Last Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 3:14pm
For Dr. Shibu Varghese, specialist in orthopedics and sports medicine at Medeor Hospital in Abu Dhabi, dealing with sporting events is nothing new. Since 2012, he has worked with various sports associations to monitor and support the medical needs of officials and athletes, including such prominent figures as Novak Djokovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and many more.
In a rare honour, he has now become the first UAE doctor to be named to the Doctors Panel for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Championships. He will provide his services at the BWF Super Series in various countries.
Dr. Varghese sees this as a stepping stone to more opportunities in the future. Based on his performance and experience, he is expected to be promoted to the highest level, which will allow him to compete in top sporting events such as the Olympics, Uber Cup and Thomas Cup.
“I am honored to be on the BWF Match Doctors Panel. It is an honor to serve in this capacity and contribute to the health and safety of badminton players around the world,” said Dr Varghese.
A sports enthusiast since his student days, he completed his BSc and MSc in Osteopathic Medicine at Indian universities, followed by a fellowship in Adult Joint Reconstructive Surgery in Germany.
“I’ve been interested in sports since elementary school and switched careers to become an orthopedic surgeon. Since muscles and bones are so important to the athlete’s performance, I chose to try sports medicine. I’m excited to participate in various international sporting events,” said Dr Varghese, who undertook a cricket medicine internship in Northamptonshire, England, in 2011 and at Cape Cobras, South Africa, in 2013.
The orthopedic sports surgeon has served as Chief Medical Officer for the BWF Para Badminton Division (2019), the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier UAE (2019). He was the Medical Officer for UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi and the Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua II Boxing World Championships in Saudi Arabia.
He is also Head of Medical Operations for the Indian Premier League (2020, 2021) and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Currently, Dr. Varghese serves as an anti-doping official for FIFA, AFC and the European Tour. In the past, he also served as an anti-doping official for the 2018 Asian Cup.
Dr. Varghese recommends that young athletes entering sports maintain a proper diet and training program to stay injury-free in the long run.
“If they have any physical issues, they should consult a sports medicine specialist and follow up in their long-term career,” said Dr. Varghese, adding that he was grateful for the support of the management of Burjeel Holdings, which owns Medeor Hospital, in helping him balancing his clinical practice with work related to sports medicine.
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