The Monday Memo: 5/25/2015

Monday Memo

May 25, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Misconceptions”

Anyone that has spent time in the clinic knows that there is a large portion of people, medical professionals included, that do not understand what physical therapists do or what they are capable of doing.  Often times it is the client coming in for no other reason than their doctor won’t let them get surgery unless they go to PT first.  However, it can be seen in referrals from multi-disciplinary professionals for cases of “leg pain” or “shoulder pain” or simply “modalities.”  It is not widely known that PT’s can possess Direct Access and see clients without referral, even though Direct Access has been around for decades.  Most importantly, we cannot take these things as an assault on our profession; rather, we must realize that these misconceptions are the product of lack of knowledge and naiveté.

 

Currently, there is a bill making its way through the Texas legislature that would give Physical Therapists greater allowances of Direct Access.  The bill is being fiercely opposed by the state’s chapter of the American Medical Association which states that PT’s don’t possess the knowledge or training to properly diagnose musculoskeletal disorders or identify red flags of more serious pathologies.  The AMA also claims that it is more financially efficient to see a PCP and acquire imaging prior to attending physical therapy.  However, both facts can be readily refuted with evidence from both physical therapy and medical journals.

 

This is a misconception that desperately needs to change, and we can all play a role.  Cooperation is key to changing the way that Physical Therapy is perceived.  This includes working with every type of healthcare professional as well as informing and educating the clients in the clinic about the benefits of PT.  Changing the way that Physical Therapy is seen by others is not a goal easily achieved, but it is attainable.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to John Schneider on the birth of his new baby boy!  And welcome to the incoming Pitt DPT Class of 2018 as they begin their professional education this Monday!

 

-Michael Turnwald

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
May 27, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 5/18/2015

The Monday Memo

May 18, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Tomatoes or Potatoes”

Patients in the clinic often ask, how long did you have to go to school to become a PT?, and are surprised to hear that it takes so long.  They talked with another PT last week at the gym and it only took him a few weekends and certifications.  Or, another [healthcare provider] got his PT license over a weekend course.  To the layman, and some professionals, “PT” is an overly-generalized term, used to mean anyone that has some background in prescribing exercise.  To those knowledgeable, PT means Physical Therapist, not personal trainer, and not a physiotherapist “certification” that is often offered as an adjunct to some disciplines.  Comparing tomatoes to potatoes.

 

Physical Therapy is defined by its ability to examine, evaluate, diagnose, and treat musculoskeletal disorders.  Prescribing exercise is only a small, and relatively simple part of what we as professionals do.  Even though this responsibility is shared by other professions, Physical Therapists are specially trained in what to do and, more importantly, what NOT to do.  Being aware of the contraindications to exercise is essential to preventing further injury and allowing proper treatment of an injury.  Personal trainers and continuing-ed attendees do not have the depth or breadth to properly assess and treat such musculoskeletal issues.

 

The danger with this confusion is not only to our patients who may seek help from people less qualified than they believe, but also to us as a profession.  It is necessary for the public to have correct perception of physical therapists, PT’s, as the musculoskeletal experts that they are.  This must happen in order to progress the advancement of the profession.  We cannot keep comparing tomatoes and potatoes.

 

Note:  Physiotherapist, internationally, is the equivalent of a physical therapist in the US.  It is the domestic “certification” that is sometimes offered that needs to be watched.

 

-Michael Turnwald

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
May 19, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 5/11/2015

The Monday Memo

May 11, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“What We Do”

It is the prepared individual that is able to describe themselves in 30 seconds or less.  Some call it a sales pitch or an elevator speech.  Likewise, the next time you meet a prospective employer on an elevator, or your family has asked you for the hundredth time why you have chosen Physical Therapy, here is a quick example from which you could base your answer:

 

We believe that all people deserve to be comfortable in their movement, that everyone should be free to walk, that everyone should be well enough to perform their daily activities.

