Panamerican Games, Rugby in Peru

The first day in Lima we received our team kit and toured the Village.

At the end of July, I had the unique opportunity to work with the USA Rugby Women’s and Men’s Sevens teams at the Panamerican Games in Peru. It was a true honor and adventure. The teams met for training in Chula Vista, and we arrived in Lima about a week before the beginning of the tournament. We were one of the first teams to arrive which was nice. We had brand new accommodations, and were welcomed with enthusiasm.

The Panam Games occur every four years, and any country from North or South America has the opportunity to be represented. I met athletes and doctors from countries all over these regions, and it was amazing to see how they all got along. It was a team atmosphere throughout.

We had a lot of fun with this group of amazing athletes!

The athletes and staff lived in the ‘Village.’ At the village there were six brand new apartment towers, and Team USA occupied most of Tower 3. There was a giant cafeteria, called ‘comedor’ in Spanish. Everything was labelled in both English and Spanish in the village. There was a large gym, pool, and locker room for all the teams and staff to use. There was a ‘Polyclinic’ where there was medical care available to all the teams. Some of the teams came without an Athletic Trainer or Physician, and depended on the Polyclinic for all their care. For example, the El Salvadorean Team brought only one doctor for all 52 of their athletes! Thankfully for our team, we had one Athletic Trainer for each team, and I served as the Team Doctor for both teams. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee brought a large staff of Athletic Trainers and Physicians to help care for all the USA teams. The USOPC staff was stationed on site at the village.

The Villa Maria del Triunfo stadium was built in the middle of a neighborhood, and had facilities for rugby, water polo, field hockey, baseball, and softball.

Every day while in Peru our teams were bused to the stadium. We practiced and played at a brand new stadium called Villa Maria del Triunfo. The stadium was so new that most of the bus drivers didn’t know it existed, and certainly didn’t know how to get there! We got lost a couple of times, but in the end we always made it safely to the stadium and back. The stadium was beautiful and had all the amenities we needed. The Peruvian medical staff at the stadium was competent and welcoming.

I got to work with my friend and colleague Dr. Becca Rodriguez who was serving on the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee medical staff.
I had the chance to meet the Chilean Sports Minister. She travels the world supporting athletes – what a job!
The women’s team earned silver, and the men’s team earned bronze. They all played their hearts out!
At the stadium I had the chance to lead the medical staff in an on-field training.
The medical staff at the stadium was wonderful! They were a group of local ER doctors who volunteered for the week.

The teams did very well, with the women earning a silver medal and the men earning a bronze medal. There were several injuries on the men’s team, and the last game they only had 9 players (2 substitutes). The games were intense and exciting. At one point the Athletic Trainer and I were handling two concussions back to back in the same game. Needless to say we worked hard!

I was thankful that our teams did well and that I had a chance to explore Lima. On one of the free afternoons, I went to the downtown area called Miraflores. It was an affluent area with a beautiful boardwalk and pier. There were tons of surf schools, much like in San Diego. I rented a bike and explored all over town before heading back to the village. On the last day of our trip I also got to go the surf competition at Puntas Rocas. It was amazing to see the beautiful facilities that the Panam Games brought to this area of Lima. It was awesome to see athletes from all over the region competing. It was nice to relax and enjoy the competition before heading home.

The Miraflores pier was beautiful and there were many surf schools teaching lessons.
Punta Rocas was beautiful! The surfers from all over the Americas performed well and there was a great crowd in attendance.
A typical Peruvian street – right in the Villa de Maria neighborhood.

Family Medicine Doctor Comments on Increasing Scooter Accidents

Due to the proliferation of electronic scooters in the past year, there has been an increase of accidents and even several deaths in the San Diego area.  In April 2019, The Mission Beach Town council released a referendum on scooter recommendations to the city of San Diego, and organized a protest in the Mission Beach area.  They contacted San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center for comments on the scooter situation and requested that doctors make an appearance at the protest.

San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center physicians Dr. Alexandra Myers and her colleague Dr. Elizabeth Williams were then asked to speak during the protest and report on their observations of scooter related injuries.

On ABC 10 News in San Diego they provided comments and statistics:

“We see concussions, cuts, broken bones, and recently a severe neck injury. Someone almost lost their vision in their eye,”

Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Alexandra Myers said.

