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Toni Talks about PT Today

It's Time for CSM

Published January 28, 2014 4:41 PM by Toni Patt

It's almost that time of year again when thousands of us gather for the APTA Combined Sections Meeting. This year we're in Las Vegas. According to what I've read, they're expecting more than 10,000 PTs and PTAs to attend. I'm going. To use a Texas-like phrase, this isn't my first rodeo.

This will be my third CSM, so I know what to expect. The exhibit hall will be the size of a football field and filled with gadgets, technology, DME, facilities looking for staff, tDPT programs looking for students, publishers and the APTA. It will take me all of two days' worth of breaks to see the entire hall.

This year I'm attending a preconference course on, of course, stroke. I've already printed the handouts. I'm familiar with everything I saw. I'm already teaching about a third of it. I know I will learn something. But this is a two-day course sponsored by the Neurology Section. I'm expecting to learn more than a few things. I hope to expand my knowledge of the things I'm already familiar with.

I pre-selected my courses when I registered. Once again, I'm pretty much sticking in the neuro section. A couple of the courses are co-sponsored by the Geriatrics Section. I naturally gravitate toward stroke and brain injury. My goal is to attend either a degenerative diseases or vestibular lecture to increase my overall knowledge.

Most of lectures I've attended have been worthwhile. But I've learned you have to read between the lines of the descriptions. Pre-reading the handouts helps with figuring out what the true topics will be. Last year one of the most interesting lectures I attended concerned gene mapping. They didn't cover anything clinical but it was fascinating. Sometimes fascinating is better. I try to pick things that I have an interest in or relate to what I'm teaching. Naturally most of the ones I want to attend are offered at the same times. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I'm staying at the Venetian, which is the main hotel. I've checked the website. It's huge. I won't have to leave the building for anything: food, shopping, entertainment, spa services and of course casinos. There is actually a mall on site. In fact, the only time I'll go outside is to make a quick trip to the "Pawn Stars" pawn shop. It's a 10-minute taxi ride away. The last time I was in Vegas, I played the slots. I lost two dollars. Been there, done that. Now I'm going to the pawn store for entertainment.

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