Jan 1, 2014

A Year in Review: 13 Lessons of 2013

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! This is my first post of the year and my 75th post overall.  This is going to be a reflection on some of the things that I learned in the previous 365 days. I was inspired to write this post after reading many of Mike Reinold's similar posts over the last few years. I guess I learned a lot this year because this turned into an epically long post. Sorry.

  1. Movement Based Systems of Assessment (SFMA, MDT, FMS).

    1. This past year I started to dabble more in using movement as critical component of evaluating injuries. This isn't the be all end all in my evaluations and is rarely used on the initial evaluation for patients of mine that experience injury from direct contact such as contusions, bursitis or acute ankle sprains.
    2. However, I do use it on these patients when looking to return them to play to decide whether movement was a contributing factor (ankle sprain) or whether movement was impaired as a result of the injury. In all reality, after the injury happens I have no way of knowing whether this is a chicken or the egg.
    3. Regarding almost all other patients and injuries I am using a movement based system such as the SFMA to check for potential problems.  Theories of regional interdependence, tensegrity, and using movement as a baseline to check the efficacy of my rehab and treatments has helped me evolve my practice immensely.
  2. I Will Make Mistakes.
    1. I have come to the realization that I do not know everything. It was one of my three major realizations from my first year as a clinician post. Along with this I understand that I am going to make mistakes sometimes because I don't know everything. 
    2. I am not condoning making mistakes as I care for others but if you aren't making mistakes then you must be omnipotent (doubt it) or you aren't opening your eyes enough to realize that you have made them.
  3. I Must Learn From My Mistakes
    1. If you want to make lesson #2 a valuable and beneficial realization then you must learn from your mistakes. Don't keep beating a dead horse or define insanity in practice by repeating the same process over and over again and still expect different results
    2. Being able to recognize, evolve, and learn from mistakes, "oopsies" or even pure dumb luck are essential. Especially if you wish to rise to the level of an expert someday. Dr. E had a great post on this topic this year and he discussed 5 qualities of experts.
  4. Social Media Can Be a Powerful Tool
    1. Human Knowledge is based off the cumulative or collective knowledge of everybody. Social Media is a place where ideas, thoughts and opinions can congregate (sometimes with much fervor, which isn't always helpful) where they breed new life to bigger and better ideas than their predecessors.
    2. I can't make every mistake out there (at least I hope I won't/can't) so I need to learn from the mistakes of others as well. I have learned plenty from the trials and tribulations of others just from being exposed to their work via social media. Why not take lesson #3 and advance it to include everybody's mistakes.
    3. I have met and learned from a lot of different people from different professions. I love my job and my potential places of employment. They are not places void of inspiring ideas or collaboration but 5 different people of the same profession have a limited window of view compared to what I have been exposed to via blogs, twitter, and forums/think tanks.
    4. Be careful not to spend too much time here, try to remember there is a real world out there as well!
  5. Theses or Research Studies can be Tedious
    1.  Working on my own research study/thesis has given me a different view of the work required for many in the scientific community.
    2. This gives me even more respect for the researchers and academics among us, and I am not even seeking federal grants/funding. I can't imagine the headache involved in that.
    3. The scientific method is tedious and so can research but it is of vital importance for our collective knowledge. As much as I love learning from social media we still need to evaluate and assess our ideas using objective measurement.
  6. I Can't Please Everyone.
    1. People will always find something or someone to dislike/fault/or disagree with.
    2. A lot of times it has nothing to do with you but can be entirely attributed to their individual mindset.
    3. Sometimes a patient, parent, coach or fan will not be satisfied no matter what ends you go to for them. Some people seem as if they do not want to be satisfied. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to please or satisfy others but it does mean you shouldn't get hung up over it.
    4. Just remember to reflect and see if you made a mistake or could change something for the better!
  7. Be a Professional About It.
  8. Walk, Talk and Look the Part.
    1. Remember #6 and that you will not be able to please everybody. When this happens be careful not to let your emotions get to you. Try to remain professional at all times even if others are acting negatively towards yourself.
    2. If you do catch yourself acting in a less than professional way the best course of action may be to take a step back and apologize. Try to avoid letting pride get in the way of professionalism. It can definitely hurt when your pride or ego gets bruised.
    3. However, I am not advocating that you let others walk all over you or bully you. You can still stand up for yourself with a bold and firm approach without becoming unprofessional.

  9. You Have to Work to Make Time for Yourself. Nobody Will Do It For You!
    1. Remember to make time for your personal life outside of blogging, working, and learning. You have to take care of yourself in terms of physical activity, nutrition, and rest.
    2. If you get extra time on the weekends don't oversleep, don't skimp but don't over do it. This is your time to catch up on life not slumber to excess.
    3. I'm not perfect here because this is where I often error when it comes to time management. I have had a lot of EAT and REHABILITATE this past semester but not enough of the RUN aspect.
  10. I Enjoy Blogging
    1. I didn't think that I would
    2. It can actually be fun
    3. It has helped me to self-reflect/evaluate
    4. There is a large community of bloggers and sub-communities of blogs by content, much more vast that I initially thought.
  11. When it comes to working with athletes, what they really need is not always what you can give them.
    1. Sometimes the best thing for a patient is to be totally shut down and to be rebuilt from scratch or a drastic alteration of physical activities.
    2. Often times this approach isn't available when you discover a problem right before or during the middle of a sport season.
    3. This would be a good reason to place a lot of emphasis on prevention and taking care of issues before they become ISSUES.
  12. Psychosocial Issues are HUGE
    1. I never knew how important or influential psychosocial problems can affect a person's pain or injury
    2. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to fixing a problem is just changing the patient's view point or thoughts on issues.
  13. Continuing education doesn't have to be arduous or boring.
    1. It can be fun and interesting. 
    2. It is good for you to investigate stuff that is out of your comfort zone.
    3. Just keep an open mind.
  14. Soft Tissue work should probably be soft in nature.
    1. The force that I use while applying manual therapy is exponentially less
    2. Patients/Athletes are less apprehensive about getting this type of treatment and I still find great results!
    3. Some patients who were used to the "Elbow grease" or "No Pain, No Benefit" thought process didn't necessarily like the change...Highlights the importance of patient perception on treatment efficacy
I can't wait to see what I learn this year! I don't ever wish to become complacent or lose my intellectual curiosity. Good Luck to all in the coming year! Cheers!


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All content on this blog is meant as instructional and educational. The author and guest authors of this blog are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Always consult a physician or another proper medical professional for medical advice.
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