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What does it mean to recognize one's personal biases and to act in a "respectful manner" as a physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA)—per the citation of those behaviors in the Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant? Consider the following scenario, in which a PT takes ethical directives in an interesting direction.

Right of First Refusal?

Daniel, a doctor of physical therapy student (DPT) at State University, is doing a clinical rotation at Regional Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center. At the request of his clinical instructor (CI), Mary Kate, upon his arrival he had submitted a wish list of what he'd most like to do and accomplish during the rotation. Topmost was working with a patient with an amputation, as Daniel had been fascinated by the course content in his orthotics and prosthetics class.

The student has enjoyed the rotation, finding Mary Kate to be a skilled PT and an insightful and patient teacher. He's learned a lot about how to treat patients who have a variety of trauma-related injuries and conditions. With the rotation beginning to wind down, however, he has yet to see a patient with an amputation. This seems odd to Daniel, given the volume of patients the center sees. He assumes, however, that if a hospital patient had undergone an amputation in the time he's been there, Mary Kate surely would have been aware of it.

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