The incidental discovery of Cassinis’s book and the eventual finding of the two articles cited in the bibliography piqued our curiosity and interest. Several interesting insights can be gained from a rereading of these long-forgotten documents: Exercise physiology; functional assessment in personalized training; health care in sports activities; the medical profile of the athlete; clinical diagnosis in relation to assigned workload; the social and clinical importance of physical activity; prescription of physical exercise to healthy and ill persons (sports therapy) as primary and secondary prevention; sports medicine as a multidisciplinary specialty in health care and well being, among others. Already, this was taking place in the early 1930s. Cassinis was one of the first to write about sports medicine, founded the Federation of Sports Physicians, and far ahead of his time, advocated the education of specialists in sports medicine. He instituted a certificate course at the CONI that conferred the title of sports physician. Then came Rodolfo Margaria (1901-1983) who pioneered research into exercise physiology and instituted at the University of Milan the world’s first postgraduate program in sports medicine in 1957. This specialty risked losing its accreditation because it was offered in few European Community countries and so did not have the requisites for EC recognition. Thanks to the efforts and example of Italy, it is now taught in many countries and is a subspecialty recognized by the European Union. Also in regulatory matters, Italy ranks first, with Law 1055/1950 on the “Health protection of sports activities” and the mandatory physical fitness certification examination for sports (Ministerial Decree of 18 February 1982), today viewed with keen interest and considered as a model for other countries.18 So what of McCory’s revolution? I think that any further comment is superfluous. The social and clinical importance of physical activity and the relevance of sports medicine in health care are deeply rooted in our history. New prospects and promising perspectives are opening for the sports physician as regards the role of a new specialist and heir to a culture, a school, a movement, a tradition in which we can pride ourselves and which allows us to go forward proudly in the international scientific community.
Our past and future: the new sports medicine physicians / BONETTI A.; A. ANEDDA. - In: MEDICINA DELLO SPORT. - ISSN 0025-7826. - 61(2008), pp. 411-427.