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Now displaying: November, 2021
Nov 23, 2021

In this episode, Physical Therapist at Kelly Hawkins Physical Therapy, Meagan Duncan, talks about creating safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.

Today, Meagan talks about trauma-informed care, navigating trauma during the subjective exam, and the importance of consent. How can PTs make clinics safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community?

Hear about the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community, doing community advocacy work, and get Meagan’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “Gay men can undergo sexual violence at twice the rate of straight men. 50% of transgender people will experience some kind of sexual violence in their life. It’s even more if they’re a minority.”
  • “Being trauma-informed is important in any discipline because you don’t know what somebody has been through.”
  • “I think it’s about really small gestures.”
  • “Starting with paperwork, gender has every option you can think of. If it’s a paper form, gender’s a blank space.”
  • “We have small flag stickers for every flag that you can think of with all the colours that represent different parts of the LGBTQ+ community.”
  • “Be more vigilant about asking for consent.”
  • “Asking for consent is something that should be ongoing and all the time.”
  • “Education is a big part of asking for consent, because in order to consent to something, people have to understand what it’s going to entail.”
  • “Providing options Is a really important part of consent.”
  • “It’s not patient-directed care. It’s patient-centred care.”
  • “Don’t just go around touching people without consent.”
  • “Find a niche. If you can find a niche that you are passionate about and that is needed, you are never going to struggle for work or for satisfaction.”

 

More about Meagan Duncan

Meagan Duncan is a Chicagoland native who earned an associate degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2013 from Kankakee Community College. She then worked for six years in an orthopaedic setting while earning a Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governor State University in Illinois. Later, she moved to Las Vegas to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2020.

As a PTA, she developed and ran a pro bono clinic at her first post grad job in her hometown of Joliet, Illinois. She now practices in Las Vegas and specializes in pelvic health after completing a specialty clinical rotation with the VA Hospital in Las Vegas.

Duncan currently works at Kelly Hawkins Physical Therapy, a prominent outpatient physical therapy company in the Las Vegas area. At Kelly Hawkins, she built a successful pelvic health program that she has overseen and grown over the past year and a half.

Duncan also works for NPTE Final Frontier, a premier national physical therapy exam preparation company that works with domestic and foreign trained students to help them pass the board exam. In this role, she tutors PT and PTA exam candidates and assists them with content development. She advocates for students and professionals to balance life outside of physical therapy.

Outside of her profession, Duncan enjoys hiking, biking, paddleboarding and anything she can do outdoors with her husband and dog. She is excited to welcome a new addition to her family soon, as her first child is due in a month.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, LGBTQ+, Inclusion, Trauma, Pain, Discrimination, Sexual Violence, Advocacy, Consent, Pelvic Health,

 

To learn more, follow Meagan at:

Email:              mduncan@kellyhawkins.com

Website:          https://www.kellyhawkins.com

LinkedIn:         Meagan Duncan

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

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Read the Full Transcript Here: 

00:02

Hey Megan, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on.

 

00:06

Hey, Karen, awesome to be here. Thank you for having me.

 

00:09

Yes. And like I said in the intro, today, we're going to be talking about creating physical therapy space, a safe spaces for the LGBTQ plus community. So before we talk a little bit more about that, can you let the listeners know where your passion for this community comes from?

 

00:27

For um, so I guess I feel like I'm just kind of a fan of the underdog in any situation. And I can't say that I have personally experienced, like so much in this community, aside from having a lot of relationships with people, and seeing what they go through and what life looks like on that side of our world, because it's a very different experience from what I've had as a heterosexual, white female. So when I was in high school, I just kind of ended up best friends with a gay man. And he kind of brought me into the circle of his friends, which ended up being just a really large, wonderful welcoming circle of people on all spectrums of the LGBTQ plus community. So I got really interested in just kind of gay rights and things like that went to marches and did all of that. Tried to advocate for the community as whatever I need to do as a 16 year old, which was not very much. And now I found myself in this position that I can do something which is awesome. And it's not even necessarily something I thought about when I went into the niche that I'm in. But I am really happy to be able to finally say that there's like some baggage behind this lifelong commitment that I kind of said that I had towards the community, but was never really doing anything about it other than like, your like Facebook posts here and there that talk about, you know, advocacy or supporting a community that's not well supported. So I'm happy to be able to do something about it now.

 

01:56

And let's talk about what you can do, or what we can do as physical therapists to help support this community, because I'm sure a lot of people may be listening to this and say, Well, what does the community need? That's so different from the rest of of other communities? So what is it about this community in particular, that perhaps they're more exposed to certain things? Or do they not get the care that they need? So go ahead, I'll pass the mic over to you.

 

02:27

Yeah, absolutely. So just discrimination in general, it's a problem in so many realms of social issues, being gender and sexual preference, of course, is one of those huge ones. So people feeling like or actually having less access to healthcare, getting denied health care, or getting given less than optimal treatment, or not really getting the best of their provider because of discrimination or because of biases that those providers have. Likewise, they might be afraid to go to facilities or go get treatments for things that are going through because they've experienced poor care before. So my niche actually, is pelvic floor physical therapy. And in this, there is so much that I can do for the community and physical therapists as well. And I was thinking about this podcast and thinking, what actually makes my job so different from the way everybody should be treating everyone. And I think there's a lot to learn, aside from just treating in pelvic floor PT. But in pelvic floor PT, I see a lot of people in the community because they are much more exposed to sexual violence and sexual trauma. And that correlates really significantly with pelvic floor dysfunctions. So we know from studies that gay men can undergo sexual violence at twice the rate of straight men, transgender people will usually experience about 50% of people will experience some kind of sexual violence in their life, which is a huge number 50%. And then it's even more if they're a minority. So that's a huge community of people where like, most of them need our help or need pelvic floor PT, or need more support than they're getting. So I think that we can play a big role in advocating for people and making spaces where they feel like are welcome. Or be that person that they can come to and after bad experience, bad experience or bad experience in healthcare, they can come to you and feel comfortable. And that's a really great feeling from my end. And I hope that other physical therapists out that out there feel better experienced that because it's awesome.

 

04:29

And you know, when you're talking about sexual trauma, or sexual assault within this community, I mean, the thing that sticks out to me is trauma. And so there is more and more research. And I think more and more people are now aware of trauma informed care. So can you share with us some of the principles of trauma informed care and why physical therapists should care?

 

04:56

Yeah, so this is kind of one of those things I was thinking about. trauma informed care and pelvic floor physical therapy is like, every class every time, we're always talking about every continuing ed course, because the nature of the work is so intimate, and very personal. And we're asking questions that make people uncomfortable, and hopefully not too much, but putting people in uncomfortable positions a lot of times, and it takes a lot for somebody to even come into my office to tackle these issues. But I think we should all be kind of treating in that same way. Because we don't really know like, of course, I know, when people come in for pelvic floor PT, they're probably uncomfortable. Like most of the time, people don't really like, want to be there. They're there because they need it. But that goes for a lot of things in physical therapy, right? Like people don't want to have back pain and come in and like, a lot of people don't want to get like touched and massage like, that's not what they intended on doing. But here they are, because they need it. So being trauma informed in any discipline is really important, because you just don't know what somebody has been through. So talking about trauma informed care, I think understanding a little bit more about trauma is probably a good place to start. So I do kind of think everybody should

 

