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We’re excited to kick off a new industry-focused blog designed for individuals working in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. While we are trained and practicing physical therapists, the information and evidence we will share can be applied to multiple professions.
Our world is flooded with information on best practices, and it’s hard to skim through LinkedIn without seeing “evidence-based” content within the first couple posts. Unfortunately, knowing the “best” and most updated treatment techniques is only half the equation. Our ability to critically assess the available information, identify and address judgement and biases, and accurately apply available information is necessary to truly Live Clinically and provide evidence-based treatment. This blog will focus on those skills often neglected and misunderstood.
To kick off Live Clinically, we think it is important to review the best ways for consuming new information. With the overall intent of these posts being to enhance our treatments, it helps to understand the best way to gather and apply new information. Additionally, one of the most effective and beneficial treatments we provide to our patients is education. Our skill of administering exercise and providing manual therapy is irrelevant if the patient continues to live a potentially detrimental lifestyle outside the clinic (poor nutrition, lack of sleep, little activity, etc.).
Often, we educate patients ad nauseam in one fell swoop expecting the patient to retain everything. Similarly, we educate each other (whether it be clinical, managerial, or leadership training) in single, blocked occurrences and expect to immediately be proficient with the new information. Think back on your past experiences with cramming information. How much information did you remember after a two-hour graduate school lecture? Ten percent? Twenty? Are you truly learning and applying the information or channeling your inner Calvin as depicted below?
Image source: Calvin and Hobbes
In the next post, we’ll provide a full write up and dive headfirst into these concepts. For the purpose of this initial post, we’ll just dip our toes in the water. Basically, to better retain information, repeated exposure in small doses over a long period of time leads to greater retention of information. This is referred to as the spacing effect.
As you educate patients, mentor colleagues, and educate yourself, continually review the information over time to improve understanding, recollection, and reflection. While we have little doubt in your superb delivery of information, brilliantly designed analogies, and winning smile creating ease in the patient’s mind, the unfortunate truth is the information you provide on the evaluation day is unlikely to stick for very long. Our challenge to you is checking the recall of your patients throughout their plan of care. We will discuss an abundance of strategies to treat your patients and improve their lives in future posts. Let’s make sure the information sticks!
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