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Transition to Rehab Management

Back to Study Mode

Published August 30, 2012 2:42 PM by Karen Schiff

Three courses, three months. Final year of an investment in this tremendous amount of knowledge. Although the courses sound familiar to me, just flipping through the PowerPoint presentations solidifies the fact that there is still so much to learn. As my colleagues and I review the syllabus, we calm ourselves with the fact that much of the information is familiar to us. "Medical Imaging in Rehabilitation" will open our eyes to being able to distinguish between different structures in various exams, as well as systematically evaluate exams in regard to musculoskeletal structures. Although experience has given all of us the opportunity to interpret various exams to the best of our ability, this concrete knowledge will justify our positions as DPTs and primary care providers in direct access.

"Advanced Manual Therapy" is the second course this semester. It was unclear before reviewing the syllabus how this class would proceed in an online course. Reviewing course objectives clears the picture since we, as doctoral candidates, will learn about the history of manual therapy as it pertains to PT, osteopathy and chiropractic medicine. This will lead to an extensive review of literature relative to reliability and validity of various techniques. Not only will this include peripheral joint diagnoses, but spinal diagnoses as well. Most interesting to me is a section that will review political and legislative issues for our profession. This will assist me in discussing different options with my patients and physicians. Finally, the course will end with a discussion of a variety of resources available to further develop manual therapy skills.

Finally, the course that has been called "the dessert of the semester" by a coworker and recent DPT graduate will be completed in a most creative fashion. "Physical Therapy in a Direct Access Setting" will cover all aspects of autonomous practice, and the necessity of the same for our patients' needs. We will learn to analyze peer-reviewed literature to be able to present "logical and defensible evidence substantiating the role of physical therapists" as primary care providers in a direct access setting.

Each of my colleagues brings a different perspective to these studies. There will be intriguing discussions during lunch regarding reviewed literature, which will stimulate further conversation and interest in the DPT. As my four coworkers and I start this first semester of our second year, we welcome three additional coworkers/ DPT candidates to their program at another school, and look forward to sharing our knowledge and support over the coming months. By this time next year, two-thirds of our staff will have their DPTs, which will bring our profession and healthcare system to a higher level.


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