06:10

reflect a little bit on what that means. So I was thinking of a good example. And I think that trauma can be kind of like pain, where we don't have a measurable, like objective measure for like, what pain is or what trauma is. So I know if a patient comes in says they're in six out of 10 pain, I have a patient with that same diagnosis that might say they're in two out of 10 pain. Or maybe I see, let's say I see somebody with a knee replacement. And I know that like a good healthy knee should have zero degrees extension, right. Or before they leave the hospital, we want them to have 90 degrees of flexion. But like I can't say to somebody, like you have a 15 degree trauma contracture. Like that doesn't make sense. There's no reference point that we know of other than what that person's experienced. So it's important to understand that trauma is different for each person. And some people could be really traumatized by an event. And some people could not really be traumatized by the same event. And that could depend on what factors they have in their cultural background in their other life experiences or the lens that they see things through. So somebody could experience their parents getting divorced, and maybe they came out of that fine. And they're like, Well, I came out of that fine. I don't know why it's so hard for everybody else. But you don't know what it was like to experience that with these other issues around you with being a minority or having financial distress or anything else like that. So understanding traumas is the most important part first. And then when we talk about trauma informed care. And this is from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there's kind of the principles of trauma informed care, what does that mean? So the first part of that is to realize that trauma is a widespread issue. And it is invasive, and pervasive, and it affects people in a lot of different areas of their life. And then also realizing that there are pathways to potential recovery. After that, we should be able to recognize the five signs and symptoms of trauma. So recognize what is trauma look like? Sound like? How does that patient act? How can we pick up on if they're a traumatized individual. So seeing a patient being uncomfortable in your clinic, they might not make eye contact with you, they might not want to face you directly, you might see their body language is a little bit off, their arms are crossed. Things that we've all seen. We all have patients probably every day ranging anything from like that super bubbly, happy patient to the one that comes in and has done PT before and had bad experiences, and they're really unhappy. So recognizing what does that look like, and then responding by implementing that knowledge into practices and policies within just not just yourself, but the the facility as well. So using what you know, to actually change or adopt practices better, going to be more inviting or more informed and make more comfortable spaces for people that are traumatized. And then we have resisting retraumatization. And this, I think, is the most important part for us as clinicians. So thinking about what we can do to make an environment that does not correlate with any kind of trauma, anybody has had to make them have to revisit that. So and that could be anything again, like there's traumatic events that range from, you know, like really terrible sexual violence, and these are maybe things I hear about, but then there's also the trauma of like, having been misdiagnosed or having been told this or that by that provider or getting a hopeless diagnosis or being told that there's nothing that can be done for them. Those are things that we can actively try to resist re traumatizing that patient in. So being on honest and informative, making sure that we're not making false promise promises, but also that we're providing hope. And then thinking about what our space is like. And this is probably relative, maybe a little bit more for like LGBT, t plus LGBT plus community, where I am making sure that my space has signs that say All are welcome here. And things that make people feel invited, because they very possibly have had an experience before where they walk into a facility and like, immediately feel discriminated against or immediately feel like, this is not a place that I want to be here, this is not a place that's going to give me good care, and maybe the Carolinas without a dentist, but at any rate, they've experienced that and probably are very likely more than once. So I want to make sure that whatever I'm doing is not recreating any of that for them.

 

10:54

And when you are, understanding what trauma is, and really trying to understand the trauma of the person sitting in front of you, right, I would assume a lot of that comes through our subjective exam. So do you have any advice for therapists who are navigating these waters, even newer therapists perhaps are navigating or who maybe aren't, are not as well practiced in the art of the interview? Or in that process of, of that subjective exam? So do you have any like, what types of questions do you ask that kind of stuff?

 

11:34

Yeah, sure. Um, so I asked a lot of questions and pelvic floor PT. But I think the more important concept around that is, um, sometimes instead of asking questions, I, and that's not that we're talking at patients. But I do take a moment to do this. And if I am getting a sense from a patient, that they may have experienced trauma, that they're not going to share that with me. And that is probably more likely than not, especially on the first day, when I'm doing my initial evaluation, they don't know me, they don't trust me, they don't really want to share any of this with me, let alone even be there. So, a lot of times, I'll take the opportunity to talk about how trauma or how other experiences can relate to pain. So I might say to, let's say to my pelvic floor patients, I don't need to know or I don't need you to tell me any details or anything. But I am aware that trauma increases pelvic floor dysfunction increases pain, and it can really affect the way that people recover. So if there's anything that I can do during this treatment to make you more comfortable in any way, let me know if we need to stop anything. We're doing them, you know. So I might just take it as a piece of information, instead of asking a direct question, like making them tell me, maybe they'll do that later on in another session or two. Maybe I might need to know more at some point. But I've really never ran into that situation. A lot of patients will tell me the extent of it right there. They might do it another session or two. But it's not something that I really want to force out to people like day one, because if if I do that, like are they going to come back? Because that re traumatizing them? Have they been forced to talk about it before. I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm maybe not the person that they want to share all that with. So I want to make sure they have the open door to tell me about it. But I'm not like dragging it out of them.

 

13:22

Yeah, that's, that's wonderful advice. I really love that. And the other thing is, that I heard a couple of times during kind of these principles is creating that safe space, creating that space, where like you said, Everyone is welcome. How do you have any other tips and it could be from the person at the front desk all the way to, to the therapist and every employee in between? So are their conversations with the all the employees who work at the within that space? And and this may seem kind of like a silly question, but I think it's important, but colors on the wall artwork, things like that. I think it makes a difference. Right. So what do you what do you think?

 

14:10

Yeah, so I think that maybe places are a little bit hesitant to, like, fly this giant rainbow flag outside their door, right? Like, I would totally do it if I have my own clinic, but I recognize that I'm like, you know, working we're still working in a world that like from a business model. Maybe we don't want to do that because we want everyone to feel welcome, right? But it doesn't really take much. I think it's about really small gestures. So in our clinic, starting from paperwork, like they fill out paperwork online. And gender, for example, has every option that you can think of. If it is a paper form, gender is a blank space, so that blank space leaves people the option to write how they identify. And I love that option because That's even better than having to choose from like an overwhelming amount of options, or not finding the option that you're looking for. So a blank space for gender is fantastic. And then what we have in our clinic, like I said, small gestures, I think small gestures are really the thing, we have very small little flag stickers, like on the Plexiglas from our front office. Just little flag stickers for like every flag that you can think of, or it has like all the colors that represent different parts of LGBTQ plus community. So that little flag makes such a big difference, because I'll tell you, a lot of our patients are not going to notice it, like your patients that don't identify in any of those ways are not even going to notice it. But those people that do are going to see it, and they're going to love it. And we get compliments on that all the time. They think like, Oh, my God, people are so thankful for this little tiny sticker, we got like four pack on Amazon for like, probably a couple bucks, you know, just doesn't take much. And then another thing that we have in our waiting area is a sign that says All are welcome here. And that's such a simple thing, because that's not offending anybody that's making all people feel welcome. And people that are looking for that in their space, they know exactly what you're talking about when they see that fine. And everybody else is just like, oh, that's a nice thing. And they might not think very much of it. But it's certainly still a good thing to hear like, older people are welcome. Younger people are welcome. Everybody's welcome here. So it's really easy option.

 

16:29

And I love that these are all really easy, inexpensive, and accessible ways to show that you are working hard on creating a safe space for everyone. And like you said, a safe space for the LGBTQ plus community who oftentimes can't find those safe spaces.

 

16:48

Yeah, yeah. Another another small thing that I do personally, because I want my patients before I even go into their room maybe to like understand that I'm an advocate, I just have like a rainbow water bottle. And that's what I drink out of that work. And they see that sitting on my desk, and maybe some other stickers on like my laptop and stuff like that. But something that they might see like, Oh, that's my therapist, and they see like a rainbow water bottle. And it's just like a little thing that makes them feel more comfortable. I love it. I love my water bottle, so everybody's happy.

 

17:19

And do you go out physically into the community for advocacy work or as part of the clinic just so that people know that you're there? You know, like, how, how does that work within your community? Because I'm sure there are people who I mean, I'm in New York City, right? So I talk about like a large amount of people, right? So how do people know how to find? So how do people, especially in these marginalized communities know how to find the people who are creating spaces for them? Yeah,

 

17:49

so most communities, I'm in Las Vegas have support centers or community centers that support or provide or refer to services like my own or other providers that they know, create these safe spaces. So we have a support center here in Vegas, I've spoken to a little bit, I'm not necessarily within everybody's insurance providers. So that makes things a little bit harder. I'm in pelvic floor PT, I get so many patients from all over. And I've had a very long wait time, it's been tough to go out and mark it. And I'm also leaving for maternity leave actually in a couple of weeks. So I have plans for when I come back to reach out a little bit more, but I have been swarmed with what I have. But going out into these community centers, just letting them know who you are dropping off some cards, I have done that. And that is a really good way to at least get started. Get your name or your clinic out there. And maybe you're not what every person is looking for. But if they have your card handy, and they are providing social services to somebody, they might say, it sounds like you could benefit from this I know a great physical therapist that you could go to. And then, of course, we're a little bit bound by insurances. And that's definitely something I see in my future is trying to provide a little bit more preventive care to people that are uninsured or under insured. But that's probably a future problem for me at the moment. Right.

