saw this on CNN the other night http://www.projectwalk.org/ anybody else concerned that non-PT's are consistently invading on what used to be our territory?? It seems that every aspect of PT can now be done by everybody else...and they do a better job of marketing it than PT's do. Massage, Fitness, Core Stabilization....it was all once PT...now its taken by any other profession and SCI's are next.
I think the PT profession really needs to do something very soon in order to stand out from the crowd...otherwise non-PT's will continue to take our business by copy catting the PT profession and the value of PT's will decrease despite the high demand that we have now. Any thoughts??
My question is--what are YOU doing to make a difference? It is true that we as PT's should be seen as the injury prevention specialists as well as exercise specialists but WE are not doing what needs to be done as a whole. We need to be more proactive with injury and health/wellness. Too many PT's nowadays are reactive and wait for the things to go bad. Get involved.
As far as what am I doing...I think i do a good job of marketing myself as an exercise/fitness/wellness specialist. I actually market my business, unlike many PT's who just sit back and wait for MD referrals. I offer packages that people pay cash for, just like they pay cash for personal training,massage, yoga etc. But I'm only one person who is trying to get away from "typical" PT practice
I join the APTA because i don't have the knowledge or clout to do the legal side of things, I figure the lobbyists should be doing that...but I think the APTA should be more involved with helping PT's to market and protect the profession. The "Move Forward" Campaign is a good start, but this needs to be advanced to allow PT's to stand out in the same way the chiropractors can stand out from a crowd.
Your right...i think PT's spend too much time waiting and I don't know that the profession (as a whole) will wake up in time to realize all of their opportunities are being taken from them and the profession is bleeding a slow death. I think we have to get some bad-ass, aggressive, people to represent the APTA and protect what physical therapy is and who can do it.
With health care reform on the horizon, I can see the government paying ATC's, massage therapists, and personal trainers to do "PT" because they can do it cheaper than we can.
The thing with the APTA as a whole is all of the different areas it has to "make happy". Yeah the sections have their part, but the individuals in those sections are busy preparing new research for the rest of us to use.
Contact your local paper, local radio, show up to local health/wellness events. The lay public have no clue what we do. Educate them. Educate, Educate, Educate. It's tough work, but anything that is worth anything is tough.
Joined: January 25, 2005
Ken, you mentioned wellness events, went to the Wellness show here recently. The busiest show I have ever seen. Who were the most popular participants, here is a list as they appeared to me to be. By far reflexology, a whole row of beds and a huge line up for their foot rubs. Next a group of naturopaths, one on one giving the same advice my mother gave to me as a child, eat your greens! Next I think it was eight booths of different chiropractors. Only one did not have a queue to be diagnosed. He was the lone guy without a very large flat screen showing where the subluxation was when the red and blue line crossed the green. I asked him who no super machine, he said he only mobilized and was big on exercise. I said you should have been a therapist and he retorted that he was. I said a real therapist and we both had a laugh. The $400 magic wand was busy about ten "therapists" waving what looked like a silver pen over the pain areas. The PT booth was fairly well attended, no claims of immediate pain relief however, the best advice in the hall but that seems to be no great draw. One theapist perked me up, she stll recognized me after a 30 year gap since our last meet up. Deano, about the competition, they all want a bit of our profession but we are the only ones who know all of the bits and also know which bits to use at the approppriate place and time. At least I hope so. Jim McGregor
Like I said educate, educate, educate. We don't have the luxury of a strong lobby to get our profession "legetimized" in the mainstream media. Write an article for the local paper, make yourself available for "lunch & learns" at the community center, contact with the local HS or Sports Med doc and get involved in pre-participation physicals. The point is, make everyone else see you as the expert you are or want to be. I have a lot of individuals who come to me for exercise advice. Why? Because I work out and make myself available at my gym for questions. I also have over 20 years of exercise under my belt with two degrees in Exercise Physiology, worked as a strength and conditioning coach, have been very active in the exercise field and am passionate about it. I don't sit around and wait for things to come to me.
As overhyped as it sounds and is used, the term "Just do it" really resounds with me. You may not make huge cuts into the other peoples' prospective "clients", but get the word out and things will change for you. Probably won't change for the professon until thousands of us do it, but who cares. Be the exception--not the rule.
Hey Jim, I agree...by far, PT's are the most knowledgeable and educated about all of these bits and pieces and how to use them. I think that the general public doesn't care or know about that though. I've had patients and colleagues laugh when I told them I went to school for 5+ years to be a PT. Most of them think you just have to take couple community college courses and become a PT in a few months. They have no idea about licensing, national exams, APTA, etc. Like Ken said, we just have to keep positioning ourselves as experts within our communities. I like the idea of being a local authority on health....I just think that the APTA can really give a shot in the arm to this cause. Perhaps by doing some national radio or TV ad campaigns...I realize that is very costly, but the current method of getting the word out is just not enough in my opinion. If I was APTA president I would find out how to team up with marketing gurus and figure out a cost effective ad campaign. It seems like the current ad campaigns are poorly designed by PT's....not marketing experts. I'd pay an extra 50 to 100 bucks for my yearly dues if it meant they can get a real marketing campaign going.
Joined: January 25, 2005
Deano, Forget National campaigns, forget APTA , get your apps available for every patient you have seen with an PDA, Iphone, Ipad or laptop. The rest are old hat. Your computer in the office should sent out birthday greetings, holiday greeting and annual happy physiotherapy week grams. You could even remind patients, just like the dentist that their six monthly examination for spinal facilitated segments are due. You don't learn that at a community college! Jim McGregor