Vol 3 No 5
May, 1999
ISSN 1097-9743

The ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news itmes 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 respond directly online via the ASEP Public Forum.
June 1999

Table of Contents

ASEP Public Forum
comments by Olivia Malone
 2nd Annual Meeting Guest Editorials
"4" new research articles
A Step At A Time
by Tommy  Boone
President's Report
by Robert Robergs
Dr. Robert Robergs
email YOUR President
"1" new article
ASEP Public Forum
ASEP comments
Student Chapters Web Sites of Interest

ASEP Advertisements

Professionalization: A Step At A Time
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, FASEP

ATURDAY afternoon, May 1, 1999 I decided to go for a walk.  Before I knew it, I had walked quite a distance and I wondered if I shouldn't turn back.  But, the sun was out and it was warm. I decided to keep on walking.  Besides, it had not been 56 degrees with a hot sun for some 5 months!  As I walking, it occurred to me that my office wasn't too far away and why not walk there and get my truck that I left on Friday afternoon.  Then, I could simply drive the 15 minutes back home.

After 3 hours and 15 minutes of walking, I realized that I had miscalulated the distance.  Eleven-plus miles is a pretty good distance when you are not acustomed to it.  To make matters worse, the walk from my home to the College of St. Scholastica was essentially up a hill the entire way.  One blister and a few sore muscles and here I am writing about it.

While I was walking I found myself getting tired.  The phrase, "one step at a time" kept me going.  It also occurred to me that "one step at a time" might be a good title for a brief article in the ASEPNewsletter.  I have been writing for the newsletter every month for some time now.  On occasion, it is a challenge, given my other responsibilities.  But, I keep thinking that one more article will help the readers put their thoughts on paper.

Since I created the newsletter, I suppose I could change it to a bimonthly newsletter.  Somehow, however, that seems more like giving up than pushing on.  Perhaps it is like someone offering you a ride to wherever you're going when the goal was to walk or jog there.  So, one month at a time, the newsletter continues.  This month, the ASEPNewsletter speaks out on behalf of the Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline (PEPonline) journal.

Developing a Profession
The PEPonlinejournal is about professionalization.  Developing a profession takes time.  First an occupation then a profession, but only after many steps in the right direction.  Change is inevitable and professors, in particular, must be willing partners in the change process.  ASEP is about change, respect, service, professionalism, and career opportunities.

What is a Profession?
The short answer is "not yet."  It is better to describe exercise physiology as a marginal profession.  It is, however, moving in the right direction.  For example, when an occupational group meets specific needs, that group is said to perform professional work.  ASEP members, as an exercise physiology group, are working together to achieve a common purpose and, in so doing, achieves a certain level of professionalism.

What is Professionalism?
Professionalism is a commitment of services that benefit the public.  The safety of the public is important.  The primary way the public is protected is by the condition of the work that is designated and/or regulated by a professional organization.  Therefore, the organization is indispensable to the advancement of the profession.

In short, the degree to which an occupational group has acquired the characteristics of a profession is referred to as "professionalization."  It is an ongoing process.  The characteristics of the ideal profession are:

  • intellectual
  • specialized body of knowledge
  • professional education
  • peer accountability
  • socially necessary, and
  • motivated by altrusim.
ASEP is making significant steps (one step at a time) in addressing the characteristics of professsionalization.  It is the organization for exercise physiologists with its own professional annual meeting.  It has given exercise physiologists a "new identity" with explicit outcomes and area of service.  Members adhere to a Code of Ethics, participate in national certification efforts, help in securing licensure, and are intervening directly or indirectly in the upgrade of educational programs.


President's Report

Dr. Robert Robergs has just recently submitted his  "President's Report." To read the complete report, click on March, 1999.

Student Chapters
Letters were mailed from the National Office to ASEP members encouraging them to develop an official ASEP Student Chapters, which reminds me that the Student Chapter at the University of New Mexico is online.   If you are interested in starting a chapter, contact either Dr. Robergs or the ASEP National Office (218-723-6297).

Be sure to click on the April 1999 JEPonline issue of ASEP's exercise physiology journal. There are several research articles for your enjoyment.

ASEP membership
We are an organization of 262 membersand still climbing.  To become a member, print the Membership Application and forward it to the ASEP National Office, or call an ASEP representative at (218) 723-6297, or visit additional web sites for more information via the Table of Contents.  Just for fun:Current weather at ASEP National Office

Guest editorials
The ASEPNewsletter is seeking guest editorials -- brief commentaries on a wide variety of issues. Everyone involved in: health, fitness, rehabilitation, sports, including medical, business, management, psychology, teachers, and students -- is welcome to share insights, concerns, points and counterpoints on any issue that impinges upon the exercise physiology profession.

