British sports doctor Hamish Reid has led an adventurous life.
He was a British Army ER doctor early in his medical training; in 2010 he set a Guinness World Record for being part of the first ever duo to row all the way around the British Isles; and in 2015 he dog-paddled the length of the Thames to fundraise for charity.
Now he’s set his eyes on another challenge: Bermuda.
In November, Dr Reid moved here from Oxford, England to work for the Centre for Sport and Orthopaedic Medicine (CSOM) on Par-la-Ville Road in Hamilton.
“I came into contact with Annabel Carter (CSOM director) through the sports and exercise medicine world,” Dr Reid said.
“I finished my training in Oxford and was working there as a consultant. My wife is a New Zealander. We were thinking of hanging over to New Zealand and having a look around at different clinics.
“I spoke to Annabel two or three years ago about her clinic here, and what the opportunities were. It worked out that we were in a position where we were thinking of moving, and she was looking to expand here, so the two aligned.”
Dr Carter was happy to have him come on board. Two years ago she had so many clients, she stopped taking referrals. Now with his introduction, CSOM is able to take new clients on again without much wait time.
“It was tough having to say no,” Dr Carter said. “Now it is so nice people can come in at relatively short notice. But I know he will end up very busy.”
Dr Reid works with people of all ages. On a typical day he might see patients from their preteens to their 80s.
“We see the full spectrum of people,” he said. “In a way the term ‘sports injuries’ is a bit misleading, because it implies being active. Actually, we see injuries that you can get from sports, but also just in normal life.
“We see back pain, shoulder pain, all the different things that can cause people trouble. As we progress through life there are various different reasons we get problems. Pain and function are common things, and we can help the majority of people with them.”
In England, Dr Reid worked in elite sports settings such as the English Institute of Sport, which has worked with Olympic athletes.
His last post was Oxsport in Oxford, a leading musculoskeletal clinic where he catered to people of all ages. He brought with him Moving Medicine, a programme he worked on in Britain that aims to spread best practice, research and advice to clinicians and patients to create healthier, happier and more active communities.
“With Public Health England and Sport England, we developed an online resource to help educate clinicians on the benefits of physical activity and how to improve the conversations between clinical staff and patients,” he said.
“The Ministry of Health launched it in England in October. It is all open access and freely available online. We pulled together all the evidence behind it and put it into a useable format for clinical staff of any sort having a conversation with people about physical activity.”
He said the people who stand to gain the most from increasing their physical activity are those who do less than 30 minutes of walking a week.
“I am not sure what the Bermuda stats are, but in the UK that is probably something like 26 or 27 per cent of the population and that is pretty reflective around the world,” he said. “And of that population, inactivity, predisposes you to getting diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. People who are very inactive have a high risk of getting these diseases, and when they get them then they become less active.”
He said physical activity is a hugely important part of remaining healthy as a population.
“Here and around the rest of the world we are becoming progressively less active,” he said.
He recommended starting with small changes to every day life, rather than taking on a running programme, when you’ve never run in your life.
“It is important to increase your walking opportunities,” he said. “Focus on using the stairs, standing, breaking up your sitting time. But when you’re looking at behavioural change, you can take all the advice in the world, but ultimately it’s you who has to make the change.”
Dr Reid rides his bike to work every morning, runs, swims and paddleboards.
• For more information about CSOM see www.csombermuda.com