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  • ??? Adventures in continuing education

    The topic of this thread is not new but I'd like to explore the topic again. EIM had a thread a couple of years ago (I can't find it or I'd link to it) on the same topic.

    What I'm looking for are personal experiences with continuing education courses, links to articles that examine the continuing education "industry" and any other thoughts about continuing education.

    I'd also like your favorite examples of what you consider to be outrageous or questionable continuing education (past or present.)

    Thanks for anyone who helps out.
    "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

  • #2
    Regarding the industry of cont. ed I've seen several approaches. Barrett and Sahrmann were both the anti"institute" nature of many. Sahrmann limits hers to 3 courses and Barrett's is one day! NOI and Shacklock have limited numbers of courses as well, but they did not explicitly say this was intentional, although it may have been. Sahrmann made several funny jabs at the institutes and jt. mobilization in general. She'd assist scapular motion and say "Look, I'm a manual therapist!" and laugh hysterically.

    The courses I've taken for industrial settings are very expensive and usually involve licensing and proprietary concerns etc. For example, I went through the ASTYM courses right out of school for the clinic I worked in at the time (paid for by them thank goodness). Once I left that clinic I could no longer claim to perform "ASTYM" on anybody as I was no longer under the license owned by the clinic. The tools carried a hefty yearly rental price as I understand. Same licensing agreements exist for at least some of the FCE certifications.

    I've always avoided the pyramid of power courses. At first because I thought I wasn't ready, needed more training first. Then because, well it seemed silly.

    I've taken a few APTA home study courses. Some were very good, some were mediocre.

    I took a strain counterstrain course early on and was very disspointed with the presentation, explanations. I remember the instructor telling the class that anybody focused on the why was probably going to be dissapointed. That was an understatement. I did find the technique quite useful though and was ecstatic to finally be led to some sensible why info once I got to somasimple.

    Is that the type of thing you're looking for Jon?
    Cory Blickenstaff, PT, OCS

    Pain Science and Sensibility Podcast
    Leaps and Bounds Blog
    My youtube channel

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    • #3
      I'm looking for articles specifically about (or with large sections about) the continuing education business, their lobbying power both with government and within the medical community.

      I'm not looking for specific criticisms of C.A.M. (although I'll take them), but rather on how continuing education is handled.
      "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

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      • #4
        Jon,
        So you mean the bigger reach than the nuts and bolts of running a seminar business? Who's scratching who's back? Just wanted to be clear.
        Thanks
        Cahy

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        • #5
          Cathy I think it's all interesting. I'm interested in whatever people have to offer. I imagine that running a successful seminar business requires some understanding of the bigger reach.
          "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

          Comment


          • #6
            Well Jon, I don't have articles. But I have experience - from teaching for a large organization years ago to growing a small seminar business over the past 10 years. As with any organization, to thrive for that length of time means one must be curious, passionate, and determined. Curricula changes over time, as it should. Target audiences change over time. Education needs to reach parents, caregivers and laypeople, as well as therapists. Integrating research and translating it to body logic and real life is an ever evolving task. Taking valuable information out into the world is a formidable task, far too overwhelming for one person alone. But, as I mentioned in a different post, those who chose to make that commitment are not left to walk alone. Help and connections arise.

            I cannot imagine any sort of meaningful continuing education process beginning from anywhere else but a place of passion and commitment for the life of the work that is being delivered. Yes there is an integration of sound science, yes there must be a translation to an outline that garners "CEU provider" status. But what brings work to life is living the work yourself. And that draws students to your door, and that grows the work out in the world.

            That's my view of things, from this point in time.

            Cathy

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            • #7
              I appreciate your thoughts Cathy and welcome any others.

              Eric Robertson had a related blog entry that I'll add here also.
              "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

              Comment


              • #8
                Jon, I was involved in the American Association for Orthopedic Medicine. Gave lectures and workshops at their Annual conventions and such.

                They began to offer specific workshops: I did a few, but more and more did they focus on the following:'
                "These are all busy MDs, DOs and DCs (apparently the occasional PT did not require mentioning), and we have to give them stuff they can really use quickly and easily in a couple of minutes."

