A Specialist in the Silo
Will the therapy profession eventually turn into a series of specialists with doctorate degrees who have been so focused on research, school and administrative duties that they eventually lose touch with the patients they were initially committed to help?
This may happen with the current trend in which we all carry certificates from various schools of thought and continue to attain higher levels of education. The medical profession as a whole has been going that route for years, deciding unwittingly that with more training they can help more people. And hospitalists in physical therapy should be right around the corner.
With more training, there is an increase of knowledge and a better focus to assist patients. Yes? Maybe.
Eventually patients will see their general PT who can then refer them to the specialist PT who deals only with the shoulder. Is it possible?
Then patients can question why they have to go from one PT to the next just to strengthen their rhomboids. And eventually it will be thought that we should have more generalist PTs and PTAs in the field of physical therapy who can "do it all" with lower wait times before an evaluation takes place.
Specialty certificates have their place as does an increase in education but if we are to enter a field where doctorates are the norm and certificates are expected just to treat patients we should first focus on what the patients want from us.