Neurologist at ringside-to be or not to be?

  • N Sethi


Background: Ringside physicians are entrusted with the task of protecting the health and safety of combat sports (boxing and mixed martial arts) athletes. Ringside physicians come from various disciplines of medicine such as primary care, Internal Medicine, orthopaedics, sports medicine and even otolaryngology. There are very few neurologists who work as ringside physicians.

Discussion: Boxing and MMA are highly controversial sports for neurologists to be involved in for in these sports every punch and kick to the head is thrown with the intention of knocking the opponent out. Every punch and kick to the head is thrown with the intention to win via causing a concussion. Many neurologists thus feel it is unethical to support boxing by working as a ringside physician.

Conclusion: Boxing and MMA are universally thought to be detrimental to the brain and nearly all medical associations at various times have made calls to ban boxing and MMA altogether. While medical associations and physicians including neurologists may not support boxing or MMA, the presence of a neurologist ringside or cageside helps make these sports safer by protecting the health and safety of a combat sports athlete.

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