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Debate-Input Needed!

February 22, 2008 • Health Care News • Larry Benz

Not sure how many of you saw the movie The Great Debaters, but if you did, hope you enjoyed it. Aside from the typical Hollywood exaggerations and “let’s not let the facts get in the way with a good movie”, it was enjoyable.  No, this is a legitimate plea to enlist your input into something I didn’t even think was debatable.

I have been volunteered to be one of the debaters at the 2008 annual Rothstein Debate which is entitled “Does the Current Model of Clinical Education Really Prepare Students for Practice?” along with Dr. Tony Delitto of U Pitt fame and Dr. Michael Emery of Fairfield, Ct.  I was fortunate to be a member of the panel for the 2006 debate which looked at Pay For Performance in Physical Therapy.  Many on that panel predicted (accurately so far I might add) that any P4P impact by payors in PT particularly medicare would be negligible and slow in coming and that P4P was really P4C (compliance) and this blog has had many posts on that topic that reflect this as well.

I am surprised that this topic is even worthy to debate.  It was my perception that everybody believes our current clinical education model is completely flawed and needs to go along the way of  “sleeping with the fishes” and replaced with a medical model as we have adapted our practice to DPT and more rational standards. In fact, I was amazed that they could find somebody to even be on the other side of this debate!

My impression was further solidified by this post from a PT student blog which we also referenced via the Broke Back Clinical Education Model post-a student nonetheless who recognizes such an antiquated system. Yet, to my surprise a counter point was made by a new blogger, Roderick Henderson  who raises the point about “really needing to invent the wheel” (side note:  great to see more PT’s blogging-keep it up and subscribe to all of them in the reader of your choice).

So, now I we at least two PT’s who think the current model works!  Perhaps I just hang out with the wrong crowd.

Therefore, I am requesting input into this debate to better prepare me for the 2 PT’s in the world who thinks things are fine.  I am not optimistic that there are more than 2 but please feel free to prove me wrong.

We have more readers and subscribers than will be at the actual debate, I thought it would be appropriate to raise the discussion now.

Let the debate begin!  Your input is appreciated.

[email protected]


Larry Benz

Dr. Larry Benz, DPT, OCS, MBA, MAPP, is the President/CEO of Confluent Health. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in private practice physical therapy and occupational medicine. Dr. Benz’s current areas of interest include conducting research and integrating empathy, compassion, and positive psychology interventions within physical therapy. He will be releasing a book in...

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