Continuing Education Bits for PTs & PTAs

Archive for the ‘Polls & Feedback’ Category

How do you face change?

marilyn-pink-profileINTRODUCTION: We received a number of great PT stories and we will announce the random winner of our $200 Amazon card next week. Meanwhile, as PT Month wraps up, I’d like to focus on the future and invite you to consider and answer this important question: How do you face the one certain thing we have in front of us: change. I look forwards to your comments!

— Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.

Eyes on the Future

PT Month wk 3 offerThere is a letter from Martin Van Buren to president Andrew Jackson that I keep in my wallet to remind me that things change: always have and always will (see below).  Our profession is changing.  Reimbursement is a stickler, more paperwork is necessary and less hands-on treatment is given.   There are three ways to face the changes that comes you way:

  1. You can resent that which happens to you
  2. You can consent to that which happens to you, or
  3. You can invent that which happens to you

As you consider the motivations that brought you into PT –the “why”– and as you consider the work you have done so far, we’d like you to tell us how you can leverage your experience for the next phase of your career: what is your response to the inevitable change?

Railroad letter

Tell us your physical therapy story!

The results of last week's EDUCATA poll.INTRODUCTION: We were not surprised, but still very gratified, to see the results from last week’s poll. We love that PTs and PTAs are so prompt and ready to help. And we loved comments like Larry’s, who loves what he does!

We look forward to hearing what you have to say and the stories you’d like to share. In fact, if you tell us one of your PT stories (it can be touching, funny, a learning experience — whatever you feel like telling us), we’ll be keeping an eye out to randomly select one story for a $200 Amazon gift certificate.

So, you started down this path with a specific purpose. Is that still your motivation today? Or has it changed, adapting to the twists and turns of life as it happens?

I remember serving on a panel about career direction to a group of PT students. One person on the panel was a pediatric PT, one was well known for her work in governance, another worked twice a year (for a month at a time) in a country/region of need, the fourth person worked in home health, and I was a researcher. Since I was the last seat on the panel, I had the luxury of hearing everybody else’s story first. I commented on how interesting it was to look at the pattern of the five of us: While our careers were so different, we were each PASSIONATE about what we did, we all had the same background/studies/degrees, yet we were able to contribute to our profession so differently.

Now, it’s YOUR turn. I look forward to hearing from you! — Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.

Tell us your story!

PT Month PTsHave you ever run into a situation, either as a PT student or in your work life, that you thought, “This one is for the books!” Tell us! If you found something to be funny, or something that inspired you, or something that has a lesson — we’d love to hear it.

We look forward to hearing from you! Click on “leave a comment” and tell us your story below.


What led YOU to become a PT or PTA?

It is PT Month and let’s focus on YOU as we open a 3-part series focus around the career ofmarilyn-pink-profile physical therapy.

As a PT myself, this month is the time I use for professional reflection: where I have been, where I am, where do I want to go, and how am I going to get there. Am I leveraging my past to be the best PT that I can be today? What have I given, what am I giving, what do I still want to give to our profession?

Given this is a ‘professional reflection’ month, let’s start by remembering your interview for school. Please take this short poll (below), and let’s engage into a conversation about this wonderful path we have taken. I look forward to what you have to say! 

Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D




There are no right or wrong answers — you’ve chosen a noble career and we salute you as we look forward to what you have to say.

And keep your eyes peeled for stories, reflections and tools that we will be publishing, which we hope will be useful in your professional life.

Comment at will!

How good is your differential diagnosis?

INTRODUCTION, by Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.: Differential diagnosis is critical for our professional development — and a topic that will be updated throughout our careers, particularly for PTs who practice with direct access to patients. We thought it would be fun to do a quick check on our understanding and see how we measure up. So treat yourself to this quick, 3-question quiz, below. 

Test yourself!

Here is a simple, 3-question quiz on differential diagnosis. To see how others answered, click on the “view results” link on each question. To see the correct answers, click here.

How well did you do? Feel you could use a brush-up and earn CE credits in the process? We have a great audiovisual course by Dr. Chad Cook in our course catalog. There are also many papers in our research library that cover the topic as well. Enjoy!


