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PT Elevated | Align 2022 – Clinical Decision Making | Mark Jones

June 15, 2022 • Clinical Management • 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 we will have some of our speakers as guests who will be live in-person at the EIM Align Conference this August 26-28 in Dallas, Texas.

On our third episode of season 3, guest Mark Jones, BSc (Psyc), PT, M App Sc, who is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the University of South Australia with 35 years’ experience teaching undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy joins us. Mark graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Psychology and then completed his Physical Therapy studies at the University of Iowa.

Having developed an interest in manual therapy Mark travelled to Australia to study Manipulative Physiotherapy and after completing his Graduate Diploma in 1985 under Geoff Maitland he completed his master’s degree by Research in 1989. The title of his thesis was “Facilitating Students’ Clinical Reasoning in Physiotherapy Education”. Mark has a special interest in biopsychosocial health care and the teaching and assessment of clinical reasoning in physiotherapy. He has conducted and supervised research in the areas of clinical reasoning and musculoskeletal physiotherapy with over 90 publications including three editions of the text “Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions” and the text “Clinical Reasoning for Manual Therapists”. His latest text “Clinical Reasoning in Musculoskeletal Practice” was published in 2019. Mark has presented 30 Keynote Conference presentations and has taught professional development courses in clinical reasoning and musculoskeletal physiotherapy across 26 countries.

They focus their discussion on the conversation of clinical decision making and reasoning that is the focus of Mark’s Align Conference discussion. Mark has dove deep into the technique of clinical reasoning to grow and develop it.

Here are some of the highlights:

Mark gave a little insight on how he got interested in clinical reasoning – In 1985 when Mark said he was studying clinical reasoning it was not considered as much as it is now in physical therapy programs. He studied with Robert S. Maitland in Australia and was very intrigued by the thought process he taught without it being overt. Robert didn’t have students think about their thinking, he gave them principles to follow. Mark came across the work Arthur S. Elstein, who wrote what probably still is considered the seminal study and paper in clinical reasoning in medicine, he immediately saw that applicably to physiotherapy. Everything that Arthur said about that process that people go through and how important your knowledge is to the success of that process, the concept of patterns, Mark connected that to what physical therapist did. He did his master’s degree surrounded around that. Looking at educational strategies to strategize reasoning. I began to theorize what this would look like in physiotherapy – “I found out that good clinicians have always reasoned. It would be arrogant to suggest that it was not always here. The beginning of Physios, there was reasoning always inherent in what they did. We didn’t think about our reasoning back then, it wasn’t explicit. Maybe that was what I with others contributed to the process. I started theorizing and writing about it suggesting things as to what this would look like in physiotherapy. In our program we started thinking about what it should be because every program that teaches then must start making decisions on the process you want to facilitate and judgements you think are important.”

Mark’s Align Session Preview:
“Physios are noisy.” Mark shares that he will share a podcast and a book at the conference in his lecturer that expands on this quote above.

Mark’s Clinical Pearl – “My Favorite definition of an expert is somebody who has a lot of experience, they know a lot, they do what they do well, and they can communicate their reasoning well. But they also know what they don’t know. They do not have to have a supervisor look at them anymore, they can be on their own and recognize if they didn’t understand information or know what a medicine was. They have that mediative congeniality and that is why they have become an expert; they have become aware of their limitations, and they act on it. Ongoing learning cliché is very true, to all of us and our students but it is also being honest. They call it intellectual humility to recognize what you don’t know.”

Helpful research and training:


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 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
Mark Jones Align Conference Website
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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