Let's Help Each Other

Physical therapy is changing rapidly. As a PT with more than thirty years of experience, the changes observed in the last ten years triple those of the first twenty years. The pace of change is not slowing down. The Medigraph Blog will serve as a forum that will enable us to exchange ideas and assist each other. This blog will be used to share billing, documentation, and any other ideas to improve any aspects of our profession. If we share what we have learned, we can develop a resource that enables our collective understanding to advance our careers.

As profit margins grow smaller and expenses grow larger, we need to assist each other to survive and prosper. If we share our experiences we can help each other to grow professionally, administratively, and financially. Our professional lives, our livelihood, and our personal lives are intertwined. Our resources individually are limited. Together we can accomplish more than we can individually. Let's help each other


Tom Kane, PT
MediGraph Software

The Difference Between PT and Ordinary Medicine
10/2/2011 6:59:00 PM
I had a conversation with a PT educator this week.  Instead of posting the normal practice update, I wanted to present the topic of that discussion.

The very suggestion that PT is different from regular medicine is offensive to some physical therapists.   Considering the drive toward DPT programs, the goal to elevate the perception of our profession’s status, and the attempt to mainstream all medicine into a manageable illness based model facilitates an easy understanding why suggesting that we are different from ordinary medicine is offensive.  I disagree.  I separate physical therapy from ordinary medicine willfully and eagerly.

I refer to traditional healthcare as ‘Sick care’.  The medical paradigm, the Western model of medicine is management of the disease.  The pharmaceutical model of medicine that is practiced today is the vertical approach to medicine; one disease one drug. For example, first line treatment in the pharmaceutical model for hypertension is to prescribe beta blockers.  In nature, there is no such thing as a beta blocker deficiency.   Beta blockers do not restore health.  This intervention treats a symptom.  Beta blockers’ side effects include increasing the risk of insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.  Beta blockers require ongoing monitoring and dependence.   They often contribute to heart failure by blocking the beta receptor sites in the heart.  But, they do reduce blood pressure.

PTs treat symptoms.  But such symptomatic treatment is a means to an end not as the end or goal of treatment.   The goal of physical therapy is to improve or restore function.  When we treat a patient, they do not need us for the rest of their lives.  Our goal is to release the patient from treatment.  When we treat patients, we do not need to have follow up visits to look for side effects.  Our goal is patient independence and the only side effects that our interventions produce are independence, greater function, greater self reliance, and the desire that patients are no longer in need of our services.  It’s true my colleagues.  PT is different from ordinary medicine.   We do not practice ‘Sick care’.   And I am proud of it.    


Tom Kane, PT