The Monday Memo
November 25, 2013 PITT DPT STUDENTS
“A Historic Effort”
This past week, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was prompted by the event to watch the president’s inaugural address from January 20th, 1961. The speech is most famous for the quote, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Kennedy was a phenomenal orator; the address displays a sense of confidence, composure, and pride in the American people. As I listened in, I heard the overarching theme of unifying to work together to achieve a common goal. Whether it was for other nations of the world, allies or otherwise, or working on partisanship in the country’s government, Kennedy embraced the concept of “both sides”.
In clinical practice, our concept of “both sides” relates directly to our interactions with patients in the clinic. We work together to educate, retrain, and rehabilitate, and the success of one side is dependent in some way on the success of the other. Taking a spin on the President’s famous quote, we know what we can do for our patients, but what can our patients do for us? What can we learn from them? How can we make our practice better in response?
Towards the end of the address, President Kennedy questioned our nation’s people, “Will you join [the] historic effort” to help the progress of this country? As students of physical therapy, our “historic effort” revolves around continuing to develop an environment of patient-centered care, and doing our best to provide the grounds for health and wellness to those with which we work. That effort will help the progress of our patients, and will undoubtedly have a historic impact on their lives.
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