Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fountain of Youth

Unfortunately, I have nothing new to report on the election front. Stay tuned! But I have been ruminating on a blog for quite some time. You lucky readers, you.

I was reminded of the idea tonight when suggesting a continuing education course about the impact an overweight population has on the practice of physical therapy. By this, I do not mean "bariatric physical therapy". Bariatric PT is a great specialty, or would be, if the APTA made it one. I could easily digress into why it should be a specialty alongside Prevention, Metabolic Regulation, and Community Centered PT, but that is not what's calling me tonight.

Tonight I just wanted to point out the fountain of youth. We've all seen it. It's the short one, the one next to the taller one that we all tend to drink from. So yes, I'm talking about water fountains. Stay with me here and feel free to point out wheelchair accessibility, biomechanical issues, and the vertically challenged, if you absolutely must. But the point I'm trying to make is that, when given a choice between an easy option and a minutely more difficult one, we tend to take the easier of the two.

I won't argue that you burn more calories by stooping for the lower water fountain. But I will say that a conscious, symbolic dedication to a more effortful why of doing things would help lessen our societal waistband. Am I wrong? It's not that people are lazy necessarily. I think it's the same poetic sensibility inherent to our brain's motor planning ability. We don't think about it. We just see, and take, the path of least resistance. A brilliant strategy for the serengeti, less so for a perpetual office safari. Perhaps there is a time to tell our clients, "Work harder not smarter!"

But exerting more effort will only get our society so far. Many people have dealt with weight related musculoskeletal issues so long, their anatomy no longer responds typically to stressors. And then they have their stroke, COPD diagnosed, diabetic event, heart attack, fall, car crash, or come to Jesus moment. That's where we come in. Except, wouldn't it be great to have prevented it all in the first place? To slap the proverbial Big Gulp out of their hand ages ago? To push for the short fountain while the short fountain was still an option? I think so. Where do you stand and where does your state measure up?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Why "Move It", why read it, and why now?

So, one thing I think this blog suffers from is a lack of context. You would have to dig pretty far back to learn about its origin or to get a feel for the range of topics it has covered. As such, new readers may find it tricky to figure out what to read and where different topics may be found. To put it more and less succinctly, the better blogs get buried and while Memento was a good set up for a movie, reverse sequenced blog story lines are not very readable. Christopher Nolan I am not.

Who I am is a New Professional, or NP as I like to shorten it. Much of the time this blog has been a font for the random thoughts, experiences, and musings I've had at the beginning of my career. The title, Move It, is a play off of the new APTA slogan Move Forward and is meant to evoke a common PT phrase, "Move It or Lose It." But also, at the risk of being un-PC, it is a message directly to New Professionals, "Move your ass!" No one is going to do it for us. And if we don't move our profession forward, then quite certainly, we will lose it.

I'm one of a cohort of past student leaders that, upon leaving my role within APTA's Student Assembly, found myself in the vacuum of general membership. Luckily, the New Professional moniker had just been created and gradually more attention has been given to getting our demographic involved. Many times over, this fortuitous timing has benefited me greatly.

"But what is this blog about?" Despite being a self-affirmed APTA nerd and often blogging about experiences specific to that avenue of professional involvement, Move It has included universal themes for PTs and PTAs trying to find their calling. I've blogged about career indecision, visionary meetings of forward thinking, physical therapy steering and governance, and often times just my own perspective on where PTs and PTAs can and should be going.

I try to be pointed but fair about the problems that I and we face. Sometimes it's interesting... sometimes it's not. But I think it is important that there is a record of the types of things we go through. And more so, that NPs begin to form an empowered sense of self and direction within our profession. Move It is my idea of what might, in some small way, help kick start that process.

The most recent blogs are about my recent nomination for APTA office at the national level. I'm blogging about the process and, eventually, either the excitement or disappointment this amazing experience will afford. My number one goal, as a blogger and as potentially the youngest person ever slated(fingers crossed) for national office, is to inform and bring together new PTs and PTAs. Follow Move It or just wish me luck but spread the word and tell me what we can do to accomplish this goal.

Cheers and look for more additions and functions on the blog soon,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

It doesn't take long

It's so easy to get busy towards the end of a week and feel rushed before switching to "relax" mode. So I apologize to anyone offended by a less than spiffy blog last night. And tonight, unapologetically, I'm taking the night off to go see some great live music. Work-Life balance people, we could all probably use more of it!

