The hockey doctor is in the house

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012

Dr. David Mulder has been the Chief Physician for the Montreal Canadiens since 1999. / Photo: Owen Egan

Habs team physician David Mulder leads off 2012 Mini Meds

By Jim Hynes

The McGill Mini-Med School, the first program of its kind in Canada, has been offering the public a series of conferences by leading McGill medical experts since 2001. This year’s Mini-Meds, under the title “Acute Care Medicine: Making Decisions Under Fire in the Home, the Hospital and the Community,” take an in-depth look at acute care, including intensive care, emergency rooms and trauma.

Dr. David Mulder, Chief of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre, professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Club Physician for the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, takes the first shift on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with “Caring for casualties: The epidemic of sports-related injuries.”

Mulder, who first became involved in sports medicine as a McGill medical resident in the 1960s, suturing-up Redmen football players and Junior Canadiens’ hockey players, and who has been the NHL Canadiens’ Chief Physician since 1999, will discuss how sports injuries have evolved, injuries to amateur athletes, and the prevention of injuries on the sporting field as well as in the community.

Mulder says there have been changes in “virtually all aspects.” On the good news side, lacerations and eye injuries are way down due to the widespread use of helmets and face shields.

“But what we’ve seen is an increase in the number of life-threatening injuries, injuries to the larynx, like the one suffered by Canadianes forward Trent McCleary in January 2000, or like Richard Zednick had in terms of lacerations to the carotid artery.”

The biggest change, Mulder says, is in the area of concussions, “not only in elite athletes, but, and this is what worries me, in the amateur athlete, like children playing hockey and soccer. While we all get enthused with what’s happening to pro athletes, the real problem is with civilian trauma…car accidents and falls and ski accidents… these are areas where concussion has seen a major growth.”

Mulder will also share his take on concussion prevention and what he thinks can be done in terms of rules to make sport safer, including banning fighting at hockey’s highest levels.

“The goal of a fight is to create a concussion, so I’d like to see, like the NFL has done, no fighting in the NHL.”

Mini Med takes place Wednesday evenings at the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building’s Charles Amphitheatre (6th Floor), with check-in and refreshments at 6 p.m. and the lectures running form 6:30-8 p.m. For more information on the series and its schedule, on how to register, go here


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Category: In Focus

One Response to The hockey doctor is in the house

  1. Paul Busch says:

    There are lots of reasons to ban fighting in hockey that have more to do with disrupting an exciting game and damaging the image of the sport. And I’ve posted lots of articles that dispel the myths of fighting supporters, proving that it doesn’t police the game or change momentum. But the concussion issue alone should be reason enough for the NHL and NHLPA to come together to eliminate fighting from hockey.

    The death of 3 enforcers well over a year ago got lots of press but there was another enforcer that also passed away and his brother suspected that fighting in junior hockey had a lot to do with death. You can read about him here –

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