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London 2012: Cindy Chang, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, United States of America


It's no secret that Cal hosts some of the best student-athletes and coaches in the world. This summer, we look at the Cal men and women representing their home countries at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. However, in a slight twist, it is not an athlete or a coach we profile today. Instead, we will be meeting Cindy Chang, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Team USA. Read more about Cindy after the jump!

Cindy Chang got her start back in Ohio, at the Ohio State University. An club sport athlete herself, Cindy earned her medical degree from Ohio State and residency at UCLA before becoming a sports medicine specialist. Since 1995, she has served as Head Team Physician for Cal's 27 athletic teams

From her interview with Gretchen Kell, UC Berkeley:

Q: Looking back, what prepared you for this role?

A: I've practiced sports medicine now for 20 years, starting as a team physician at my alma mater, The Ohio State University, and then as the head team physician at Cal. Both programs have a rich diversity of sports, from fencing and shooting to rugby and water polo. Oh, and of course, awesome football programs - by the way, Cal plays OSU Sept. 15! My incredible experiences working with our country's Paralympians at international sporting events also have prepared me for this role. Because of my training as a family physician and as a sports medicine physician, I have treated many different injuries and illnesses. I haven't seen everything, but the most important thing is to recognize what I don't know and turn to the rest of my team for assistance. I have stressed this very important point with my medical staff in London as well.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most at the Games?

A: Working with sports medicine colleagues from across the country and sharing and learning "best practices" - these are things I can bring back to UC Berkeley after the Games and apply to my patients. And, of course, I am looking forward to helping our U.S. athletes perform their very best in London.

Previously, Cindy served as Chief Medical Officer for the 2008 Paralympic Games. In London, Cindy will serve as Chief Medical Officer; the first women and Chinese-American to do so. At the Olympic Village, Cindy is assembling Team USA's sports medicine clinic, where she will care for the health of the athletes representing the United States. While she looks forward to seeing many of Cal's 30 student athletes in London, she hopes it will be at a competition venue, not on the training table.

From her profile:

Dr. Cindy Chang has served as head team physician for Cal's 27 athletic teams since 1995. Prior to coming to Cal, she was an assistant team physician for Ohio State and an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at OSU's College of Medicine.

Chang is recognized as one of the leading primary care sports medicine physicians in the country. She has published articles and contributed to textbooks in sports medicine, and is a frequent presenter at national medical conferences.

She was an elected four-year member of the Board of Directors for the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine (AMSSM), and has also served on the Medical Education Committee for the American College of Sports Medicine. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the AMSSM Foundation. In addition, Chang worked at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and was part of the USA medical team for the Winter Paralympic Games in Nagano, Japan, in 1998 and in Salt Lake City in 2002. She will be serving as Chief Medical Officer for the USA delegation at the 2007 Parapan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.