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BYU Professor David Draper Inducted into Hall of Fame

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, a nonprofit organization representing and supporting members of the athletic training profession, inducted BYU Exercise Sciences Professor David O. Draper into its prestigious Hall of Fame last week. 

From the NATA announcement: "The Hall of Fame is the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Honorees will be recognized for their significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. They have shaped the profession through their noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to service, leadership and professionalism. Since inducting its first class in 1962, the Hall of Fame now has 288 members." 

David spoke with Y News Editor Emily Hellewell about what he loves about this field of study, what he's planning to do next and why he gets up at 4 a.m. each morning. 

Y News: You are inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame for your “significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession." How have you seen your work and research impact that care? 

David Draper: For 30 years I have been developing the parameters for therapeutic modality use. As I tested old parameters, I discovered that many people use modalities incorrectly. When they follow the parameters my colleagues and I have developed, they get positive patient outcomes.

Y: This honor celebrates your career’s dedication to exercise sciences, what do you love about this field?

Draper: First of all, being an athletic trainer is rewarding because you help get injured athletes back onto the playing field. Second, being a professor of athletic training allows me to teach young minds the art and science of injury prevention, immediate care, and treatment and rehabilitation of injuries to the active population.

Y: Your research has led to over 100 publications in scientific journals and you’ve presented more than 350 times around the world. Will you tell us about one piece of your research that stands out to you? 

Draper: About 15 years ago I published an article on the top ten ways that clinicians misuse therapeutic ultrasound. Using my research experience, I pointed out that treatment durations, intensities, and treatment area size were often inadequate to reach therapeutic goals. I then listed the ways to improve patient care by correcting for these mistakes. To this day, people still contact me about getting a copy of this article for their use.

Y: What’s next for you?

Draper: I have studied ultrasound, shortwave diathermy and iontophoresis (using an electrical current to drive medication under the skin), [now] I intend to branch out to studying the effects of laser in treating injuries. 

Y: When you aren’t teaching or researching, what do you like to do?

Draper: In the winter months, I love to cross-country ski and snowshoe. When the snow melts, I enjoy hiking and biking. I also love to read. I wake up at 4 a.m. each morning and read for a few hours. I also enjoy playing with my seven grandchildren.

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