Interdisciplinary Exposure for PT Students
Yesterday, I had an hour-long conversation with my rugby coach about what he, as a chiropractor, does with his patients. I have never been to a chiropractor and therefore know very little about their scope of practice. I have to say that I was surprised by the many similarities between some of his treatment techniques and those that we have learned along the way. We talked a lot about the spine, but also about how he treats the shoulder and hip. I'm not sure if he is an atypical chiropractor, but his approach was almost exactly the same as what I have seen on my clinical rotations.
The conversation made me think that there would probably be some value in learning what other clinicians are doing in more detail. Even after such a simple discussion, I feel much more aware of what to tell a patient if he asks about seeing a different clinician. At the very least, I have a better idea of what type of care a patient has already received if he comes in and tells me he's been seeing a chiropractor. I've started to make a mental list of some other clinicians I would like to learn more about and plan to take any opportunity I can to talk to them and see what they have to say about their treatment philosophies.
I don't know if it's allowed, but I'm going to look into shadowing my coach. I'm sure I'll find some techniques and concepts that are very different from what we learn in PT school, but I'd prefer to be aware of them rather than just making assumptions. Our two fields are very closely linked and I think all students would benefit greatly by having a better understanding of the similarities and differences.