Saturday, March 22, 2008

A New Hope...

Recently I posted that two students would be joining me in the clinic for a six week rotation. At the behest of a PT student blogger, I have attempted to develop a more systematic approach to clinical instruction. This past week was our first week together and I have to say I am incredibly pleased with the results thus far.

I would really like to attribute the results to my carefully planned and well conceived curriculum. It always does my ego some good. However, lessons gleaned from 10 years of marriage lead me to tuck my ego away for a while and just skip to the facts. One is that both students are absolutely tireless in their desire for more information. They don't stop asking well thought out questions. Somewhere along the lines, both students learned that questions such as "Where is the sartorious?" can be looked up on their own. Consequently they continue to ask questions that will deepen their knowledge of practicing physical therapy in an orthopedic setting. The effort they are putting in and ability to think critically is largely responsible for their performances in the clinic this week.

This week I instructed them to strongly focus on taking an adequate history - an underrated skill in the clinic. By the end of the week, both students were asking relevant questions and getting relevant clinical data while making a good connection with their patients. I even had some patients commenting on their skill and professionalism.

Next week our focus will be on evaluation and examination on top of what they've already picked up working on histories. There will likely be more reading, thinking beyond the classroom, and a couple of brain cramps along the way, but this is all part of the learning process. Stay tuned for next weeks episode!


  1. Hey Roderick,
    As another Student PT blogger, I very much agree with the PT Rover and wanted to add the best advice I got RE: asking questions. Jody Gandy of the APTA shared these at a presentation early in my PT student career, clinical experiences come down to these three questions:
    1)what do I already know?
    2)what can I look up?
    3)what do I need YOU to tell ME?

    Also, I found history taking in outpatient to be a difficult process because so many tangents come up. I am sure you have a good strategy for picking out the most pertinent points... I am still learning.

  2. Good stuff Bo. I'll add your blog to my links. I've got my students reading this blog and will refer them to yours as well.

    History taking in orthopedics is a lost art, but is extremely important. A good history makes your examination and evaluation so much more revealing. Good luck in developing this important skill. It is worth it.

    Keep up the good work. I'll see if I can convince one of my students to start a blog.