                Even then, I was uneasy with this "fix-in-a-minute" approach. So I did my thing - in those days showing poor stability control in different assessments, giving MY take on recruitment exercises and patient education. This last aspect especially got me un-invited to teach after 1999 - the feedback forms indicated that the time spent with patients did not allow for such approaches.

                I taught a few more workshops for the Canadian branch in 2001 and 2002, but ran into the same problem there. Even with PTs in the groups.
                By then, I had already been long infected with Barrett's, Diane's, Butler's et al writings and ideas, and the idea of showing "quick and time-saving techniques for the manually oriented MD or DO" was just not quite what I could provide....As soon as I said stuff like patient education, the groans went up in the crowd....

                They did not get attendance with anything less than quick, dirty, AND it had to be "evidence-based".....
                Money is not made with doing the right thing, it is in giving what attracts the largest numbers. That meant recipe-style, technique oriented therapies.

                I am proud to say, I haven't taught with them since.
                We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

                I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
                Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

                Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

                We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Bas. Keep this sort of thing coming.

                  I guess I should have checked the latest issue of PT Journal. Well, it is still January.
                  "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Worst course I've ever taken - the APTA Orthopedic Section's "Hip and SIJ" home study course. I did it in 2001, and it was the worst SIJ biomechanical fantasyland I'd ever seen. I think they had 3 separate pictures trying to explain the different between a right-on-left sacral torsion, and a left-on-right sacral torsion.
                    "You see, when the sacrum counter-nutates..."

                    The hip stuff was useful and science-based, however.
                    Jason Silvernail DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT
                    Board-Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
                    Fellowship-Trained in Orthopedic Manual Therapy

                    Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist


                    The views expressed in this entry are those of the author alone and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.

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                    • #11
                      One of the best courses I took was a set of 2 teleconference-style pain seminars (Neil Pearson of Canadian fame). They provided a ton of useful information and references, did not speak to the lowest common denominator and everything was put together just right.

                      The online webinar from the Pain Division was an excellent experience as well - lots of good references. Work at your own pace, your own time, and a chance to brainstorm, ask, and debate after. Very good experience.

                      The immensely successful Canadian Orthopeadic seminars/levels - in all their reincarnations and forms - were tedious, formulaic, and generally very difficult (that was actually a "claim to fame" for a while!); also expensive as hell. The required pre-course reading was helpful to a degree - great anatomical and biomechanical reviews, with later neuroanatomy thrown in - but generally, one came away feeling "How am I gonna remember all that?" Of course I did remember with great effort, eventually...

                      Sahrmann's course was very well organized and had an aura of high professionalism to it. Just like the Ortho-courses. That made them immediately "feel" important - being expensive was part of that.
                      But once we got into the meat of things, that became secondary to content - at least for me. There were many soaking up the energetic presentations from the professor like the gospel.
                      Again, the fascination with techniques, assessment tricks, rehab patterns and diagrams and pictures of exercises positions; as well as a clear disdain for things other than muscle imbalances. The "this is very special" aura of these courses.

                      The ortho and Sahrmann courses are well-marketed, glib in their set-up and hand-outs and impressive with the loooong list of required reading and references - mostly basic sciences and articles. And they have "levels" that makes one feel one is entering a select world of higher education. Well done.
                      They won't see another dime from me, but: well done.
                      We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

                      I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
                      Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

                      Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

                      We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bas has it exactly right. What I found was that the sponsors wanted me to make promises to the potential attendees that had nothing to do with reality. In the end, I might as well have done that because I found that most of the therapists in the class were far more taken with the entertainment value of the presentation than anything else. Not everyone, of course.

                        I know of a PT who offers a course titled "Modality use for the PTA" and he packs them in.
                        Barrett L. Dorko

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                        • #13
                          Barrett, as a course conductor, you are a tool, a commodity to the course sponsors. The product has to have a good yield.
                          This is where the mix of money making and real value are not well-met.
                          We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

                          I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
                          Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

                          Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

                          We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yea, I know. But I still think that a quality product can be promoted ethically and will sell well.

                            Of course, I've yet to figure out how to do that.
                            Barrett L. Dorko

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                            • #15
                              I'm preparing to teach massage therapists in March. My main selling point is that I can teach in French. It seems their main need is anatomy and neurophysiology--a few of them from scratch. We'll see...
                              Guess learning is a lifestyle, not a passtime.
                              Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. ~ Isaac Asimov

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