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!
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