Nailah Adams-Morancie, MD, MS, CAQSM, Director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship based at UNC Family Medicine, represented sports medicine and family medicine as official team physician for Trinidad and Tobago at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. While she was there, Adams was kind enough to take part in a quick question & answer session.
Nailah Adams-Morancie, MD, MS, CAQSM, Director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship based at UNC Family Medicine, represented sports medicine and family medicine as official team physician for Trinidad and Tobago at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Trinidad and Tobago participated in their eighteenth Olympics and had twenty-two athletes competing in seven sports.
Dr. Adams, an alumnus of the Sports Medicine Fellowship, was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to the U.S. to attend Howard University at nineteen, earning undergraduate degrees in biology and sports medicine. She received a master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University, her medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine, and completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Margaret Helton, MD, Chair of Family Medicine, enjoyed the photographs Dr. Adams sent from Tokyo during her trip, including frequent pictures of “Ramses,” the Tar Heel mascot, in various Olympic venues around the city. “We are proud of Dr. Adams. Her experience caring for Olympic athletes strengthens her clinical and leadership skills, which translates into excellent teaching for our residents, fellows, and students, and outstanding care for our patients, from amateur athletes to elite competitors,” stated Dr. Helton.
While she was there, Dr. Adams was kind enough to answer some questions about her experience at the Tokyo Olympics:
How long have you been working with Trinidad and Tobago Olympic athletes?
Since 2016. I was recommended by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee to our national Cycling Federation to be the head event doctor for the Junior Pan-American Track Cycling championships held in Trinidad that summer after finishing my Sports Medicine fellowship at UNC. Some of those athletes from the junior level are Olympians competing in these Tokyo2020 Games!
How has COVID impacted the Trinidad and Tobago team, and other teams you have knowledge of?
The Playbook for Athletes and Officials was created by the IOC, IOPC and Tokyo2020 to lay out countermeasures against COVID-19. We live in unprecedented times so things would expectedly be different from my previous tours with the team. We have not been able to see the city of Tokyo, other than when traveling to and from the Olympic Village or other official areas of residence (cycling and sailing, for example, are at other sites) and the event venues via buses provided. These are all efforts to keep us and the people of Japan safe.
What training or experience in primary care and family medicine do you find useful in working with Olympic athletes?
Olympic athletes are among the fittest humans in the world. With that elite level of competition, they may unfortunately develop injuries that are unique to their activities but can still have medical concerns that plague our general population. As a Primary Care Sports Medicine physician, I am trained to recognize and take a more holistic view of what may be affecting them to come up with the best solution. I can use my portable ultrasound probe to evaluate soft tissue, vascular and bony structures on the spot, giving real-time input into a diagnosis and treatment plan with increased accuracy. My training also allows me to ensure they stay abreast of their preventative care as they age, and have discussions about their health and lifestyle plans after they choose to end their sporting careers.
How has the trip to Tokyo been? Any insights on the city?
From what I have seen in transit between the Village and stadium, as well as around the Village itself, it is the cleanest place I have ever seen, with minimal trash cans. You take the personal responsibility of holding on to your trash until you find one. The surroundings are meticulously maintained. The Japanese nationals I have encountered are friendly and always willing to help. It looks like a place to which I definitely want to return when times are different.
Has Ramses been a good travel companion 😊?
He has been an amazing co-pilot. He’s so photogenic.
To learn more about Dr. Adams and her work with the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.