The Monday Memo: 1/26/2015

The Monday Memo

January 26, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Direct Access”

Many thanks to everyone that attended Pitt Preview this past Saturday.  We were more than excited to show everyone around our fantastic facilities and finally get to sit down and talk with the new class of DPT students set to start this June.  See you all soon!

 

As everyone heard mentioned by Professor Timko during his musculoskeletal presentation, one of the goals for physical therapy, as a profession, is unrestricted Direct Access for patients.  This past year, the pursuit for this freedom passed a huge milestone as Michigan became the 51st and final United States district to pass legislation allowing at least some form of Direct Access.

 

Direct Access has been around in some shape or form for decades and has always been dependent upon state-by-state healthcare legislation, but only now is it available across the country, including the District of Columbia.  In other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, it has been a staple for years, and it is the norm for anyone suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder to visit their physiotherapist right away, rather than wait for a referral. Direct Access in its unrestricted form allows for patients to see their physical therapists immediately, without having to first visit their primary care physician to receive a referral.  PTs can evaluate these patients and then treat them for a certain amount of time, typically 30 days, at which point if the patient has not improved they are required to then visit their PCP.  This type of system eliminates unnecessary health care costs, delays in treatments, prolonged discomfort for the patient, and over-utilization of imaging; all of which are the goals of new prospective health care models that were the motivation for health care reform in the past ten years.

 

However, with this type of system it brings into question as whether physical therapists are knowledgeable enough to properly evaluate and screen for more serious health issues than mechanical musculoskeletal disorders; and we would say that yes, they are.  The goal of Doctor of Physical Therapy programs is to produce practitioners that are educated in the screening of red flags for more serious diseases and know when to refer for further medical work-ups.  Currently, students at Pitt are taught that the first question a PT should ask themselves when seeing a patient is whether or not the patient is appropriate for physical therapy, or does the patient presentation indicate something more serious.  The first step in instilling widespread confidence in the capabilities of physical therapists is to properly educate and prepare the practitioners for the situations that is appropriate and inappropriate to treat.  Students at Pitt are taught this early, and they are reminded of it often as they are prepared to enter the field as proficient and capable future Direct Access practitioners.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Thank you from Dr. Kelly and myself to all of the students that came and volunteered at Preview Pitt this past weekend!  Without your help the event could not have been as successful as it was.

 

-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)
January 26, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 1/19/2015

The Monday Memo

January 19, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Disparities in Health Care”

Monday the 19th, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his courageous pursuit for equality for all men and women so that everyone might have the same rights, liberties, and freedoms to pursue their own happiness.  In the decades since his push for equality, the country has become a different place than what it was in the 1960’s; and yet widespread disparities still exist across the United States.  These disparities remain a constant across our field of health care.

“Health disparities are gaps in heath and health determinants between segments of the population.  For example, differences in disease rates, receipt of preventative care or risk behaviors are all examples of disparities”, Centers for Disease Control, 2013. 

There is extensive evidence that disparities exist across the gamut of health care services, and are dependent on a person’s sex, disability, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and even geographical location.  For instance, maternal deaths per 100,000 childbirths in 2012 was 39.2 in African Americans compared to 11.7 in Caucasians.  However, education also correlated with disparities in maternal deaths.  In women that received less than a high school education, 22.1 deaths occurred whereas only 11.3 occurred in those women with at least some college education.

Disparities also exist within the realm of physical therapy, some of which were identified in the APTA’s 2005 report Racial and Ethnic Disparities In Health Care.  The report also identified areas in need of research to better ascertain the causes of and, eventually, possible solutions to these gaps in our areas of practice.  Current research in this area is being performed by the University of Pittsburgh’s own Allyn Bove, DPT on the correlation of ethnicity to orthopedic procedures.

Disparities in health care still persist in our society today; many more than what have been mentioned here.  Dr. King once dreamt of equality amongst all people, and much has been accomplished in striving towards this dream.  But chasms still exist in health care outcomes that fall along socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographical lines.  We must work towards closing those gaps, and bringing excellent health care to all people.

For more information, please follow the links provided at the bottom of the post.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to Carlos Darby and Andrew Clark on their winter break weddings, and John Schneider on the announcement of his baby boy!