 

19:18

Right. And I think that's great advice. So if you're in a city, reach out to local community groups, community centers, things like that, and I think that's a great way for you to get out and in the community and really make a difference. And now there's one more thing that I want to talk about before we start wrapping things up. And that is the importance of asking patients for consent. So you touched on this a little bit, right? But especially in the pelvic floor world. Where does this explained explain to the to myself and to the listeners, how you go about asking for consent And why this

 

20:01

is yeah, this is definitely like if we can take home anything from if listeners could take home anything, it's to be more vigilant about asking for consent. And I can kind of trace this back to like how I've evolved in asking for consent. And I think about an IC O I think probably hope I'm probably not the only one guilty of this. But when I started, I started as a physical therapist assistant. So way back, when I graduated as a PTA, I went to work at a facility where the, the clinic was pretty manually aggressive, a lot of manual therapy, a lot of kind of aggressive manual therapy, which can be a little jarring for patients that are maybe not prepared for that. But I think about how many patients, I just went into the room and like started palpating, or like, Okay, I'm going to check this and then just like put my hands on them. And I think now about like how strange it would be to just like, grab somebody like psi SS without like telling them where you're going, like grabbing the back of their hips or having them like face a wall and then touching their back. And that can be like a very, that can like reiterate some traumatic events for people being grabbed from behind. That's, it's, I can't believe that I did this being the person that I am now. But I did, I did it every day all the time. And I never really thought about consent, I just figured the patient was there, maybe the provider before me had probably done similar the same things as a PTA, so I assumed PT had done the same. And I just think how crazy that is. Now, to me, it just is like so out there that I would have done that. Um, but asking for consent is something that should be ongoing and all the time. So from the initial evaluation, and education is a big part of asking for consent, I think too, because in order to consent to something, people have to understand what it's going to entail. And for me and pelvic floor, that's certainly relevant because I do do internal pelvic floor exams. So they need to know exactly what I'm going to be doing. And I use a model to demonstrate and to talk about what that's going to entail, and then discuss that they have the option to consent to that or to not consent to that, if they don't, there's other things that I can work on that I can help with. So I don't want them to feel pressured, that they have to consent to anything that I asked for. So consent, those should be informing the patient pretty much every step of the way. So instead of saying, I'm going to check your pelvic alignment, nobody knows what that means, like our patients don't know what that means. So I might ask, Is it okay with you if I touched the front of your hips, and then that's how I started just kind of simple and explaining in layman's terms, what I'm going to do. And a lot of times, I'm asking a patient or giving a patient options. And this is kind of part of trauma informed care is enabling or empowering the patient to make choices or have options. So instead of saying, say I want to do soft tissue work, instead of saying, I will be right back, I'm going to go grab some lotion, and then the patient knows I'm going to do soft tissue, but they didn't get an option to consent to that. I just went to go grab it. And now they feel like they're stuck there. And I'm going to come back with lotion and they're going to get a massage and they don't have a choice. So I might say, I would like to work on this. This is why. So we can do that. If you don't want to do that. We can work on mobility in this other way. So that way they have an option for what they want to do or how they want to do it. So providing options, I think is a really important part of concern. Um, I think yeah, I think that's mostly what I mean with consent.

 

23:42

Perfect. Yeah, I think that's great. And listen, I used to do the same thing. And I can't believe I did that either. Yeah, just like walking into a room and just like touching. Like, I wouldn't want someone to do that to me. I can't believe I did that.

 

23:55

I know. And I wonder is that like, a time? A time thing? Like 10 years ago? Was it just more like then we're just more informed now? Or was I just like totally oblivious? Because that's certainly

 

24:05

possible. I think it's just we're more informed now. I'm gonna I'm gonna go with that, you know, and yeah, and and maybe a little bit of a being oblivious? I don't know. But you're right. Like, I would just come first of all stand up and you just be like, hands on the pelvis. And it's like, what is like, how, what, what was?

 

24:25

And like next to I think, like, we were just yeah, like not grabbing,

 

24:30

grabbing onto people's heads and everything. What's that about? I would never do that. Now. You know, even if I'm just going to touch someone's arm. I was like, I'm just gonna put my hands here if that's okay. And we're gonna. Yeah, it just makes so much more sense. And I love the fact that you tied that in with the patient education component. Because I think like you said, you can't have one without the other. It's just so important.

 

24:55

Right? And I think that we underestimate like how much the patient wants to be educated about things. So and that's a lesson, I think I've learned pelvic floor PT, because so many people did, like they don't even know they have a pelvic floor or what it does. So education's been a huge part of my practice, like the whole first session is really education and training, and bladder and bowel training and things like that. But patients want to know, they want to know all the details, like they love it, tell them so they know what you're doing. So they know if they want that done or not.

 

25:24

Yeah, absolutely. At your right patients want to know, and it doesn't matter the age, they want to know, what's going on with their bodies and and what they can do to be a part of it. So it's also a great way to empower your patient to understand and take control over their, over their bodies. You know, and and give, give the patient some autonomy and some confidence.

 

25:49

Yeah. And to give that the patient the opportunity to, like collaborate with you, instead of be told what's happening. So to have the opportunity for them to feel involved and to have a voice in their decision making and understand even why they're making a decision, like so that they might know. Yes, I do want this internal pelvic floor exam done. Because I want to know more about the tone of my pelvic floor so that I can know why I have pain or why I have difficulty emptying my bladder. I want them to be able to make that connection in their head and be able to consent to it. Knowing why.

 

26:21

Yeah. And it's all part of patient centered care. I mean, that's what we're all supposed to be doing. Right? Yeah, absolutely. It's not patient directed care. It's patient centered care.

 

26:33

Right. And just as relevant as it is for me and pelvic floor. I think it's the same anywhere else across the board.

 

26:39

Yeah, across the board. Absolutely. Well, I, you know, I want to thank you. I think this was a great conversation. I feel like I've definitely learned a little bit more about trauma informed care. So I thank you for that. Now, where can people find you? If let's say they have questions, they, you know, they want to know how they can implement some of the things you're doing in your clinic in their own clinics.

 

27:06

Yeah, sure. So I typically use my work email for anything like that. So that is M Duncan at Kelly hawkins.com. And I like I said, I'm not much of a social media person I wish I could say I was that's probably not the best way to contact me.

 

27:24

I know you're not missing anything. Don't worry about it.

 

27:27

Yeah, but I'm always happy to check emails and respond that way. For people trying to figure out where to start. I did want to mention CSM has a lot of great topics on this, I've certainly gotten a lot of information, or directed myself onto what things I'd like to learn more about by going to CSM and going to these discussions. There is some information on trauma informed care at CSM this year, as well as introductions to pelvic floor PT, for those that are interested. And there are always platforms and other lectures on what we can do for the LGBT Q plus community. Excellent.

 

28:04

Thank you so so much. And before we wrap up, I'll ask you the question I asked everyone. And that's knowing where you are now in your life and in your career, what advice would you give to your younger self?

 

28:14

That's fine to not just go around touching people.

 

28:18

Yeah. That advice to each other.

 

28:21

I think I'm fortunate that never really panned out to be anything too negative, but I would love to go back and not do that. But what I do tell people and recommend as far as career is to find a niche. So my niche is pelvic floor PT. Within that my niche is being passionate and treating the LGBTQ plus community treating patients that are transgender, that is a great niche to be in, not everybody is doing it, it is so needed. If you can find a niche that you're passionate about, and that is needed, you are never going to struggle for work or for satisfaction. Um, it really is kind of been if you build it, they will come situation. And people told that to me when I began pelvic floor pt. And that's what I did, I built a pelvic floor program, the company that I work for now. And like I said, I am very busy, very satisfied with the way my career has gone in. So find a niche and it's not something that every new student is going to know right away. But get out there and explore like go shadow and go find places that are outside your comfort zone. Like I wasn't I didn't think I was going to go into pelvic floor PT. I don't think a lot of us that end up in it do. It's maybe not something I would have thought to shadow I would have been like, that does not sound good. I don't want to do that. But again, outside your comfort zone, go shadow and find therapists that are doing things that you don't think you would ever do, and see if you can find somewhere that you're going to land and be successful.