Here is how you voted:

Well, that was interesting! Here is how you voted on the 3-question quiz about differential diagnosis:

The question was: What’s the best test for ruling out impingement of the shoulder? You voted:

DidDiag 1

And the correct answer? The 297 people (62% of total) who chose Hawkins-Kennedy Test were correct!

The next question was: What is the best test to determine the presence of clinical osteoarthritis? Votes were close between “Pain in the morning” and “3 or more planes of ROM loss”. Correct answer?

DifDiag 2

3 or more planes of ROM loss! 35% of respondents had it right.

And, finally, we asked: “Which is the most useful test for ruling out the presence of any sacroiliac lesion?” You answered as follows:

DifDiag 3

Who hit it on the nail? Well, the 65 (only 14% of total respondents!) who said “Long dorsal ligament palpation”!

Seems like this is an area where a bit of skill sharpening could be useful! Our Differential Diagnosis course is taught by Dr. Chad Cook, a recognized expert in this field. He has taught over 2,000 physical therapists a year on the topic, and his books have sold over 5,000 copies. His writing and teaching is evidence-based and well received, as demonstrated through his over 70 peer-reviewed publications and his multiple awards in teaching and writing, including the 2009 Dorothy E. Baethke — Eleanor J. Carlin Award recipient for Excellence in Academic Teaching, from the APTA.

Differential Diagnosis is a 7.5-CE-hour course, so not only are you learning important information from the best in the field, but also getting con ed credits for your certification renewal.

Hope you found the above test fun and useful, and we welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free, as always, to peruse our FREE research library where you can find many great papers on this subject.


Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.


Your aging patient

Without exercise, aging is accompanied by a slippery slope of decreased vigor and well being. As PTs, there is much we can do to halt this decline and to help ourselves and our patients.

In this blog entry, we’d like to take the pulse of our community with a series of quick questions — for fun and for learning. Check them out and participate! We’ll share the responses (and correct answers!) in a follow up soon.

How much do you know about aging and exercise? Quiz yourself!




How did you do? We will publish the combined responses in the next few days. In the meantime, if you are treating older patients, you owe it to yourself to check out EDUCATA’s Functional Assessment and Exercise for the Aging Adult course by Drs. Avers & VanBeveren. They cover this topic with great expertise in a series of engaging lectures.

During February, we are offering this course at 25% off its regular price. That means that the cost of the 7-hour course is now only $157.41. The lectures include:

This offer will be good until February 28, 2013. To take advantage of the offer, click here and enroll. The discount will be automatically applied.

In the meantime, stay tuned for next week’s post with the results of the above quizzes. And, as always, we’d love to hear your questions and comments, so feel free!


Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.

Winning, Losing, Doping

Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah as to his doping charges on an interviewed aired January 17 & 18 (see link at the bottom of this blog post). Doping has been common since the origin of the Olympics (we are talking B.C. here, folks!) when athletes drank a special juice to increase performance and endurance. The current word comes from “doop” — of Dutch origin, meaning “thick dipping sauce” — and has been used in reference to use of drugs since the late 1800’s.

lance cut 3

Doping is now becoming an epidemic not just among athletes, but also among others as youth and the hip hop culture strive to “look good.”

Was it legal or moral for the Olympians? I don’t know, but it could place us, as PTs and trainers, in a difficult position. We all know that if we see abuse — be it elder, pediatric, or sexual abuse — we are required, in most states, to report it. But, what about PED (performance enhancing drugs) use?

As a clinician, I’ve seen professional, Olympic and high school athletes who have utilized PEDs. And I’m not certain what my responsibility is — or even IF I have a responsibility. So I could use a little help here.

What do YOU think, both as a citizen of the world and a healthcare professional? Do you know the side effects and the long term effects? Do you know what drugs are used? If you thought your patient was using PEDs, would you do anything to educate him/her? Do you feel an ethical responsibility for reporting suspected use? What would YOU have done had you been Lance Armstrong’s physical therapist or trainer, and suspected?

Let’s see what we all think as we now go into an OPEN FORUM. I’ve posed the questions above because I’m really interested in what you know and what you think. I look forward to your responses. Thanks in advance for chiming in!

Marilyn Pink, PT, Ph.D.

P.S. For a clip of the interview with Lance Armstrong, click here. We also have a series of great research papers that deal with this topic — Check them out and download them for free from our library!

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