A slightly better designed survey should now be up. Please take the time to fill one out! I was not happy with the formatting from the post last night and couldn't believe I missed that typo. Whether you saw it or not, thank you for visiting the site, reading a bit, and hopefully contributing!

Have a great Saturday night!



Thursday, November 11, 2010

So much to do, so little time, and just as much certainty

I found out today that in order to qualify for election, one must have been a "physical therapist member in good standing for at least five years immediately preceding their election or appointment..." Therefore, student physical therapist membership does not count. will have five years and one month of PT membership on the day of the election! How's that for a close call?!?
While relieved personally, it does bring to my attention, for the first time, the realization that New Professionals are explicitly prohibited from serving on the Nominating Committee, Board of Directors, or other high office. Seems a bit hypocritical from an organization perpetually at odds with "arbitrary limits" placed on us by the likes of CMS and others... This means pushing the New Professional envelope further will necessitate a bylaw amendment down the road. (Note to self)
So here I sit, formally, unequivocally able to be slated, with just nine or ten days before I'll know more and not bound by the rules and code of conduct for candidates. {I would post a link to that document but it's only accessible to Chapter and Component Delegates within APTA. odd.} Well, as the title of this post suggests, there are loads of things I would like to do before anyone can tell me "That's not allowed." Things I'd like to do while juggling a relatively new job and all the expectations and efficiencies expected therein. ... sleep when you're dead? ... meh. We can handle it. If we weren't good at juggling, we wouldn't have made it through school.

Here's what I think I should do. What else would you all suggest?
--Blog Daily on Move It
--Use the NP Facebook group for the evils of shameless self-promotion
--Post Blog link and thoughts to every other NP and PT blog I can think of (here's looking at you Bo)
--Invite other bloggers to comment on the process thus far
--Continue to contact past mentors of mine to solicit suggestions and feedback (3 of 3 are in support of an almost NP on the NomCom so far)

--Don't forget that the benefit to be had of the process, this pre-slate/might-not-ever-be-slated process, is in preparing other emerging leaders to improve upon my performance

Let's be honest, until a critical mass of nontraditionally thinking PTs & PTAs are calling the shots, be that at the House of Delegates level or within the Board of Directors, change will be gradual. I want to be one of the ones that helps to "plug the intersection" and let people through, to usher in new debate and renewed enthusiasm for big, blue sky thinking. To make even the slightest headway there is to succeed!

It's challenging for me to work in all the concepts I would like. Each blog post, much like the multitude of trajectories our career paths might take, could evolve in many different ways. I want to pace myself with the next ten or so days and not grow weary of, or boring with, the blog. Additionally, I want to be realistic about the probability of my being slated. I want to structure my experience to inform the emerging generation of leaders. And as much as all of these, I want to be engaging to all of you and to hear your thoughts, challenges, and the strength of our collective voice!

Cheers for now,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Opportunities and Inquiry

Well, the process is starting to make a bit more sense, if not the role I am to play. I now understand that a Nominating Committee 1 (NC1) form is mailed by a person or persons, group or groups to the Nominating Committee recommending an individual for a particular office. In my case, the National Assembly, leaders of the PTAs within the association, recommended me. This is interesting, and I really hope I am not committing any faux pas here by blogging about this, because at times I have voiced the opinion that PTAs might best be served by forming an independent, though allied, association. In conversation, this has not always been an endearing argument. My best guess is that they see advantages to having a "non-traditional thinker" on the Nominating Committee(NomCom). I would like to think that is true too.
(A quick aside on the appropriateness or inappropriateness, as the case may be, of blogging about behind the scenes happenings. I'm for it. And hopefully that will not come back to haunt me. I realize that, at times, I toe the line between what should and should not appear on a publicly accessible forum. I always try to let professionalism and learning be my guide. If I cross the line and get burned, at least others will know where the line is. Wish me luck or recommend a good wound specialist.)
Right so, the NC1 form is received by the NomCom and an NC2 form is mailed to the individual. This second form ascertains "Consent to Serve" for the suggested position and all other nationally elected positions. Once returned, the NC2 form and support statements submitted with the NC1 form guides the NomCom as a whole to determine a slate of candidates for all positions to be elected in a given cycle. Of note, the NomCom is not under any obligation to slate you, at all or for the position to which you were directly nominated. Now, I haven't gotten that far yet but, once the NomCom has determined if/where to slate you, you must again consent to serve in that capacity. (I might have to come back and correct that though.)