 

29:50

I love it. That is great advice. Thank you so much, Megan. I really appreciate your time and your knowledge sharing with myself and the Audience So thank you so much yeah thank you and everyone thanks so much for tuning in and listening have a great couple of days and stay healthy Wealthy and Smart

Nov 16, 2021

In this episode, Associate Professor at the University of the Sciences and Director of BTE Laboratory, David Logerstedt, talks about monitoring and responding to load injuries on the knee.

Today, David talks about the most common loading injuries on the knee, difference between external and internal loads, and how to improve tissue capacity. What is mechanical loading?

Hear about David’s most recent research paper on mechanical loading and the knee, how therapists can monitor and respond to loads, how clinicians can apply the information in the paper, and get David’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “A lot of the stresses that cause the injury also are some of the same stresses that you can use to rehabilitate the injury.”
  • “Most of us have enough tissue capacity to walk, but we might not have the tissue capacity to run a 10k.”
  • “You really are trained to look at how the joint is reacting to the loads that you’re placing on it. Measuring irritability is probably the best way to describe it.”
  • “Even just asking how they feel can give a lot of information.”
  • “If people understand the ‘why’, then maybe they’re more likely to do it and follow through.”
  • “Don’t say no. Always say yes to opportunities. Especially in that early career, if an opportunity comes along, take it.”

 

More about David Logerstedt

David Logerstedt, PT, MPT, PhD is tenured Associate Professor at University of the Sciences and Director of BTE laboratory. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and human performance from the University of Montana and a Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology from the University of North Carolina. He earned a master’s degree in physical therapy from East Carolina University and a doctorate in the interdisciplinary program of biomechanics and movement science from the University of Delaware.

Dr. Logerstedt has been a practicing rehabilitation specialist for over 25 years and is board certified in sports physical therapy. He has presented his research on knee disorders at national and international conferences and has published in high-impact sports medicine journals on ACL injuries. He has co-authored several clinical practice guidelines on knee disorders.

His goal to improve the implementation of clinical research into practical and accessible for all clinicians.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Knee Injuries, Loading Injuries, Tissue Capacity, Stress, Research, Rehabilitation, Recovery, Physiotherapy

 

Resources:

Effects of and Response to Mechanical Loading on the Knee

 

To learn more, follow David at:

Website:          David Logerstedt's Bibliography

Twitter:            @DaveLogPT

LinkedIn:         David Logerstedt

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

Website:                      https://podcast.healthywealthysmart.com

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Read the Full Transcript Here: 

00:07

Welcome to the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast. Each week we interview the best and brightest in physical therapy, wellness and entrepreneurship. We give you cutting edge information you need to live your best life healthy, wealthy and smart. The information in this podcast is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as personalized medical advice. And now, here's your host, Dr. Karen Litzy.

 

00:35

Hey everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I am your host Karen Litzy. And today's episode is brought to you by Net Health so when it comes to boosting your clinics, online visibility, reputation and increasing referrals, net Health's Digital Marketing Solutions has the tools you need to beat the competition. They know you want your clinic to get found get chosen, and definitely get those five star reviews on Google. They have a fun new offer if you sign up and complete a marketing audit to learn how digital marketing solutions can help your clinic when they will buy lunch for your office. If you're already using Net Health private practice EMR, be sure to ask about his new integration, head over to net health.com forward slash li tz why to sign up for your complimentary marketing audit. And it's great, I use it and it works. So I highly recommend it. Now onto today's episode. So I'm really really happy to have Dr. David lager stead on the episode today. And we are talking about monitoring and responding to load injuries on the knee. So Dr. Lager stat is a tenured associate professor at the University of sciences and director of the BT EE Laboratory. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance from the University of Montana and a Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology. from the University of North Carolina. He earned a master's degree in physical therapy from East Carolina University and a doctorate in the interdisciplinary program of biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware. He has been a practicing rehabilitation specialist for over 25 years he is board certified in Sports Physical Therapy. He has presented his research on knee disorders at national international conferences and has published in high impact sports medicine journals on ACL injuries. He co authored several clinical practice guidelines on knee disorders. His goal is to improve the implementation of clinical research into practical and accessible, make it practical and accessible for all clinicians. So yeah, so today we're talking about a new paper, that he co authored the effects, the effects of em response to mechanical loading of the knee to great paper, you can go to podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart calm, to find a link to the paper. And a big thanks to Dr. Lager stead for breaking it down for us and everyone enjoyed today's episode. Hey, David, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on.

 

03:04

Thank you for having me. Yeah, and I'm excited. Today we're going to talk about a new paper that your co author on that came out on to be very precise, October 20, of 2021. And it's the effects of response to mechanical loading on the knee. So of course, my first question, I'm sure this is the first question everyone asked you is, why write this paper? What is the why behind it? You know, as a, as a clinician, as well, as somebody who is now in academia, I've always kind of had this question myself, you know, what kind of loads are on the knee? And I've always had this, you know, concern about dosing and trying to figure out like, how can we can best dose exercise around the knee. And as I, as I really started to think about this more, really started to find that there hasn't been any review, or any kind of clinical commentary kind of brings at least the concept of mechanical loading, kind of in one place. And the knee is always a good model, because it does seem to have a lot of a lot of research around it. And it's an area I'm familiar with, because of my work in ACLs. And so I, we, you know, we just started, started thinking about, okay, how can we best talk about what kind of loads are being placed on the knee and, and some of it kind of kind of came out of some conversations I had with another colleague of mine, where we've really started to talk about the use of inertial measurement units and how those can start to give at least some general indications of what loads are occurring through the lower extremity. And so we decided to just kind of put a team together

 

05:00

who had expertise in in loading? And then expertise in specific structures related to the knee? And so that's kind of how it kind of came together. And when we're talking about loading of the knee, so in this, in this paper, you're talking about mechanical loading. So let's, let's go with some more definitions here. So what is mechanical loading? And why is it important in respect to the knee will stick to the knee? Yeah. So, you know, in the paper, we really describe mechanical loading, this is the physical forces that act on are free to make demand on the body, either at the system's level, or even on structures at a specific organ or tissue level. And so if you think about mechanical loading can kind of subdivided into different variables, such as, like the magnitude of the load, how long the load is being applied, how frequent it might be applied, or even maybe the direction or the nature of that load. So

 

06:05

so when we think about loading, though, all those components kind of interact, can interact with one another, and then create different loading patterns that can impact again, the knee is the organ itself, or specific structures within the knee. And when we're talking about loading, I think most people think of loads as external, so something that we are placing on that knee, but there are external loads in their internal loads. Can you kind of differentiate those for the listeners? And how, and why are both important? Yeah. So when we think about, you know, external loads, to kind of think about is like, really kind of that work that's being performed? So like, how far did I run today? Or how high did I jump? So when we think about like, like that, it's almost, it's almost kind of like that outcome in, in an essence when we think about external load. But when we think about internal load, you can either think about what what's the physiological process that's going on inside the body related, potentially related to the external load, or maybe even the psychological. And again, maybe even that biomechanical response to that external load? So So usually, when we think about internal load, it's like, you know, how what, you know, what is your heart rate doing related to how far you run? Or what is the extra? Or what's the amount of stress that's being placed on the knee after you land from a jump? Yeah, so so both are important, especially when it comes to knee injuries, and loading injuries. So let's talk about what are some of the common loading injuries on the knee?