“UCLA published a study over a year, and they’ve noticed over 250 injuries. 40% are causing head injuries. 5% have elevated levels of alcohol in their blood. And 98% of people are not wearing helmets,”

Dr. Elizabeth Williams said.

Watch the news cast on ABC 10 News

Ironically minutes after the rally the news reported on a Teen injured in e-scooter accident hours after e-scooter protest

Interview: Getting Eating Disorder Treatment in San Diego

San Diego doctor Alexandra Myers recently gave an interview to her  colleague Dr. Marianne Miller about her family practice and also her experience treating patients with eating disorders, including athletes and a range of ages.

This interview first appeared on Dr. Marianne Miller’s blog, visit her to read the full interview:
Meet San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Physician Dr. Alexandra Myers, D.O., Specializing in Eating Disorders in Athletes

A portion of  the interview is below, added to this page for convenient reading:

This week’s interview is with Dr. Alexandra Myers, D.O., who works with athletes with eating disorders in San Diego. I think there is a misconception that in order for athletes to recover from eating disorders, they have to give up their sport completely. That is simply not the case. Dr. Myers is THE medical professional in San Diego who can help people heal their disordered eating and return to the sport they love. She is especially gifted in treating high-level athletes. Dr. Myers specializes in sports medicine, and she is the Director of Women’s Athletic Medicine at San Diego State University (SDSU). She also works with US Olympic athletes, other college and high school athletes, people who are active only on the weekends, and even non-athletes! She is incredibly supportive, compassionate, and non-judgmental. Plus, she’s an all-around nice person to know!!!

Why did you choose to become a sports medicine specialist and family practitioner in San Diego?

I came to San Diego to complete my Sports Medicine Fellowship at San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center. I enjoyed working with a dynamic group of people and I stayed. I was particularly interested in taking care of athletes of all levels, of which there are many in San Diego.

What kind of treatment do you provide?

I provide full spectrum family medicine care – everything from a general physical, shoulder pain, colds, etc. I specialize in Sports Medicine, which encompasses the overall care of the athlete, including nutrition and wellness. I also perform Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to help relieve pain in my patients.

How long have you been treating SDSU athletes?

I have been working with SDSU athletes since 2013. As the Director of Women’s Athletic Medicine, I focus on taking care of the wellness and psychological aspects of the athletes at SDSU.

In what capacity do you work with SDSU athletes?

I am the Team Physician for the Women’s Basketball, Crew, Swim/Dive, and Water Polo teams. I have clinic there once a week, and I oversee the athletic trainers that work with each of those teams.

Do you work with athletes who aren’t SDSU students?

I work with many athletes outside of SDSU: US Olympic athletes—especially USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens, Major League Rugby, San Diego Christian College, San Diego City College, Cuyamaca College, Santa Fe Christian High School, and many people who are weekend warriors.

What kind of eating disorder symptoms can appear in athletes?

Most athletes who I see for suspected eating disorders have noticeable, rapid weight loss and fatigue. It is often initially referred to as “female athlete triad,” which is usually a misdiagnosis. Sometimes they come to me for decreased performance or mood changes, which can be an early sign of poor nutrition.

Do you treat people in San Diego who aren’t athletes who have eating disorder symptoms?

Yes, I do have patients who have eating disorders who are not technically athletes. A lot of them have backgrounds in athletic pursuits such as dance and gymnastics, and most of them are active.

Who are your favorite types of patients to work with?

I love working with people who are motivated to be healthy—no matter where they are starting from. I take care of babies up to 90 year olds, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

What happens during a first appointment with you?

I try to get to know my patients – their personal history, their family history, their current lifestyle and goals. I try to gain a perspective on where they are and where they want to go.

What do you wish both athletes and non-athletes knew about getting treatment for eating disorders?

I would love for athletes and non-athletes to know that treatment for eating disorders is aimed at helping them be healthy and that it is non-threatening. Everyone involved in their care is there to help them, and no one is judgmental.

How can people learn more and contact you?

They can come see me as a patient and check out my website here.

Share one fun fact about you.

I played college soccer and softball at Cornell College, and grew up ski racing, playing tennis, BMX racing, and running track. I like to surf, SUP (Stand Up Paddle), and cycle all around San Diego.

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