Travelling team physicians

The requirement for provisional licensing by host countries when physicians travel abroad to take care of their teams is a major issue across sports and all sizes of sports events.

In 2012, the FIMS Interfederal Commission (IFC) collated information on 24 countries worldwide, which confirmed a wide variety in practice. Already trying to establish the actual laws/rules in a country can be an arduous task and starts with identifying a body competent and authorised to provide the relevant information. Team physicians, particularly for smaller events or individual matches, for the most part are not aware of the rules in host countries. They will mostly not be in compliance when a temporary license is needed.

According to health and sport law experts, this might have considerable legal consequences regardless of an actual incident. For large events such as World Championships, the requirement to submit certified copies and other documents for temporary licensing months in advance of an event is a considerable hurdle for organisers and visiting teams. 

While there are efforts undertaken by organisations such as FIMS to find a solution, we would like to share a pragmatic approach to this matter that is successfully practised by the World Rowing Association (FISA). The FISA Sports Medicine Commission developed two-step approach:

1. FISA accredits team physicians that provide services to athletes at their events with a requirement of at least one physician per National Association. They apply online completing a questionnaire (, confirming the details of their qualification and specialization, but also their familiarity with the FISA medical rules, the IOC Medical Code and the World Anti-Doping Code. After submission and assessment by FISA, the team physicians receive a FISA Team Doctor accreditation. This is a one-off application for the physician. FISA provides regular education courses to update and expand the team physicians' knowledge on key topics in rowing.

2. Consequently, and based on FISA’s team physician accreditation, it is part of the bidding requirements to host FISA World Championships that the host country waives the need for temporary licensing of medical staff and provides proof thereof by the respective national authority in writing.

This approach appears to offer a very workable solution for larger International Federations while a general solution is sought.


12th EFSMA Congress of Sports Medicine

The 12th EFSMA Congress of Sports Medicine will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from 20th to 23rd April 2022, organized by the Hungarian Society for Sports Medicine. The Hungarian Society for Sports Medicine is highly committed to host the forthcoming flagship event of EFSMA, the 12th EFSMA Congress of Sports Medicine in 2022 in Budapest. The theme of the Conference "Multidisciplinary approach - Innovation for health and performance" creates an excellent opportunity to participate for all Representatives from a broad range of fields related to Sports Medicine and Science. The experts of internal medicine, exercise physiology, cardiology, orthopaedics and traumatology or rehabilitation are invited to share the advances in the area. The Conference will be opened for physical therapists, nutritionists, psychologists and other relevant stakeholders of the sports sector. Budapest, the "Pearl of Danube", serves as the city of around 1,000 international congresses yearly. The vibrant cultural life, historical attractions, thermal baths, good food and wines, friendly people and genuine hospitality had made Budapest the sixth most popular city in Europe.

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