 

References:

Health Care Disparities, APTA.org: http://www.apta.org/HealthCareDisparities/

Research in Minority Health Disparities, PTinMotion, 2006: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2006/5/Feature/ResearchinMinorityHealthDisparities/

2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhdr12/

 

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)
January 21, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 1/12/2015

The Monday Memo

January 12, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Stuart Scott and the Ripple Effect”

 

Honestly, I wish I wasn’t writing this.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I always truly enjoyed the experience of writing these memos over the last year, but this week’s piece comes as the result of an unfortunate circumstance.  Last year, I wrote about ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott as he was receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at 2014’s ESPY awards.  We lost Mr. Scott on January 4th, 2015.

 

Since then, I have been closely watching the outpouring of affection towards Stuart, trying to understand the impact this man left on popular culture.  Each broadcaster, athlete, or popular figure paying reverence to Stuart spoke to his tremendous perseverance in the face of unspeakable odds.  Scott was “full of life; this doesn’t mean the most gregarious one at the party… this means someone who battled cancer head on three times, and never lost his great attitude about beating it, and never lost his drive and energy in fighting it”, ESPN anchor Chris Berman said of Scott.

 

I went back to Scott’s powerful ESPY awards speech from last July.  I watched it over and over again.  This man’s strength and will, accompanied by his cool temperament and positive nature, were captivating and stunning.  Two quotes stuck out beyond any other:

 

“Our life’s journey is about the people who touch us.”

 

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer.  You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.  So Live. Live! Fight like hell.” 

 

When you fight your hardest, you do not lose.  You grow.  The manner in which you grow, and the way in which you face that adversity can deeply impact those around you, creating a ripple effect, of sorts.  The ripple you make takes that “growth” to others.  In essence, your spirit, your drive, your growth is never lost because if the effect you have is the right one, that ripple never really ends.  Those who see positive action implement it in their own lives, and those around them will be impacted by that positive change.  Stuart’s attitude exemplifies that positive ripple effect.  The inspiration to do more comes from Scott’s “full of life” persona.

 

Rest in Peace, Stuart Scott.  Your ripple effect will be felt for years to come.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEV8nPMfXh4

 

-Jeremy Harris

 

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)
January 12, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 1/5/2015

The Monday Memo

January 5, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Bringing in 2015″

And we’re off, everybody!  Another new year brings with it the promise of new challenges, new opportunities, and new experiences.  And we won’t have long to wait.  Within the next month alone we will have exams, conferences, Preview Pitt, open house, CAPTE, and welcoming newly admitted students to our incredible program.  These are just a few of the things we will accomplish.

If this makes your heart rate climb, just put this in perspective:  Think of where you were and how you felt only a year ago.  Now imagine where you will be in January 2016.  You will be there before you know it!  Happy New Year and Hail to Pitt!

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to the new Mrs. Shanna Naider!  Also, a heartfelt farewell to Maria Calla’s PICC Line.

- 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)
January 8, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 12/8/2014

The Monday Memo

December 8, 2014                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Sticks and Stones May Break Bones, but Words Can Hurt Forever”

A recent article in the San Francisco Examiner has drawn a lot of attention from the physical therapy community for its description of clinical PT.  In the article entitled “Injury is a reason to exercise, not an excuse to avoid it,” author Kevin Stone focuses on his CrossFit-based rehabilitation program which he encourages people to take if they are suffering from an injury.  His reasoning for this the habit that people tend to “favor” other body parts which leads to further injury.

However, he goes on to write “Therapy usually focuses just on the site of injury and traditionally ends when that particular part of the body is at least partially healed. It’s not designed to get a person back to total body fitness and strength.”  This, along with generalizations about injury and exercise, create an article that can be very easily misconstrued as fact.  His underlying goal for this article is to promote his “total body recovery program.”

We, as physical therapists, will encounter people that have been given misinformation on a daily basis.  It is our responsibility to inform people of the clinical evidence and science that goes behind proper PT.  As we all know, proper PT does not focus on a single joint for a rehab plan and do not discharge when a disability is only “partially healed.”  Always be aware of misinformation and opinions stated as fact, as this misguiding information can be hurtful to your patients as well as you as a clinician.

Read the APTA’s rebuttal to the article here:  http://www.apta.org/Media/Letters/2014/12/4/

Read The Examiner article here:  http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/injury-is-a-reason-to-exercise-not-an-excuse-to-avoid-it/Content?oid=2913017

 

SPOTLIGHT: Congratulations to Kait Swisher on her recent engagement!  Happy Holidays to everyone, we will see you in 2015!

- 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)
December 9, 2014 |