To contribute a guest editorial, send, FAX (218)723-6472), or e-mail ( an essay and a brief biography. Send your contribution to:

ASEP National Office
College of St. Scholastica
Department of Exercise Physiology
1200 Kenwood Ave
Duluth, MN 55811

2nd Annual Meeting of ASEP  (October 14-16, 1999)

Conference Facility - Wyndham Hotel
Location - Albuquerque, NM
Inquiries -
Robert A. Robergs, Ph.D., FASEP
Conference Organizer
President - ASEP
Director Center For Exercise And Applied Human Physiology
Johnson Center, B143
The University Of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1258
Phone: (secretary): (505) 277-2658
FAX: (505) 277-9742
Hosts -
Exercise Science Program and the
University of New Mexico Student Chapter of ASEP
The University of New Mexico 


ASEP Public Forum for Exercise Physiologists

Exercise Physiology as
a Profession in the Medical Community
Olivia Malone
[Date Posted: Mon Apr 26 18:53:30 US/Central 1999]

I am an exercise physiologist with my master's degree, and I currently have a job in cardiac rehab in a hospital. I love my job, but I am frustrated by my limitations. Dr. Boone, I have been reading what has been posted on this website since its inception, and I must comment at this time. Because I work in the industry which you want to "professionalize", I can tell you right now, that the only thing that will give the exercise physiologist any respect in the medical community is licensure. That is it. Nothing more.

I have job limitations because I don't have a license. A national certification isn't going to cut it. In fact, in my opinion, it will be nothing more than a big waste of time and money. If the profession isn't licensed, then it isworthless, at least in the medical community. I don't mean to sound so negative, but I am only relaying reality. The medical field is all about liability. Licensed personnel are held accountable for everything, including what I do everyday. If I do something wrong to a patient, it is the licensed professional in the room who will get sued, not me.

I love exercise physiology. But at this time, I can only call it a science...not a profession. Until there is licensure, there will never be a profession in the medical community. I love working in cardiac rehab, but the only professional in that field is the licensed nurse.

My job experience has only shown me that if I want to be successful in the medical field, I must enter a licensed profession. I think the exercise physiology degree is a great degree as addition to one's education, but to rely on it solely as a profession is totally misleading, and downright false. I hope I don't sound too negative. There are some good thoughts on this website, but it's not enough if exercise physiologists want to be considered professionals in the medical community.

Thank you Olivia for sharing your comments and feelings.  On one very important point, we agree with you.  Licensure is important for the exercise physiologist who works in the medical field.  ASEP is interested in working with the exercise physiology state organizations (such as in Indiana, West Virginia, and others wherever) to bring about licensure.  We believe licensure is important.  But, it isn't important for all exercise physiologists.  Liability and accountability are important.  We agree as well.  However, certification is not as meaningless as you suggest.  Please read the article in the May 1999 issue of JEPonline.  Note that exercise physiology work opportunties are diverse.  While licensure will be very important for certain types of work, it will not be that important or even necessary to do other types of exercise physiology work.  Please consider the following steps in the professionalization process:

First, as Steve Jungbauer and Dave LaBore pointed out in their response to your posted message, let us ground what we do in a  solid academic program that has teeth.

Second, let us create a certification examination (such as the proposed EPC Exam) that defines the exercise physiologists by performance on academic outcomes and competencies.

Third, after a demonstrated certification test and process with integrity, then let us develop licensure for the exercise physiologists in the clinical field.

Fourth, please bear with ASEP members, they are trying very hard to create a profession for all exercise physiologists (regardless of where they work).

Fifth, as has been written before, however important clinical exercise physiology is (and we believe that it is an integral part of the emerging exercise physiology profession), it isn't exercise physiology.  The emerging profession is about all exercise physiologists not just those who work in the medical community.

In summary, we appreciate your willingness to share your concerns.  Even though other organizations have worked at becoming what they are after 50 to 100 years of change and growth, please bear with us at ASEP.  We are prone to make some mistakes along the way.  Such is life when an organization is just getting off the ground (ASEP was  founded in 1997). 

Check out the article in the Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonlinejournal.
"Defining The Exercise Physiologist"

Interesting web sites
Have you run across an interesting exercise physiology site?  If you have and would like it to be posted, please let me know via my email.

Check out Dr. Lim's new web site.  He is an ASEP member, full time professor, and owns his own swimming business!  Pretty busy fellow.  Keep up the great work Lim.

Marietta Marlins Swim

Check out the home page of VacuMed. A company "serving customers around the world in exercise physiology and cardiopulmonary science...."

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