The Monday Memo
September 5, 2016 PITT DPT STUDENTS
This past week was a very special one for the University of Pittsburgh’s Physical Therapy department. Last Monday marked the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester as well as the start of our program’s inaugural “PT Boot Camp” for the DPT Class of 2019. The week revolved around preparing us for our upcoming clinical internships. One of the major themes was the importance of providing what is known as “patient-centered care.”
As physical therapists, it’s absolutely critical for us to understand that our patients are more than just their medical diagnosis. Your 2PM appointment is not just the “middle-aged woman with chronic low back pain.” She’s Jennifer, a 36 year old certified public accountant, mother of two, treasurer of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center, and avid Penguins fan. These roles require her time, attention, and energy. They complicate our intervention strategy and require us to make adjustments that are unique to Jennifer’s situation if we want to provide the best possible care.
As musculoskeletal experts, we drill human anatomy and physiology into our heads, exploring the finer points of scapulohumeral rhythm and the difference between upper and lower motor neuron lesions. While these aspects are important, we also need to realize that each and every one of our patients will have their own unique set of social and psychological factors that will impact their plan of care. It is our job to help them overcome these challenges and provide strategies for incorporating their therapy into the constraints of their life.
This philosophy should challenge practitioners to examine the way they interact with their patients, from the initial examination through their final physical therapy session. It should affect the tone that you set, the words that you say, and the interventions that you choose. For instance, the desk jockey recovering from an ACL tear will require a radically different progression scheme than the college-level running back hoping to return to competition. Operating under this model will not only improve patient outcomes, but it will create more well-rounded, knowledgeable, and skilled therapists. I challenge you to join the ranks of those who have already embraced this philosophy, and witness the positive impact on your ability to change the lives of those around you.
– Charlie Badawy, DPT Class of 2019 President
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)