercise Physiology: Fifty Years...." I believe
the title "exercise science" was used one time in the 24 page paper. Also
important and of major significance is the title of the piece. Think about
power lies in our title as exercise physiologist!
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