Interprofessionalism and PT
A few days ago, my entire class attended Pitt's "Interprofessional Forum," an event meant to encourage collaboration among health professionals. Attendance for all first-year health and medical students was mandatory. While the concept may have been innovative, the event was poorly executed (for anyone other than medical and nursing students).
In the two hours that we sat there, physical therapy was only mentioned twice. The first was during a mock evaluation of a patient, who denied having any form of PT. The second time was when a third-year medical student acknowledged that physical therapists can likely perform a better knee eval than they can. We didn't even have a faculty representative on the panel! The only representation from the entire field of rehabilitation was an audiologist. The longer we sat there, the more the event felt like a slap in the face.
All of us are very proud of the profession that we are working toward, and to be overlooked at a forum meant to encourage teamwork felt like the ultimate exclusion. Needless to say, we had a lot of negative feedback to give. More importantly, I think it left us all feeling a bit disenchanted with the medical field and what our roles will eventually be. Is this something that many people have experienced, or was this forum a poor representation of the actual working climate? Our professors have assured us that their professional interactions have been mostly positive, but I'm curious to see how everyone else feels.
I know that the field of physical therapy is changing and working toward certain goals in the next five to 10 years. I just hope that by then, given direct access and all of the other developments, PT will be an important part of a patient's plan of care.