IAMMM academy conference Rovinj 2017

by Dr. Wouter Schuller, MD, MSc Epidemiol Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

I recently returned from the Academy conference in Rovinj In very good spirits.
Having never been to Croatia, the stunning beauty of Rovinj was heartwarming, as was the great food, the good coffee, the company of enthusiastic colleagues, and even the morning swims in the rather cold Mediterranean Sea.
Indeed, a beautiful venue for a conference with a splendid view of the old town and harbor from the conference hall itself.

While the show was certainly stolen by the venue, this should not deter our attention from the scientific program. This was the fourth conference that I have attended, and the quality of the program has been improving over the years. It is a huge compliment to the organizers for putting together this tremendously interesting program. It is still a struggle to get a sound scientific basis for musculoskeletal medicine.
A lot of research will be necessary to find out which MSK interventions are beneficial for patients, and to find out what mechanisms might explain their effect.
Research is also indispensable to find recognition for the profession of MSK medicine and to be able to position our profession within the group of professionals concerned with the treatment of locomotor disorders.
To be able to do research at all, though, it is necessary to have connections with university networks, and to have access to research facilities.

The presence of speakers and attendees from various universities around the world showed that interest in MSK medicine, and the possibilities to undertake MSK research are increasing.
This was clearly reflected in the quality of the research presented.
I do hope that we will be able to continue this development. Although the possibilities to do research might be increasing, there is still an awful lot of research that needs to been done.
And, although the enthusiasm in the academy is stimulating, to do proper research will need a lot of investment in terms of developing expertise, finding funding opportunities, and of course conducting studies.
Compared to other professionals in the treatment of the locomotor system we are a small group of enthusiasts, and it is therefore necessary that we continue to cooperate, and be both critical and supportive to each other.

After attending this conference I am confident that we can further develop MSK research, and I am already looking forward to the next conference in Zurich.