 

07:54

Yeah, so if you think about some of those different types of loads, you can kind of really subdividing at least at Deneen to kind of three major categories. In essence, whether it's a compressive load, a shear load, or a, you know, a tensile load that occurs, there's some other loads that can occur, such as some hydrostatic pressure loads, but the primary ones are really related to that. And so then if you break that down into specific structures, such as a ligament, you know, like the ACL, which is one of the more common injuries that occurred the knee, you know, that's usually related to some kind of tensile load that's occurring on that ligament, it can occur either from, you know, cyclical loading, where you can continue to put stress on that ligament until that ligament ultimately fails. But usually, it's one usually large load that occurs that relates in, you know, a traumatic tear. That's probably an example of kind of one of the more common ones. But, you know, we, you know, we commonly see other tissues damaged, you know, the meniscus is another common injury. And that's usually again, that's really related more to some compressive with shear load. And then, you know, cartilage also kind of was kind of relies on

 

09:24

a shear load to be damaged. So

 

09:28

all those different loads occur on the knee, it just sometimes it depends on again, all those other variables that we've talked about, you know, the nature of it, or the compressive versus the shear versus the tensile load, but then again, how quickly does it occur? Maybe at what angle your knee is bent that can impact all those types of things? Yeah, I would think angles, speed, fatigue levels, hydration levels, you know,

 

10:00

All of that I can only imagine goes into

 

10:04

a type of injury from one of these loads, right? And you say, you know, and if think about, you know, again, you have that that external load, but then, you know, think about some of the other internal loads, you know, the muscles around the joint contracting, to maybe unload the knee at a specific time, because, you know, we have, you know, you've seen many athletes like they cut and pivot 1000s of times in a career, why is it that one certain time, they do the exact same maneuver, they've done 1000 times before, their ligament tears or their meniscus tears. So there's, there's so many other underlying factors that lead to it.

 

10:50

And so part of this papers, at least trying to describe some of those things, so people have an understanding of what is the underlying loads that can can lead to an injury. But then,

 

11:03

what can we do after that? How can we use those exact same parameters of same loading parameters to rehabilitate them? Because the same, a lot of the same stresses that caused the injury

 

11:17

also are some of the same stresses that you can use to rehabilitate the injury? Right, and I would think have to use to rehabilitate the injury. Right? Right. Yeah. So so they, so they can adapt to that stress and be ready to handle the stress the next time it occurs. Exactly, exactly. And now what one of the figures we were talking before we went on the air within this paper is figure four. So for everyone who is listening to this, we'll leave a link to the paper in the show notes. But when you go through, you'll see there's one figure it's figure four, it's a conceptual model of loading of the knee. And it's like a monster of a figure like it is. It's large, it looks very intimidating, and very complicated. So can you break it down for us? Yeah. So this is how, you know, we started to think about taking a lot of these other models that have been out there that have described, you know, maybe the physical stress model, or many people have commented on the,

 

12:24

on the die model, related to the envelope of function, and also the dynamic recursive model related to injury, probably the, is the best one, best way to describe it. But you got to take into all those factors that can influence or just leave somebody susceptible to an injury,

 

12:52

as well as including this their underlying physiology. And again, that could just be related to those non modifiable factors such as your age and your sex.

 

13:04

And then again, your underlying physiology, you know, your genetic makeup, maybe even just some kind of a little bit of your underlying fitness level. And then what are some things that can predispose that tissue to injury? And again, it could be, you know, do you have a strong tissue or a weaker tissue? Does the, you know, do you have certain types of muscle fibers, you know, that can influence again, things like fatigue? And then what are the external factors that lead into it? So, some of these models have already been kind of described in the ACL related literature, you know, you know, shoot a surface interactions, whether that occurs out there is, is it turf versus grass. So, those types of things can all potentially influence an injury and then,

 

14:00

you know, moving into the next part, then you just think about the mechanical load. So, again, all those factors related to magnitude and duration and frequency. And then we wanted to kind of

 

14:15

try to articulate that, again, if you took, you know, just conceptually took it is looking at each of the different major structures in the knee that could be impacted, and then talked about how those tissues respond to some kind of stress and strain. So, you know, if you put it,

 

14:39

again that load under a specific type of compressive versus shear strain, how does it respond to that, and William Thompson did a really nice review in ptJ a couple of years ago, looking at some of the Meccano therapy and McKinna biology that occurs at specific

 

15:00

tissues that Karim Khan had kind of initially proposed back, God 10 years ago or so. And then if you take all those things account, and the stresses and strains, so then you start to look at how that impacts how the tissue adapts to those stresses and strains. And, you know, using kind of the fitness model, or the fitness fatigue model is, is if you apply the right stresses at the right time. And you do that consistently over time, it basically builds up into tissues adapt to it, and it gets stronger, and fitter. But if you don't do it, or you do it at a delayed time, it may stay at a homeostatic level, or than if you do it too infrequently, or the loads are too much, too frequent, then you can actually fatigue the tissues. And, of course, if you get too much fatigue, and you get the right amount of load placed on it, then that can result in injury. And then you kind of go through, go through again, and go through it again. And again, that's part of the rehab process is taking all those things into account. And so

 

16:22

that's how we tried to really try to conceptualize it and think about, you know, and so we really kind of focused more on the the tissue levels and the response to injury, and how you can use that kind of this conceptual model of kind of stress and strain along those other factors, too. I think it's important to note that we're not only talking about ligaments or meniscus when we're talking about the tissues around the knee, ligaments, meniscus tendon, articular, cartilage bone. It's not just, we're not just talking about ACL 10. Lien, you know what I mean? There's, it's really the all the structures that that make up that knee joint, correct? Correct. Yeah. And, I mean, I think that's even a really important point to like, when we're rehabbing. You know, somebody and you know, you take somebody with a meniscus tear, not only are you impacting the meniscus that you're working on, you're also impacting a lot of the other structures around it. And so you can influence the all that rehab, or that rehab impacts all those tissues, depending on how you're providing the specific load. Right? Absolutely. And, you know, one of the the words that's in that figure is tissue capacity. And so during the rehab process, certainly after injury, but even, let's say, without injury, right, I think one of the goals is to always improve tissue capacity. So can you kind of talk about what exactly that means? What that What does tissue capacity mean and as physical therapists, what where do we stand in the improvement of that capacity. And on that note, we'll take a quick break to hear from our sponsor and be right back.

 

18:18

When it comes to boosting your clinics, online visibility, reputation and increasing referrals, net Health's Digital Marketing Solutions has the tools you need to beat the competition. They know you want your clinic to get found get chosen, and definitely get those five star reviews on Google. Net Health is a fun new offer. If you sign up and complete a marketing audit to learn how digital marketing solutions can help your clinic when they will buy lunch for your office. If you're already using Net Health private practice EMR, be sure to ask about this new integration, head over to net health.com forward slash li tz y to sign up for your complimentary marketing audit.

 

18:55

Kind of an in a general layman's term, you think about just tissue capacities, it's all related to the under I think sometimes so the underlying tasks that's being performed, right, you can have a certain level of tissue capacity that allows you to, to walk or run the tissue can meet the demands of that load placed on placed on the body by that specific task. Right. But if the task is too high, or the load is too high, relative to what the tissue can handle the tissue than this doesn't have the capacity to handle that load. And again, it may be able to handle that load one or two times. But over a repeated bout, it may fail much quicker. And so I think sometimes tissue capacity is it's also related to the task that's being performed. may know most of us have enough tissue capacity to to walk community levels and things like that. But you know, we might

 

20:00

not have the tissue capacity to run a 10k, even though that we may have the underlying structure that we could build up to that, I think those are the things you have to take into account. And from a rehab perspective, you know, you always have to think about kind of that starting point of what people can handle, and then how, how you can adjust the rehab process to improve that capacity over time. So that that leads into what are some ways we can monitor load and respond to that load? So we're the therapist, we're taking care of our patients, how can we monitor and and, and change that load as necessary? Yeah, so.