For me, the whole process raises some interesting questions. In what national position would an NP best serve? We could bring new energy, new ideas, and willingness to be bold to the NomCom. But perhaps the national scope and "contact list" isn't there yet. If it's not, is that a strength or a weakness? NomCom is a committee and each membership benefits from the collaborative effort of the whole. That sounds good for an NP. Would the same thing not also be true of the Board of Directors though? What unique benefit would be instilled in a Board that included an NP? What would be the detriment?

These are all things on my mind and I would love to hear your thoughts! But for now, cheers and have a nice evening. More to come as the process continues...



Thank you Ben for keeping up with this and encouraging participation.

I wanted to touch on a subject that I think lies at the heart of the future of healthcare that possibly we as New Pro's can affect.

In NY there are a lot of mills. Many "PT clinics" that partake in poor ethics with a focus on profit. I know of clinics that pay patients to come in and then submit claims making money this way. The "treatments" (if they are even performed) tend to consist of heat, ice and maybe even massage. Bottom line is these patients are not going to get better. They drain the healthcare resources (money and possible quality clinicians) and patients who have actual pathology will deal with a condition that does not improve correctly because they most likely do not know any better. Long term these patients drain further resources when they need total joint replacements or spine surgeries, etc. It is a vicious cycle with the owners of these clinics having the last laugh. Sometimes they get caught, but is there more we can do?

At the recent National Student Conclave task panel on transitioning from Student to New Pro, where 20% of the GOXV was on the panel, Allen Eshmoili warned the students to avoid the tempting paycheck that may be offered with working in a mill. We certainly need to try to stop it at the source because they cannot run these clinics without a licensed PT. Furthermore, with the idea of branding our profession this is all a step backwards and the image we have to fight to get quality PT to the forefront.

In my experience reporting these clinics does very little because a large investigation has to be undertaken. It seems there is some monitorin of these clinics and it does take years before they are brought down. Here is an article from my state on how to report misconduct, your respective states likely has a similar process.

Also, be sure to check out the APTA's RFP center.

So I would like to hear what you all think CAN be done and if you have had experiences with these types of clinics.
Stay Healthy (personally and professionally :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's funny sometimes the way energy cycles around...

Hi Peeps,

Once again there was a longer pause between posts than I would like. Does anyone else find that having a smart phone pushes your visits to an actual, real computer further and further apart? That's been my observation and I definitely think it impacts the blog. Convenience can be a double edged sword at times.

I have some really big news but first the happy news to share is that I was re-elected GA Delegate. I was one of three NPs to be elected, the third being an alternate. Hurray NPs!!! Nearly inconceivable is the fact that by the time the 2011 House rolls around I will no longer be a New Professional. Five years go by quickly when you're trying to take over the world. And to be honest, I've had the thought on more than one occasion recently that I did not play my cards very well in those years. I guess it's human to second guess the course of one's actions. But with the dual disappointments of thinking I had a shot at PTAG President and later thinking that I would be asked to serve as Georgia's Chief Delegate, perhaps the youngest PT in either role, my APTA energy was pretty low. It's not that I begrudge anyone their reasons for withdrawing their support or changing their plan. I choose the word 'disappointed', well, pointedly.

Through a combination of my own experiences, both good (the Physical Therapy and Society Summit, presenting at a CDC symposium on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and being at the House of Delegates with "junior" Chief responsibilities) and bad (discovering my own ineptitude in the Georgia Membership Secretary role, struggling with acceptance of the idea of a Preventative Health specialty at the APTA and University level, and crashing and burning on a post-PASS website initiative), I had begun to question how truly ready our organization was to bring my generation of young leaders out onto the stage. Which is why a recent email caught me completely off guard...

Someone has nominated me for the APTA Nominating Committee. That's a huge honor. I'm not sure where the process will go. I imagine it would take a seriously progressive Nom Com to allow me to be slated. Back when I was a new NP, my plan was to have a certain other NP run for APTA Board of Directors in his first five years. Unfortunately, he went and messed it up by becoming staff. Punk. I never saw myself as the one to try to break through that barrier. I'll have to let everyone know what develops. My thought is, "Why not have a run at it?". If nothing else, what better way to learn about the process and test my 'true readiness' theory, right? I'll definitely be looking for feedback and support from all of you. Let's see if a New Professional can shake up the election process!

Be excellent to each other and cheers,