William Boissonnault – Medical Screening: The Sherlock Holmes Approach


Medical Screening: The Sherlock Holmes Approach

William Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAAOMPT, FAPTA

October 25, 2014         1:30 pm – 7:00 pm

(Registration beings at 1:00 pm)

October 26, 2014        7:45 am – 1:30 pm


All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Foundation for Physical Therapy as part of the Miami-Marquette Challenge




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Sorry, but we are unable to issue refunds


Course Description

Patient cases will “drive” this seminar in order to advance clinical decision-making skills related to the critical responsibility of recognizing when physician contact is required. The three pillars of evidenced-based practice will form the basis for exploring critical red flag questions including: what is the best next question to ask the patient, when is a red flag really a red flag, how many red flags are necessary for a referral to be made, what if a screening guideline doesn’t exist for the patient, do I mention cancer to the patient etc.? Professional communication with patients and physicians will also be a central theme throughout the seminar.


Learning Objectives

1. Compare and contrast the physical therapist’s role and responsibilities with those of physicians, associated with the differential diagnosis/medical screening process.

2. More efficiently and appropriately integrate medical screening questions and techniques into the patient examination

3. More accurately interpret history and physical examination findings (red flags) and decide whether communication with a physician is warranted regarding a patient’s health status.

4. Quickly determine the urgency of concerns regarding a patient’s health status.

5. Skillfully employ strategies to facilitate professional communication between therapist and physician and therapist and patient; including when, how and what to communicate as part of a patient referral.

6. Describe the risk factors, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of selected medical conditions representing the various body systems-differentiating between joint, limb and back pain conditions-those that can be managed by PTs and those that require physician oversight.

7. Effectively pursue additional information associated with differential diagnosis by the physical therapist.

Continuing Education Units

Direct Access CEUs : 10

General Access CEUs: 0

Total CEUs: 10

Course Schedule


1:30 Course Introduction
2:00 Patient Case Discussion
2:30 Differential Diagnosis of Limb Pain/Joint Pain
4:00 BREAK
4:15 Fracture Screening
5:15 Differential Diagnosis of Joint Pain
5:45 BREAK
6:00 Differential Diagnosis of Joint Pain (cont.)
6:30 Patient Case Discussions
7:00 END


7:45 Patient Case Discussions
8:15 Differential Diagnosis of Back Pain
10:30 BREAK
10:45 Screening for Major Depression
11:30 LUNCH
12:00 Screening for Skin Lesions
1:00 Patient Case and Course Wrap-up

*Schedule subject to change


About the Speaker

William Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAAOMPT, FAPTA is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the Physical Therapy program, a Senior Physical Therapist at University of Wisconsin Hospital, and is Curriculum Director at UW/Meriter Hospital Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinical Residency Program.

Dr. Boissonnault holds multiple adjunct physical therapy faculty positions- presenting nationally and internationally-teaching differential diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, and communication skills. He is editor of the textbook Primary Care for the Physical Therapist; Examination and Triage, and past co-editor of Pathology: Implications for the Physical Therapist. He has multiple journal publications related to differential diagnosis, thrust joint manipulation and entry-level education, physical therapist practice-outcomes assessment and direct access.

Dr. Boissonnault has received the Orthopaedic Section Stanley V. Paris Distinguished Service Award, APTA’s Baethke-Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching, and Lucy Blair Service Award; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School Dean’s Teaching Award for Excellence and Innovation in Medical Education. He has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA.


August 31, 2014 |