"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spanish Physical Therapists Solve "la Crisis" by Learning New Skills

Spain is experiencing 28% unemployment. In the 20-to-30 year age demographic unemployment is 50%. The Spanish people are in a "crisis" which seems to affect everyone and causes anger in some people. Many people want "the Government" to "do something".

Other people want the government to do less and spend less. There is much anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Many people have questions.

However, I'm happy to report, that many physical therapists (fisios) have decided to answer some of these questions for themselves.

Tim Richardson, PT teaches Spanish "Fisoterapeutas" the Epley Maneuver

This photo above is the SECOND class of about a dozen clinicians that I have taught in Vigo. I am training the Spanish "fisios" to treat dizziness and vertigo with Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers (Epley's).

Physical therapists in Spain have unrestricted direct access. They are licensed nationwide and their diploma is signed by the King of Spain, don Juan Carlos I (who just had hip revision surgery after a failed stabilization and prosthetic replacement in April 2012). He is now receiving physical therapy.

Most private practice physical therapists in Spain do not accept the government-sponsored social insurance (Medicare) because the rates are too low. Instead, their practices are cash-pay. With such high unemployment many patients don't have money and many physical therapists' practices are struggling.

Rather than complain, these private practice entrepreneurs are finding alternative sources of patient volume and revenue. That's where I come in. My new website with information for physical therapists' practices who want to learn the Epley's Maneuver is at www.FisioVertigo.com.

Despite the physician monopoly on socially-insured patient volume, the Spanish physical therapists are keen to learn new skills and apply them to the benefit of their patients. They are reaching out directly to patients using advertisements, sponsoring races and volunteering.

The attribute common to physical therapists whether in America or in Spain that I find is an optimism and a can-do attitude that says:
  • "la Crisis" is temporary, good times will return again.
  • whether treating patients or running clinics a positive mental attitude is a necessary requirement.
  • Like our patients with disabling conditions who fight to better their condition, physical therapists look for answers rather than finding someone else to do the work.
The Spanish "fisios" I have taught and worked with are bright and hard-working. The Spanish people are in good hands.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
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