 

20:46

So from, you know, a clinician standpoint, you know, most of us probably in the clinic, you know, we don't have high tech equipment, like global GPS units are inertial measurement units to measure

 

21:01

acceleration, and

 

21:04

you know, how far people have gone

 

21:08

a certain amount of distances they walked or jogged or done the whole thing, like you have seen with some of the devices like catapult or, or

 

21:18

I measure use IMU units. But I think from a clinician standpoint, we still have a lot of great tools that I think are that we still under utilize, to some degree. So,

 

21:32

you know, I, I always like to tell my students

 

21:38

that you really are kind of training to look at how the joint is reacting to the, to the loads that you're placing on it? And are you making the tissues more irritable or less, irritable, measuring irritability is probably the best way to describe it. And the knee, you know, you can see things like, you know, increase swelling, you know,

 

22:02

which is a common, probably a common measurement to see for, for increased irritability, but it can also be, you know, is the joint getting sore versus the muscle getting sore, right? And so trying to be very clear,

 

22:20

with

 

22:21

the person you're working with is, you know, does it hurt inside the knee, or is it just hurt in the muscles around the knee, because we'd expect to see some muscle soreness if you're working those, right, but you don't want the, you know, the irritation to be in the knee. Um, so those are probably the two major major, major ones that I like to use. But

 

22:44

you can also look is, you know, do Did they have a sudden decrease in a range of motion, you know, which can be an impact, or, you know, a factor of them, having some irritability, has their strength gone down, which is probably a little bit harder to assess more consistently, but those are probably the major things I would consider looking at is, if you're starting to see some of those means the tissues become a little bit more irritated. But if you don't see those, then you know, the next, you know, maybe the next session, the next couple sessions, you can start to slowly increase the load a little bit, and see how they respond. And I think that's always the challenging part. Like, I like to challenge my students with is, but that's one of the great things about being a therapist, who is we get to see them again, and see how they respond to our treatments. And we can regress or progress them as needed. Yeah, and and I think that's a really great thing that you said at the end, we can regress or progress as needed. So if someone if you give someone some exercise or some loading, and they come back with like an angry knee, it doesn't mean stop everything and go back to passive range of motion. It means okay, let's just take it down a notch. But continue. Yeah. Yeah. And I think when the the last one I meant should have mentioned is, you know, just even just ask them how they feel. Mm hmm. You know, how are you how do you how does it feel today can give a lot of information then you can use things like you know, a session RPE schedule, you know, scale, say, Okay, your knees a little bit angry. Let's back, let's back your exercise session down two or three today, instead of working at a seven. Mm hmm. So you can still do something still keep the knee moving. Still keep it kind of moving forward, but you've kind of backed off in gave it a little bit time to, to calm down. Yeah. So it's, it's sort of this combination of what you're seeing objectively and then asking them how novel What a novel idea you're doing or you're having

 

25:00

Having trouble? Yeah. The other day you were doing stairs really well. And now you're having trouble doing stairs, you know, some of these functional day to day things? Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think, like you said, those are just really simple tools, I think we, we get so focused on, you know, what we like to call the objective data, instead of just asking people, how do you feel today? Yeah.

 

25:23

Absolutely. And now, how can we and I say myself, we, I'm a clinician, how can how can we clinicians use the information in this paper to start applying load to a REIT to the rehabilitation of an injured knee? Or post surgical knee? Or what however you want to categorize? Yeah, yeah. I think, you know, as we were talking before, there's a, there's a, there's a lot of data in this in this paper, too, that the clinicians can think canoes, and so I don't want them to get overwhelmed with all the numbers in the data, but it's really there to be is it as a resource for clinicians to say, Okay, I have somebody who has a pretty irritable knee, and these are the activities that we're doing before, you know, and we can get a sense of, okay, that that activity, you know, was, you know, three times body weight, I need to find an activity, that's maybe two times body weight.

 

26:27

So we can regress them a little bit. And this is an activity that kind of fits that or this was an activity that put this amount of stress on the ligament, we know that that stress is still within us safe range to, to push it a little bit to the next level.

 

26:47

Because, you know, I think some of the, some of the fear is, is that if we're putting stress on the ligament that we're going to injure it, or even on any tissue, right. But we, as we know that, especially after the initial inflammatory phase, you need to start putting a little bit of stress on the healing tissues, because that's how tissue gets stronger is that it has to respond to stress. But if you're putting, you know, if you're putting state and I'll put an air quotes, safe, safe stresses, or stresses that are below kind of the the below the failure rate, and you're monitoring the knee for those inappropriate responses, then you can use that information to slowly progress them through a rehab safely and adequately the healing structure to then kind of into the next level of repair. The one of the tables, we talked about this, again, before we came on, was table seven, within this paper, where you have some activities where it's like this is like you said, maybe it's 1.4 times body weight, or this is 20 times body weight, or this is eight times body weight. And I think that's a really nice guide for clinicians. But I think it's also a really great educational tool for the patient. So you can show this too, because most patients get it. I think a lot of times we underestimate our patient's ability to understand. Yeah, a lot of these concepts, you know, and and so I think if we can say the patient, hey, listen, this is X amount, your body weight, this activity is less than that. And let's say you're a month out of like some sort of surgical procedure, hey, let's go with the one that's less times body weight than this. And because people say, well, what's the big deal? It seems like it would be fine. But I love that because I think it's a great way for clinicians to use the paper also is a great educational opportunity. Yeah, no, no, I think that's a that's a really valid point, is it? I think if we can educate the patients on, you know, these are the activities that you should be doing right now. And as you strong, get stronger and get better than you can move into these activities the next time, right. And so they're always asking, patients are always asking, like, what can I do now? What can I do now? And so, you know, this table can give them some insight of, okay, this is where you're at. These are the things that you start doing now. And these are the things that probably wait a little bit longer. I think that the patient will really understand the why behind, you're giving them the exercises that you're giving them. Yep. And that's really important, because if people understand the why then maybe they're more likely to do it. Yeah. And follow through. Yep. So I mean, I think it's great. I think this paper is great. Is there anything

 

30:00

thing that we didn't touch upon in the paper, the process of doing this paper that you would like to share before we start to wrap things up, no, you know, I'd really like to, you know, first of all, thank my co authors who were willing to, to sit down and write this, it was, it was no small feat, you know, pulling together, clinicians from around the world to, to do this. And so, you know, definitely want to, you know, think tour MacLeod, Brian higher shyt, J uebert. Tim Gavitt and Brian eckenrode, for, for agreeing to do this, you know, this, like I said, this was a paper that had been mulling around in my head, probably since I was in PT school, you know, for a long time. And, you know, this just felt like the opportune time to pull it together. And fortunately, you know, in the last several years, last 20 years or so, we have, we have the data now to support a lot of the things that we do is physical therapist that I think intuitively, we've always done. But I think now that we can, we can demonstrate a lot of what we do, and some of the value that we bring to, to rehabilitation into to patients and to clients. Yeah, and and I mean, I like this paper from a rehab standpoint, but I think it's also really great from a strength and conditioning standpoint, right? Because as physical therapists, we don't have to just be the people there when the athlete or the person is injured, we can also be the person that helps to keep them strong and kind of improve, especially in I know, in a lot of professional settings. You've got strength and conditioning coaches, and athletic trainers and pts. But for the average physical therapist, like if you're in a small town, maybe you're it. Yeah, you're doing it all. Yeah. So I think this paper is really helpful not only to progress, people after injury, but to kind of look and say, Hey, this is the load that we can place on you that will hopefully help to decrease your chances of getting injured. Yeah. So I appreciate that in this paper. And now, where can people find you? And like I said, we will have a link to the paper in the show notes. But where can people find you if they have questions of you specifically? Yeah, I'm fairly active on Twitter. And so that's primary, my primary social media outlet so you can find me It's Dave, log PT. You know, if there's any questions or anything like that, that's probably the best, best way to reach me is either directly through DMS, or, or through my Twitter feed. Perfect. And now before we wrap things up, I have one more question. And it's a question I asked everyone is knowing where you are, in your life and in your career? What advice would you give to yourself? Let's say as a new grad, right out of PT school, I would probably, I would say, at that early stage advice, actually was given to me before is don't always don't say no. Always say yes to opportunities, especially in that, that early career, that if an opportunity comes along, take it, it may or may not be the perfect opportunity. It may not be what you dreamed of, but it more likely or not, will

 

33:32

be the a value to you. And many times it's a huge stepping stone. I would say you know, an opportunity comes along, say yes. Especially when you're young. Yes, yes. Young and full of energy. I think that's great advice. So listen, David, thank you so much for coming on the podcast breaking down this paper. It's a great paper. So congratulations on that. So thank you for coming on. You. Thank You, anytime and everyone. Thanks so much for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart. And a big thank you to Dr. David lager stat for coming on the program and talking all about load parameters around the knee joint and of course, a big thank you to Net Health. So again, their digital digital marketing solutions can help your clinic win by allowing you to get found get chosen and get those five star reviews on Google. They have a new offer if you sign up and complete a marketing on it to learn how digital marketing solutions can up your clinic when they'll buy lunch for your office. Head over to net help.com forward slash li T zy to sign up for your complimentary marketing audit today.

