Saturday, February 12, 2011

CSM 2011

As a student physical therapist I attended all 9 of the national meetings available from the APTA. Since attaining my doctorate in may 2008 this weekend is my first return to a national conference.

I think its a great event for so many reasons. However, it highlights where we are as a profession. The diversity of practice is the strength and weakness of our profession. There are 18 specialty sections and many special interest groups branching from each section, over 50 I would say.

I went to a great talk about branding yesterday. The top 100 image results in Google for the term "physical therapy" was discussed. 42 showed gait training while 4 were related to back specialist and 2 related to performance with a few others in between. I invite you to do this experiment and see how it matches your perception of PT. Perception is everything, no matter your skill level as clinicians.

"We are who Google says we are"

As much as I enjoy some gait training, I as a PT see performance as the bigger picture. We are lacking in the market that is fitness and we should be the top of the food chain as musculoskeletal experts. Selena from EIM has a great post about her takeaway from csm, I will try to link to it when I'm not on my Droid.

A lot of excitement about where we can go but also a lot of frustration for me because of where we are. Stay optimistic and keep moving forward is all I/we can do. Thank you APTA for pushing us forward and thank you EIM for pushing APTA.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7


Ben said...

Being more in the Rehab world, I have a similar point to make but also a slightly different view.

In my opinion the profession should aggressively move from "Re"habilitation to Habilitation.

Instead of looking to us to relearn/regain function, our client base should look to us for assistance in living the way they want to live. This would speak to your fitness perspective Bo. But at the same time, I would argue that our skill set is best matched to fitness clients that have comorbidities. Though who doesn't these days, right? As a future PT fitness guru, how would you delinate the role of PTs from ATCs from Personal Trainers? Is it different in the presence or absence of comorbid conditions?

BoDPT said...

Similar to your question at the PAC luncheon, which may never actually be addressed...
I believe we as "musculoskeletal experts" (perhaps add in 'neuro' in there) should be the front line, provider of choice for HEALTHY LIVING. I believe we can fix asymmetric bodies now at any age (the earlier the better) to save on the TKR/THR that is awaiting the baby boomers and beyond in the years to come. Trickle up economics? Each total joint according to the very legit source ( is about $35,000.00. If we can prevent 100 that comes to 3.5 million...
As for the comorbid conditions you hit the nail on the head, everyone has them but more importantly we as PT's with a lifetime view of health can help prevent comorbidities. ATCs have been educated in dealing with athletes and how to get the athlete back in the game, how much this translates over to weekend warriors is worth debating and at this point we probably need all the healthcare providers we can get, working together. Personal trainers have no standardization in the industry. If I wanted an exercise program I may go to some of the REAL GOOD personal trainers I know before a good amount of PT's I know, but I still choose the REAL GOOD PT (e.g over any personal trainer, for my own health.
There is a lot of information out there that is BUNK. We have to make sure we are providing the solution that will improve HEALTH, FITNESS and QUALITY OF LIFE. As a profession we have to delineate ourselves as the top of that food chain.