PAUL DAVID SHIRLEY M.D. USA
Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Doctor
How long have you been involved in tennis and in what ways and I understand you were involved in founding the STMS. Tell me how that happened?
I was geographically blessed when the ATP organized and came to Ponte Vedra Florida. At that time there were very few sports medicine doctors interested in looking at Sports specific injury patterns, I was involved in starting the tennis university for new players and including psychological aspects, overuse injuries, skincare, foot care etc. We began with the original trainers looking at beginning injury records and called on IBM to join us in setting up computers that would allow us to keep injury records week by week from around the world. In the American Orthopedic Society of sports medicine there were physicians who were tennis players and interested in gathering data and in teaching. We got together and decided to make a new sport specific organization to look at research, equipment, injury patterns, — the overall life of the tennis player and how to improve it. We began to communicate with multiple countries who had tennis camps regarding our mutual interests and from there many were invited to join and the international flavor was expanded with tennis professionals around the world sharing concepts, ideas, and research. The original core group expanded developing many excellent friendships and relationships that have expanded and persist to date.
What do you find most interesting about “tennis medicine”?
The blend of psychological medicine, orthopedic medicine, rehab specialties, and the engineering evaluation of equipment and it’s affect on injury, and how it’s improvements affected the game.
What is your favorite “tennis medicine” diagnosis to treat and why?
Patellar tendonitis. It’s common, curable, and requires someone willing to be punished and frustrated frequently in trying to get answers, understand it and get results.
How do you think we can improve the field of “tennis medicine”?
The continued growth around the world of the sport by the inclusion of all groups who touch the lives and abilities of the tennis athlete!