Stating that the physical therapy community has not adequately dealt with change in physical therapy education, Leslie Portney, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, said that disruptive change is needed. Portney delivered the 17th annual Pauline Cerasoli Lecture February 5 on “Choosing a Disruptive Path Toward Tomorrow.”
“If we don’t move away from the same tools and frameworks that we have always used,” Portney said, “we will find ourselves being forced to when tomorrow comes.”
She explained that disruptive innovation explains how new products or services become adopted when they serve a new market, are cheaper or more efficient than older products, and effectively change the culture of the product’s use. The printing press, personal computer, retail health clinics, and the first use of anesthesia are disruptive innovations. In contrast, sustaining innovations seek to improve the status quo—such as car engines with better mileage.
Portney said that most of the changes in physical therapy education during the past 50 years have been sustaining, rather than disruptive. Sustaining is no longer sufficient, she said, and, meanwhile, the sustainability of current business models in higher education is being challenged by “the perfect storm” of tuition increases, student debt, and tuition discounting. These “could make the financial foundation of our institutions untenable.”
Portney proposed a series of potentially disruptive innovations for physical therapy education, including online education, faculty and curriculum changes, and evidence-based teaching.
Following Portney’s address, it was accounted that Cecilia Graham, PT, PhD, would be the 2015 Cerasoli lecturer.
For further coverage of the Cerasoli Lecture and other sessions from CSM 2014 in Las Vegas, watch for the CSM Daily News highlights issue, to be delivered electronically to members after the close of the meeting. Past issues are posted on www.apta.org/CSM.
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