2012 London Olympics warning for GPs

GPs who sign up as medical volunteers for the 2012 Olympics should ensure they are properly trained and indemnified, experts have warned.

GPs should be fully trained to deal with athletic injuries (Photograph: Istock)
GPs should be fully trained to deal with athletic injuries (Photograph: Istock)

Londonwide LMCs medical director Dr Tony Grewal said doctors without the highest level of training in sports medicine or related specialities would be putting themselves at risk if they offered to treat or manage a sports-related condition in an athlete.

‘If GPs are thinking of offering services as a volunteer they should ensure they are adequately trained,’ he said.

‘Advice for an ordinary person with a sprained ankle will be very different to what you advise an elite athlete to do.’

Volunteers should also be prepared to treat illnesses and diseases they were unfamiliar with, Dr Grewal added.

‘The Olympics will attract a large number of visitors from all over the world. GPs will need to be aware of the nature of illness and prevalence of other illnesses abroad and be able to recognise things we don’t normally come across, such as malaria,’ he said.

‘Volunteers will also have to deal with problems relating to language, culture and different ethnic backgrounds.’

Editors' blog: London 2012: want to make the Games as a medic?

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