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PT Elevated | Behavioral Medicine | Dan Rhon

July 27, 2022 • Behavioral Health • Kory Zimney, Paul Mintken

Welcome back to a NEW season of PT Elevated where we are broadening our topics to include more researchers but still focusing on topics that you can use in your clinic every day. This season some of our speakers were guests who will be live in-person at the EIM Align Conference this August 26-28 in Dallas, Texas.

On our eighth episode of season 3, Dan Rhon, PT, DPT, DSc, PhD joins! Dan is currently a physical therapist, professor and research director for the DScPT Faculty at Bellin College. He graduated from Baylor University with his master’s in physical therapy, followed by a DPT from Temple University and DSc from Baylor University. He completed a clinical fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center (orthopaedic manual physical therapy) and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Utah. He has served as the Director of Research, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Madigan Army Medical Center, and both the Director of Physical Therapy and then the Director of Clinical Outcomes Research at the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center. He has over 50 publications indexed in Medline/PUBMed and he has received collectively over $10 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). Dan currently does primarily research in the military health system & a couple of academic programs mentioned above.

In this episode they discuss some of the impactful trials Dan has led, like comparing cortisone injections in physical therapy in patients with shoulder pain and knee osteoarthritis. They also discuss the new trial Dan is undertaking looking at lifestyle and behavior change and how it is at the core of our health and holistic health and what it is.

Dan says after you have been in clinical practice for a while you know that change and behavior is extremely difficult to get to happen by just saying something and telling people to do something. When you run a trial, you are trying to get the patients to respond in a certain way and be compliant because this is the care that you believe is optimal and you just need them to do it. But equally as challenging is you try to get clinicians to deliver certain type of care. Listen and find out things Dan believe play into behavior change and what he thinks about educating patients to promote behavior change & more!


Here are some of the highlights:

Dan says after you have been in clinical practice for a while you know that change and behavior is extremely difficult to get to happen by just saying something and telling people to do something. When you run a trial, you are trying to get the patients to respond in a certain way and be compliant because this is the care that you believe is optimal and you just need them to do it. But equally as challenging is you try to get clinicians to deliver certain type of care. Listen and find out things Dan believe play into behavior change and what he thinks about educating patients to promote behavior change.

Dan’s Clinical Pearl
“The focus on the psychological piece with our patients and understanding that. I think every clinician should almost be a psychologist. We all need models to work under, but I do not think I appreciated the communication piece, the therapeutic alliance, the spending a little less time if I must prioritize my time, on an exam and spend a little bit more time listening to a patient and just how powerful that piece of it is. Becoming less mechanical tends to pay off more in the long run. I didn’t realize how powerful that connection was earlier on and realized as I get patients that are not getting better, what I could do better and what I am doing wrong. Just trying to understand patients and where they are coming from a little bit better.”

Helpful research and training:
DScPT Faculty at Bellin College
Ad Info: We are excited to be back in person and back to hands-on learning for the 2022 Align Conference. This year you can join an all-star lineup of speakers in Dallas, Texas, August 26 through the 28. The labs and lectures focus on sharpening the physical, hands-on treatments essential to patient care. Save 5% on registration as a PT Elevated Podcast listener. Visit alignconference.com and use the promo code PTELEVATED at checkout.  You can find the promo code and a link to the website in the show notes. We can’t wait to see you!


Connect with us on socials:
@ZimneyKJ on Twitter
@PMintkenDPT on Twitter
@danrhon, on Twitter
@clinicrelevant, Runs account on Twitter
Align Conference 2022, Website

Kory Zimney

Kory received a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 1994. He completed his transitional DPT from Des Moines University in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2020. His dissertation focused on the construct of trust as part of the therapeutic alliance and its relation...

Paul Mintken

Paul has taught musculoskeletal content for the past 15 years. His active research agenda focuses on conservative care for musculoskeletal disorders as well as spinal and extremity manipulation and dry needling. Current Roles: Evidence In Motion, Faculty Wardenburg Health Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, Lead Clinician Regis University Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy,...

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