This is me.

Inter-professional pissing contest.

First and last time I’ll ever engage in this conversation (I hope).


My friend @RGWooderson, sent me a link to a post by a physical therapist who has been in the profession a long time, and done a lot of cool stuff. You can read his CV on his website. He has been the CRO: Chief Revolutionary Officer since 2011 for a company he started – The Smart Life Project. Thank you Allen, for your insight into damned future of our profession. But who are you mad at? All I did was start applying to PT schools in 2008/2009.


You can read his post here: Was the DPT The Right Direction?


Here’s the problem I have with it, more than anything. We’re, as a profession, trying to elevate ourselves in the public’s eyes and through legislation. Blog posts like his only hurt our profession. While he is spending an evening trying to start an interprofessional pissing contest (which I’m sure won’t interest people in his “institute”), others among us will be working together to move forward.


Thomas Kuhn wrote a great book int he 60’s and coined the term paradigm shift, discussing the history of science and how exactly competing ideologies came about, and came to die in the face of new world views. He quoted Max Plank (long story) in the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, saying “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”


The conversation over the presence of DPT in the profession ended a while ago (whenever, I don’t know). Taking time away to engage people who have already made up their mind about a topic isn’t going to do anything but stir the professional pot, if you will. He’s an old guy. He’s treated 10,000 patients! He, and the rest like him, will be out of the profession and dead before I can even afford to retire.


Have a great week.


-d

2 Comments

Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT 26-07-2012, 07:10

Denver -

I appreciate your perspectives on my post. Well, at least all of them until you got to the “old guy” part. :-)

Apparently this post struck a nerve with you. I thought a few comments might help clarify a few things.

I have watched the evolution of the PT profession in the US since moving here in 1990 from Canada. I remember when the transition to the Masters degree took place – back in my “not-quite-so-old” days! I can also speak to the vast differences in perception of the profession globally.

I am one of those people that wants to “move forward”. My first (of 25 or so) posts on consumer direct access was in 2007. I spoke at a public hearing for the most recent legislative effort in TX in 2011. With that said, I suspect we are on the same page.

Here’s the problem: if we don’t challenge ourselves to find better solutions to “move forward”, someone else will do it for us. That might involve some difficult and oftentimes emotional discussion.

In all honesty, the post wasn’t intended as a “pissing contest” – far from it actually. Part of the title that you omitted was “10 Points To Ponder”. The question is, did the evolution towards the clinical doctorate as the entry level of practice accomplish what it was supposed to accomplish?

Is that not a fair question of accountability? If you are told that x, y, and z will happen – and they don’t – would you keep doing x, y, and z anyway? Or would you, in your words, “work together to move forward”?

The conclusion of the post is actually positive: “We can build a profession that has the basic tenets of consumer direct access as its foundation – regardless of entry-level degree – much like the rest of the world”.

I think we would agree that that is what we all want. But I would suggest that it is imperative that we learn from our collective experiences (and be prepared for the challenges that will surely follow) in order for that to happen.

Your thoughts?

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Ann Wendel 26-07-2012, 14:10

Denver,
I think that maybe instead of feeling angry about the post, you could feel interested and curious, as in “Hmmm, is there any truth to what this article says?” I can assure you that there is truth in what Allan wrote. I am also (in your words), “old,and the rest like [him], will be out of the profession and dead before I can even afford to retire.” Which, on the flip side, means that I am old enough to have watched degree programs change over 20 years and see that there has not been enough benefit of those changes to justify the thousands of dollars of debt that you referred to.
I would think that as a new grad, who is experiencing these issues firsthand (crushing debt, salary not commensurate with debt repayment, inability to treat patients without a physician referral) that you would actually agree with Allan’s post!
This isn’t about old PT’s vs. new grad DPT’s. This is about how little has changed in proportion to all the changes that were promised as a result of moving toward a DPT. This is about how much work remains to allow PT’s as a whole profession to treat patients as we are qualified and prepared to based on our education- regardless of degree.

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