One Year Retrospective

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    • #8737

      Hey Everyone:

      It’s been a wild year.

      To commemorate one year of being a PT, I was wondering what you guys found were your biggest improvements and surprises this past year in regards to clinical practice?

      I would have to say my biggest surprise is how much this job is about the soft skills. I spent two hours talking to Aaron for mentorship hours today and we spent much more time talking about personalities and perceptions than particularly manual therapy techniques. Obviously this is somewhat due to setting (still being outside of clinic and all), but I had no idea that such a big part of this job was going to be about reframing people’s thoughts while simultaneously respecting their beliefs.

      As far as improvements, it’s been nice for the game to slow down. I’m able to focus on these soft skills due to having a more solid footing of clinical backgrounds/presentations so I have free RAM to problem solve other areas.

      I would be curious of y’alls changes this past year.

    • #8739

      Man where to even start…

      I feel like overall I am just so much more efficient of a thinker. As a result (to name a few) I can better fine tune manual and exercise prescription within session, get clarity in the face of uncertainty, redirect when things aren’t progressing, and, maybe even more importantly, have brain power left over to build better relationships with my patients. To be honest being more confident and efficient in patient care just makes the job more fun.

      I can agree that “soft” skills have been surprisingly difficult to be effective with. No patient is getting better without good education and framework for treatment, and this is something I have learned the hard way in the beginning but improved with thanks to both practice and mentorship.

    • #8749

      I think there are two large changes I’ve seen in my practice:

      1) Subjective exam – I am much better at coming out of a subjective exam with more useful information. I now utilize more specific questions and synthesize them to structure and enhance my objective exam. I used to move through the subjective, get essentially the bare minimum and lean on my objective exam. I now see how inefficient and unhelpful this was for myself and the patient.

      2) Specific intervention – More specifically a patient-specific intervention. I used to be very general with treatments and shotgun exercises at my patients to fill time when they probably (…definitely) did not need it. Now I am able to have more impairment driven treatments and this has helped me achieve better results and better patient buy-in.

      @Barrett and Anna
      I love how you guys talk about developing soft skills. I think as we get out of school these first 2-3 years we have been overstuffed with information and a lot of it gets lost as more piles in. Then when we finally get into a clinical setting we’re trying to apply what we can remember and it can become hard to communicate effectively and think about those other pieces of care. Once those start to click practice does get way more fun.

    • #8794
      Steven Lagasse

      I feel my practice has improved most in terms of moving away from merely doing and more towards understanding the “why”. Coming into the residency, I felt confident gathering information but had trouble piecing all of that information together. After an evaluation, I often left the treatment room feeling overwhelmed, and still had two to three competing diagnoses on the table.

      I believe a reason for this was due to neglecting the subjective examination and not asking special questions to help rank my differentials. This would often lead to over testing and becoming frustrated and confused during the objective exam.

      With my subjective exam being far more purposeful, the objective examination has become streamlined. This has helped to improve my clinical reasoning and allows me to feel confidence coming to a diagnosis.

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