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PT and the Greater Good

We Should Watch (Read) Gretchen Reynolds

Published February 13, 2013 11:29 AM by Dean Metz
Who is Gretchen Reynolds, you may ask?

She's a columnist for The New York Times, and journalist for other publications as well, who writes about exercise and fitness

She brings reports about studies on exercise, fitness and aging to the general public in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. She's not a physical therapist. The comments from readers after her columns are sometimes as interesting as the article itself. This week's comments come from a number of doctors.

Why should you care?

This is writing that could and should be done by a physical therapist. Is it any wonder that the public (and doctors!) don't associate physical therapy with many things we should be addressing, such as exercise and arthritis or weight loss? As a profession, we complain that other practitioners are pushing into "our" territory and infringing on what we do.

Small wonder that! How many times have we heard or told someone to not use "medical jargon?" We're so impressed with our body of knowledge that we use big words, words that have no meaning to the average consumer (yes, it's a business). But trainers speak the language people want to hear and are able to understand. They're accessible on paper, online and at most gyms.

What should we do?

Get out there! Approach your local paper about writing a column. Write a book. Give a seminar (to the public, not each other). Learn how to engage the public. Congratulations, most physical therapists have DPTs now. It's tragic that trainers may drive you into bankruptcy.

1 comments

Dean,

You are right therapists (PT's and PTA's) should be writing, publishing, and getting out there to inform the public of what therapy is.   It is sad that the trainers still overshadow physical therapy in the health, wellness and fitness realm.

In some markets a trainer could probably make more than a DPT ever could.  It is nice to know a therapist has great knowledge of a body's function and dysfunction but if it is not used effectively to teach in an everyday language and situation the career will only be a soft mention in a growing field of wellness.

A disciplined trainer can get a TV deal, books, CD's, DVD's etc.  I wonder if there is a therapist with that type of dedication to help the profession grow?  The one that does would be demonized by their peers and criticized and investigated by their respective state therapy board.  

Jason Marketti February 14, 2013 12:07 AM

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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