 

We guide people through tough times, and when they are hurt we help them come back stronger than ever.  We teach people how to control their bodies and how to use their own movement to help them.

 

We are diverse health professionals that span every field of care and create meaningful change in our patients. We are Physical Therapists.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to Carlos Darby, Nick Hamilton, and John Schneider for completing the Pittsburg Marathon, and Danielle DeMarco, Emily Clark, Sue Staats, and Maria Calla for completing the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon!

 

-Michael Turnwald

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
May 12, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 4/13/2015

The Monday Memo

April 13, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Pick and Choose”

Imaging can be useful at times.  Ask anyone and they will tell you that on occasion if there is a suspicion of fracture, X-rays are the recommended course of action.  Anyone worth their weight will also tell you that you need at least two views for that course of imaging to be useful.  It is incredibly important to have multiple points of view in order to identify the problem.

 

This idea is not reserved for radiology, however.  It is a good idea to have multiple points of view about every kind of problem, otherwise, you would be surprised how often the same problem keeps walking into your clinic.  The more you go looking for a particular problem, the more you will find it.  For instance, if someone walks in with knee pain the biomechanist will say there is a knee joint problem, the expert in hip therapy will claim there is a hip problem, the podiatrist will explain there is a foot problem, and the surgeon will declare they need back surgery.  All can base their diagnosis on rationale they follow, yet all are drastically different.

 

The same can be found even within the field of physical therapy.  Low back pain can be described by the pathoanatomic model, or the McKenzie model, or the CPR model, or the “let’s cut it open” model.  Experts in the field hold different views even whether to affect a kinetic chain from bottom-up or top-down.  It is a shocking day when a type-A personality realizes that there is not one single way to correctly answer the question, “What’s wrong and how do I fix it?”  The key is to find solace that all viewpoints can be correct in their own time.  But until that time, don’t tie yourself to one mindset.  Pull the golden nuggets from each method and incorporate them into your practice.  Don’t become blinded by one diagnosis you learned about in a weekend seminar.  Instead use that new knowledge and combine it with what you already know, take it out of your toolbox at the appropriate time, and you will be the stronger clinician because of it.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to all of our Marquette Challenge Representatives for putting together a fantastic continuing education course this past weekend, and a great thank you to Dr. Shirley Sahrmann for speaking!

 

-Michael Turnwald

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
April 13, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 3/30/2015

The Monday Memo

March 30, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Keys to Becoming an Expert PT”

Recently, there was an interesting post on the AAOMPT sSIG asking experienced PT’s what they wished they had known coming into their education.  It garnered some great responses, and these are (paraphrased) what the top five were:

  1. Constantly be reassessing yourself and keep an open mind.
    1. It is constantly stressed to people here in Pitt’s program to always reflect and assess the good and bad of every situation.  Realizing a mistake or a missed opportunity is the first step needed in correcting it for the future.  So the next time you treat a patient, come back to it afterward and look at them with fresh eyes, you may see them differently.
  2. Perfect the basics.
    1. Spend time early in your education honing your techniques.  The devil is in the details, and being able to skillfully perform your craft is almost as important as knowing when and where to use it.
  3. Surround yourself with people that are skilled and passionate.
    1. There’s an old saying that if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.  Challenge yourself with your surroundings, and most importantly, be receptive to what it has to teach you.
  4. Listen to the evidence.
    1. Be able to back your decision, and the evidence is a great place to start.  Use the information that others have given you, and keep in mind that new knowledge is always available.
  5. Love what you do.
    1. Hopefully the easiest of the five, and by far the most critical.  Invest in those around you, take some time for yourself, and relish in the fruits of your labors.  You don’t have to work a single day in your life if you love what you do.

 

Good luck and best wishes in your endeavors!

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Brandon Rodgers and Alex Kemble for planning an incredible spring formal event!

Source: http://www.themanualtherapist.com/2015/03/top-5-fridays-advice-from-5-seasoned.html

 

-Michael Turnwald

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
March 30, 2015 |