Dr. Ian Auld: Taking Canada’s Athletes To Gold
Industry Insight Mediaplanet caught up with Dr. Ian Auld, head physician for Team Canada at the IIHF World Juniors, who shared his experience of working with elite athletes.
Mediaplanet: Where did your passion for sports medicine sprout from?
Dr. Ian Auld: My passion from sports medicine likely started with exposure to my parents' professions and passions. My father was a physical education teacher and an accomplished athlete and my mother was a nurse, so I had both sports and medicine influences as far back as I can remember. I was also very passionate about sports as a kid, and still am to this day, always moving and playing some sport.
MP: How did you first go about turning this passion into a career?
IA: The turning point for me came in second year university (after going on academic probation my first year) when I took a human anatomy course at UVic. I realized then that the study of the human body and injury diagnosis and treatment was what I wanted to do. I was fortunate to have two very influential teachers at that time, Jan and Howie Wenger in Victoria, who really motivated me to pursue my goals.
MP: You were a vital part of Team Canada’s recent World Junior victory. How did your training ready you for such an important and high paced tournament?
IA: I have been team Canada's physician now for six World Junior tournaments. My experience is now at the point where I have seen most situations before, so I know how to handle them. Medical school and medical residency trains you to make decisions under pressure, which is helpful when you are being grilled by sometimes intimidating head coaches.
"The training for each sport is obviously sport specific, meaning, we analyze the specific energy systems and attributes that make each athlete successful within their chosen sport, and work to optimize them."
MP: You’ve worked with the Calgary Stampeders, Roughnecks, and Hitmen. How does training vary from sport to sport?
IA: The training for each sport is obviously sport specific, meaning, we analyze the specific energy systems and attributes that make each athlete successful within their chosen sport, and work to optimize them. With each of these teams we have a strength and conditioning expert that creates programs for each athlete, we try and work together to help the athletes reach their potential.
MP: What advice do you have to offer to young readers interested in pursuing a career in healthcare?
IA: To those interested in pursuing a job in health care I would say, for me, it is so rewarding to be able to influence and help people every day to become healthy. If it is an area that interests you then go after it; it is a pleasure have a vocation a where I make a positive difference in peoples’ lives every day.
MP: Having worked with Canada’s best athletes, what is next?
IA: I have recently started working with Alpine Canada and am enjoying learning from the other members of our support team. We have physiologists, physiotherapists, strength coaches, nutritionists, and mental performance coaches working with the athletes. I don't see any major changes in my present job situation, I still have so much to learn and am enjoying the process. I still see myself traveling the world with sports teams and enjoying the experience for the foreseeable future.