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  • APTA Aims to Make Annual Physical Therapy Exam a Reality

    Recognizing the daunting task of educating the public on the value of visiting a physical therapist (PT) annually, APTA will support the promotion and implementation of an annual exam by coordinating the development and promulgation of best clinical practice screenings and exams to meet the needs of all individuals. The association also will develop resources and tools to help PTs track individual patient outcomes and a plan to enhance public recognition of the need and benefit of an annual exam.
    [RC- 24-11] 


    • What is the purpose of this exam and how or will it effect licensure? One of the concerns I have is that we continually move in a direction of making the PT license and practice harder and harder to achieve. I believe that this may be leading us to an exclusivity that ultimately leads to the demise of the physical therapy profession. The shortage of therapists is acute. It will likely get worse with higher requirements, cost, etc. In the absense of "qualified" personnel, the job either will not get done or will get done but likely by less qualified people redirecting and redefining what "therapy" means. There are multiple examples of this already happening. We really need to look at the long term impact of the decisions we are making.

      Posted by Carol Burger on 6/17/2011 3:57 PM

    • It makes incredible sense to advocate for an annual physical wellness exam by a physical therapist, given that individuals are increasing covered for wellness exams under traditional insurance or through health savings plans. We need to learn from the dentist model!

      Posted by Rick Wickstrom on 6/17/2011 5:30 PM

    • I may be misreading the blurb, but I interpret this as advocating an yearly PT screen or examination of the public, not offering the licansure exam on an annual basis.

      Posted by Ray Metzger on 6/17/2011 5:37 PM

    • I could not be a stronger advocate for offering the public the opportunity for an annual examination. This exam needs to be consistent with the promotion of the Physical Therapist as the expert in movement analysis or best yet as the professional responsible for the Movement system. That would mean examination of the components of the movement system(muscular, skeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, metabolic) as they affect and are effected by movement. The development of such an exam would be the foot in the door to helping the public know that we know the most about exercise and not because we are Pilates teachers but because we know the anatomy and kinesiology and physiology. Unfortunately that is going to involve an extensive education program for most PTs, to revive the memory of things lost for lack of application of the basics of education.

      Posted by Shirley Sahrmann on 6/17/2011 6:34 PM

    • Mike Voight has a great exam that could be implemented, the Selective Functional Movement Assessment. It doesn't take too long and is comprehensive.

      Posted by Phil on 6/17/2011 8:44 PM

    • I agree with offering the public an annual exam by a Physical Therapist. This is a great opportunity to establish ourselves with the patient in the case that they do have an issue in the year to come. It is promotional to the profession as a whole, and sets us apart as an integral part of the healthcare system.

      Posted by Jen Allen on 6/18/2011 12:18 PM

    • Dear Dr Sarhmann, Thank you very much for your valuable input. I am 100% with you on that. Chiropractics heavily promote their "Wellnes model" when people neeed to see a chiropractic from the very early childhood on. However, their manipulations may be harmfull for people with certain conditions, for ex. for pts with ligament laxity or bad OA. In addition, their model lucks in depth postural or exercise approach to health. Nevertheless, public in general sees chiropractics as Doctors, and the last law change that allows them to recommend and sell supplements and vits only adds to that view. Another point that I'd like to make is about personal trainers, various exercise CDs and TV commercials that offer an abandance of different exercise programs/approaches. Many times I saw pts with more or less serious traumas after they tried one of the above. However, people still see all these people as high authorities in exrcise field... This is sad. PTs should become more and more the publically recognized experts in exercise training, postural and correct body mechanics training because this is really who we are. This will allow for an early trauma or a chronic orthopedic condition prevention, save insurances a lot of $$ for prolonged rehab, costly Drs visits, surgeries and tests, not to mention better qualiy of life for those who comes to us too late in the game for a 100% recovery. Therefore, I am all for the annual PT exam. I feel that it will be really important step to a better public health which our country needs badly.

      Posted by Bella Kavalerchik on 6/18/2011 2:34 PM

    • I do like the positives of this, but I also know that this is a way for the goverment to have access to everyone's personal information. Can you say: Socialist medicine?

      Posted by Renee Hill, P.T. on 6/20/2011 12:03 PM

    • Often times, the corrective exercises we prescribe and the education we provide on optimal posture and movement mechanics for patients presenting with pain could be applied in response to observable impairments in non-painful patients. This is the crux of the issue with respect to physiotherapy as preventative medicine. When you teach a patient to center the humeral head in the glenoid fossa during arm movement or keep their knees apart during squatting to improve patellofemoral tracking, inevitably they respond, "Why didn't I learn this earlier?" The answer is, "You should have." People should learn this stuff in their youth before they damaged their rotator cuff or develop chondromalacia patella. Everybody thinks it's common sense when you walk them through it. We just need the right ad campaign. It would improve societal health dramatically if people sought physiotherapy preventatively.

      Posted by Justin Vanderleest on 2/18/2014 6:26 PM

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