Episode 45 – with Dr. Mark Benton

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Mark Benton is the club doctor at Boreham Wood Football Club, as well as a match day doctor for Luton Town. We chat to Mark about sports medicine, medicals and specifically the issue of concussions within football.

Icebreaker:

Given today’s guest’s profession the group break the ice by naming their favorite doctors from the world of fiction!

On Mark’s Childhood Love for Sports and Getting Involved in Sports Medicine:

Dr. Benton recalls his early football memories and compares the experience of being a United fan back in the day under Sir Alex Ferguson to Ole’s time at the wheel so far.

Mark tells the guys about his first steps into sports medicine within football and tells them about his own personal career goals within medicine/football… ideally he might like to end up working in sports medicine within a high level academy setup one day.

Legends of the Physio Room:

The group plays a guessing game focused on notoriously injury-prone players and try to figure out which footballer managed more appearances during their spells at specific clubs.

Dean Ashton vs. Kieron Dyer (West Ham United)
Jack Wilshere vs. Abou Diaby (Arsenal)
Michael Owen vs. Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United)
Harry Kewell vs. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Ibrahim Afellay vs. Stephen Ireland (Stoke)

On Boreham Wood, Luton Town and Other Sports:

Mark explains his respective roles at both of the football clubs that he currently works for. At Boreham Wood, lower down the football pyramid and at a level closer to grass-roots, Mark has additional responsibilities compared to team doctors in the Premier League for instance. If an accident or emergency happens within the vicinity of Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park stadium, Dr. Benton is on call. Mark also gets into the politics of sports medicine and player management when it comes to the higher stakes of life in the Football League with Luton Town; often decisions are made surrounding injured players that go against the immediate advice of the medical professionals and so it’s a question of compromising between the player, the coach and the medical team.

Mark has worked in other sports such as basketball, rugby and even events like Tough Mudder; he gives us the lowdown on which athletes take the best care of themselves and have the most appreciation for sports medicine.

On Sports Medicine as a Practice and the New Concussion Protocol:

Dr. Benton gives his opinions on the new concussion substitutions rule recently implemented by the FA and the Premier League which allows up to 2 additional subs per team in the result of concussions. Mark also weighs in on the efficiency of the screening process that takes place during players’ medicals and projects forward to practices and solutions within the world of sports medicine that we may look back on in years to come in an archaic and regretful light. He also shares his thoughts on what should happen in the very serious circumstance of cardiac arrest on the pitch and leaves us with his thoughts on Manchester United’s season moving forward.

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