 

34:41

Thank you for listening and please subscribe to the podcast at podcast dot healthy wealthy smart.com And don't forget to follow us on social media

Nov 9, 2021

In this episode, Founder of the Concussion Corner Academy®, Jessica Schwartz, talks about the nature of concussion treatment.

Today, Jessica talks about her concussion experience and how it has shaped her work leading up to the Concussion Corner Academy®, the reality of long-term concussion symptoms, and some of the top concussion myths. Is it ever too late to have your concussion symptoms treated?

Hear about treatment barriers, some of the surprising statistics in concussion and TBI research, and the importance of education, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “When you’re young, make sure you have extended disability on yourself.”
  • “There’s no evidence-based, agreed upon international definition of concussion or traumatic brain injury.”
  • “There’s been zero phase 3 trials on TBI and concussion in over 30 years.”
  • “Up to 30% of folks now have persistent symptoms of concussion.”
  • “If we can teach one, we can serve many.”
  • “2012 was the first year the International Consensus Statement discussed the cervical spine in terms of examination treatment.”

“2015 was the first academic year in which there was a formal training for both TBI and concussion if you were a neurology resident.”

“2017 was the first year on the International Consensus Statement that we identified concussion as a rehabilitative injury.”

  • “The injury of concussion is an injury of loss. It’s a loss of your ‘I am.’”
  • “Join Twitter.”

 

More about Jessica Schwartz

Jessica Schwartz PT, DPT, CSCS is an award-winning Physical Therapist, a national spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association, host of the Concussion Corner Podcast, founder of the Concussion Corner Academy®, and a post-concussion syndrome survivor, advocate, and concussion educator.

After spending a full year in rehabilitation, experiencing the profound dichotomy of being both doctor and patient, Dr. Schwartz identified the gaps in concussion treatment and management in the global healthcare community. Her role has been to identify the cognitive blind spots and facilitate collective competence for healthcare providers, physicians to athletic trainers, focusing on comprehensive targeted physical examinations, rehabilitative teams, and concussion care management.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Concussion, Research, Statistics, Physiotherapy, Neurology, Concussion Corner, Myths, Healthcare, Rehabilitation, Injury, Loss,

 

To learn more, follow Jessica at:

Website to Join the Program:          The Concussion Corner Academy®

Facebook:       Concussion Corner

Twitter:            @ConcussionCornr

Instagram:       @ConcussionCorner

LinkedIn:         Jessica Schwartz

YouTube:        Concussion Corner

LinkTree:         https://linktr.ee/ConcussionCorner

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

Website:                      https://podcast.healthywealthysmart.com

Apple Podcasts:          https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/healthy-wealthy-smart/id532717264

Spotify:                        https://open.spotify.com/show/6ELmKwE4mSZXBB8TiQvp73

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Stitcher:                       https://www.stitcher.com/show/healthy-wealthy-smart

iHeart Radio:               https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-healthy-wealthy-smart-27628927

 

Read the full transcript here: 

00:02

Hey Jess, welcome to the podcast. Finally, I'm so excited to have you on.

 

00:07

Thank you so much for having me. I can't believe we haven't done this yet.

 

00:10

I know it's like absolutely insane. And just so people know Jessica and I both live in New York City, and we actually see each other quite a bit. And this is the first time I've had you on the podcast. But I'm really excited to have you on today because we're going to be talking about concussion, persistent post concussion symptoms, and you'll talk a little bit more about that name changed in the bulk of the interview. But before we get into some common myths around concussions, I would love for you to let the listeners know a little bit more about why you decided to really specialize in this niche within medicine and rehabilitation.

 

00:52

Awesome. Well, I thank you for the softball pitch care know. For those that don't know, Karen used to play softball on Central Park quite a bit. But yeah, no, I mean, I thank you so much for having me on. First. I've been listening to healthy, wealthy smart forever. So just thank you again. And yeah, I mean, gosh, I think back to I was a we were one of the first six residents actually, we were the first six residents in orthopedics at NYU in 2010. When I finished up grad school and all that jazz, and we I had it, I got the dream job, right, got the dream job. I had to leave New York City for it, which sounds crazy. But I think a lot of folks can connect to that, you know, working in, you know, the old adage, Jay, we used to call mills and things like that are seeing three or four patients plus per hour. And I was like, this isn't why I went into physical therapy. This is not why I wanted to do this. And I found this great clinic out in New Jersey during residency and we saw one to two patients per hour. And we had a support staff and they were emotionally intelligent. They were physical therapy owned, and they let us grow. And keep that like use of excitement, right? I don't know about you. But I'm hopped up on caffeine and too little sleep as we launched a new business this week. But it was great. And it really it fed my soul. It was wonderful colleagues and we ended up I ended up starting kind of in the opposite end of things, a civilian prosthetics program. So I was, you know, volunteering and showing up at the Manhattan VA, which has a wonderful prosthetics program. And then we also launched a breast cancer program and be launched a concussion program. So that was kind of like my first entree into concussion about 1011 years ago. And we were the only really only office in New Jersey with that type of rehabilitative practice at approaching concussion. And so very Dunning Kruger ask, it was like, you know, you don't know what you don't know until you kind of are made self aware of it. I got hit by a car. So I was hit by a car in October 3 of 2013. And right before then, oh, actually, it wasn't even right before then care. I'm sorry about that. But it was two years before it was our last day of residency. We saw that there was a conference at NYU at the hospital. And it was on concussion and it was NY us first concussion conference. Now this was 2011. So my best friend from Italy Beatrice, you know, hi, BIA. She's in Lucca. She's a great physio, if you're out in Italy listening in. And we were like, What do you want to go and it was our first weekend off for residency. I mean, we were exhausted, excited. And we're like, let's do it. So we went to this conference, I fell in love with it. And so we were at least aware of what this program was at NYU. Fast forward two years from there. And I was actually hit by a car here in Manhattan. So that's really where it's my life's work and passion is to become because I actually live with persistent symptoms. So and went through quite a recovery. So that's kind of how it all kind of came together and coalesced.

 

03:49

And when you suffered a concussion, and this was in 2013 It did you did you have kind of the self awareness at that time to think, well, you know, I've been learning a lot about concussions, I think I can I can kind of help myself here and did that then really propel you to learn more and to dive in even more.

 

04:19

So when I was hit, I was hit by an unlicensed driver from behind and my airbags did not go off. I was in my Toyota Prius you may have even been in that car at some point. And I didn't think anything of it but I knew I when I said the story is I I got out of the car. I want to get out of the car. I got hit so hard. I was stoplight at a red light wasn't looking behind me because we were stopped. And it was the traditional traffic right care like we're just inching forward. And I was probably on that block of 12 Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue for about two or three light cycles because of traffic. So I just got Walt from behind and so the New Yorker in May right so born and raised New Yorker You know, unbuckle the seatbelt and get out of the car to give this guy the business. And I was just so dizzy care. And I held onto the top of the hood of my roof of the car and I was like, I gotta sit down. Fast forward. I thought this was quote unquote, just going to be a concussion. And at that time, we really thought concussions were pretty much resolved spontaneously within seven to 10 days based off of the literature from 2002. From Brolio and McCrea at all from the NCAA study. But we don't have that's false. And we have so much updated information we can chat about if you'd like. So I thought it was just going to be seven to 10 days. I went back to work for for a week, I thought, you know, I would just be sore, kind of like a whiplash or like a Dom's. And now, I just kept D compensating and then from there went from 10 to 14 hours of rehab a week for 14 months.

 

05:53

And how did you continue to work and continue to function during all this time?

 

05:58

I did not. So I went off of I went out of work, mind you, I was just promoted to junior partner the week I got hit. So I remember I was like directing a prosthetics program, we had all these other programs, I just became junior partner, which would have been a profit share with a company and I loved my job, I would still send people back to that clinic, those four clinics in New Jersey in northern New Jersey. So essentially what happened was, it was a conversation that went on for months. So I was on short term disability for six months. And I say this to all physical therapists, physicians, OTs, PTs, whoever's listening to this, when you're young, make sure you have extended disability on yourself, because our bodies are so fragile at the end of the day. And again, I was an athlete, I was a cyclist I was training for, for a century bike ride and life changes in the blink of an eye. And I was underinsured with a $50,000 policy policies for car insurance to go up to 300,000 to 3 million for certain policies. And it would have been an extra $12 a month. But again, you're a new grad, you're just out of residency, just out of DPT school and you know, you're thinking about student loans and just being out of school. And so you don't really plan that far. So that's a whole other conversation we can have on another podcast. So I was on short term disability and we all know the legality of and we all have our own cognitive biases about this, right? So when people are involved in litigation, we know that their care tends to go a little bit longer. So I just I knew that. And I didn't want to, I almost didn't want to set myself up for failure, right? I just wanted to be a good soldier, show up for therapies, neuro psychology, vision therapy, talk therapy, vestibular therapy, regular musculoskeletal for the whiplash therapy, and just be a good soldier and show up as a good patient, just thinking that I would get better and slightly different than a musculoskeletal injury. The difference is with with brain injury is that there are cognitive and behavioral impairments that differentiate those from brain injury from musculoskeletal injury and rehab. On top of that, add the environmental aspect, and that's a whole other aspect of the injury. So there's no finite, you know, six to eight weeks of tissue healing or things like that, when it comes to brain brain injury, that it's a very gray area. So I was on disability for six months. And then that ended and that was petrifying. So two weeks before disability ended. I wanted to burn it down. That's when I got angry. And I think that's when I really went through that whole grief cycle, because I just kept showing up to therapy thinking I was going to get better, and then I did not. So went back after 14 months, I had the no fault car insurance, which helped pay some bills back home with mom at the time. And that was it. So after that, when I went back to work, I actually realized I had a vision handicap with overhead LED lights. So I still live with persistent symptoms, I still live with neuro fatigue, I still have an ocular motor disorder. But we learn how to manage and cope and I have wonderful support systems and definitely a grit that a lot of people don't have as well, I think I'm missing a chromosome there somewhere.

 

09:03

And you know, and this was eight years ago. So I think it's important for the people listening to understand that, you know, when one is diagnosed with a concussion, it's not just like you said over and seven to 10 days or maybe a week or a month or even a year, and that there are symptoms that can persist. And I think that's a great segue into what are some common myths around concussions. So I asked Jessica give me like maybe your top three common myths that surround concussion and and post concussion. So Jessica, I'll throw it over to you. So what would be Myth number one that is circulating out in whether it be layman's world or even the medical world? Well,

 

09:53

um, I was actually I'm going to give you something that we didn't speak about. I'll kind of combine one of them with three but One of them, actually two that we didn't speak, I'll surprise you as well. But there's actually no evidence based definition agreed upon international definition of concussion or traumatic brain injury. And that kind of will segue a little bit into two is that there's actually been zero phase three clinical trials on TBI concussion in over 30 years. So, when we're talking about research, I mean, talk about ground floor ground level, I mean, we were in the basement 10 years ago, just not having any idea what we were looking at. So I even I try to tell people like when we're talking about this, and looking at the literature, the medical legal literature got ahold of this injury 50 plus years ago, and it's been in the trapped with closed head injury and medical legal literature, but really not until 22,004. And on how we've been talking about this as a rehabilitative injury, and things like that. So, you know, historically, when we don't know what to do with someone in medicine, we tend to send them down to trajectories, we send them, we allude that they're milling, lingering, or looking for a secondary gain, or we tell them that's all in their head, and it can't be real, right. So that's what's kind of happening with these patients that we know up to 30% of folks now have persistent symptoms of concussion, they don't just spontaneously. You know, in even two weeks, we even actually, because we didn't really know what we're looking for right care. So we didn't have an agreed upon definition. So how can you know what you're looking at unless you know where you're looking for. So that's so very important to connect to is that a lot of the mismanagement of concussion was so much more prevalent in a well cared for patient.

 

11:38

That's wild. And so before 2004, basically, if you had persistent persistent symptoms after a concussion, it was like, good luck.

 

11:50

Yeah, you were allude that you're faking it. You were looking at this, that it was a psychological injury. Yeah. You know, and

 

11:57

that, that in and of itself is crazy making?

 

12:00

Yes, well, that's the whole thing and the chicken or the egg, right. And you can't deny psychological conversations when it comes to the brains like Hello. However, you know, it's really the chicken or the egg, you have these somatic things that we have the ability today in 2021, in a well versed clinician to validate the patient's symptom profile by doing targeted, comprehensive physical examinations as it pertains to concussion. So we actually the best thing that we can do for a patient like this, and I'm sure you've had all the chronic pain people on your podcast and things like that is validate their symptom profile. Listen, you're not crazy for seeing words coming up off the page. No, you didn't drop some LSD or an illegal drug. You have an ocelot Xia? You know, but the difference between the moderate and severe TBI is is that these folks have the self awareness to know that something's not right. But they do not have this objective language to express the what or how they feel with brain injury. So what do we do all day care? And how are you feeling? What's your pain level? What's your number? How are you feeling? But brain injury folks do not have the subjective language to express that so when they go to the mall and our fear avoidant of that, or they go to the supermarket, and they are don't like to be in a complex visual sensory environment, because the colors may blur, and things like that, that is then looked at as a fear avoidant behavior. And that's been sent to psychological counseling for decades. So how can we as physios how do we get these guys first and gals? So not to Detroit too much to keep you on track. But those are two. The first two is that there have been there are over 43 working definitions of concussion. One of them is evidence based. And to that there are zero phase three clinical trials in over 30 years for TBI concussion.

 

13:42

Wow. Wow. Wow, those are two biggies. Two big myth.

 

13:46

I would think so then I'll combine the last three because there are points. So the third one is, you know, I really, I'm really into education care. And I really believe that if we can teach one we can serve many, okay. And that's just what I've been privy to. And this implicit trust in the last, like eight to 10 years with this injury, that I've been invited to all different conferences for emergency physician athletic training, PT, you name it, because we all need to be on the same page here. So folks really need to I always say that we need to have a really humble approach when we come here because and I say this with kindness and I but I say this very firmly, is that with concussion, we have infinite ports of access to entry to care. Okay, you can go to the urgent care the emergency department, you could even be at your OB GYN appointment and you might have had this fall and a ski injury over the weekend and in your annual or biannual you know OBGYN appointment if you're a woman. And you know, you could have had you could have pre presented with signs and symptoms of concussion and not be aware of it. So I see that because there's infinite ports of entry on like cancer or unlike cardiology, you have a heart attack, where do you go care and you go to the emergency room, right? And then you see the cardiologist just right or you get diagnosed with cancer or your PCP or you start losing weight, you have some red flag showing up. Where do you go? Yeah, young colleges right to the oncologist, right. So that's a, that's a defined pathway. With concussion, we don't have a defined pathway. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, it's where a lot of this mismanagement has come up over the last few years and decades, and that's where patients start to suffer. And that's where it healthcare, we've actually imparted something that's called AI atherogenic suffering, which is where actually the health care system where your doctor is actually part of a way of suffering on a patient. So I bring that to our attention with these three quick facts. I'll say them quickly, and then we can chat about them. Go for one 2012. That's the number you got to know. 2012 was the first year the international consensus statement discuss the cervical spine in terms of examination treatment, that whole stick that connects the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system and runs the autonomics up and down, right 2012. We just started talking about the cervical spine internationally. 2015 was the first academic year in which there was a formal training for both TBI and concussion, if you are a neurology resident. So if you were a brain physician in 2015, that was their first formal didactic year, they had training in concussion and brain injury. So just let that settle in there for a second because that's, that's just wow. Again, this is a place to build up, not tear down, but that was taking place within the behavioral neurology section of the American Academy of Neurology. And the third one was that 2017 was the first year on the international consensus statement that we actually identified the concussion as a rehabilitative injury. 2017. So, like, what? So if you think about it, as physical therapists, congratulations, happy 100 years care. We just had our centennial, right. So we were rehabilitation aids, literally in the trenches 100 years ago, like now, and we were treating what we were treating brain injury, what are we doing in the ICUs for treating brain injury? We're getting them up, we're getting them moving. But what do we prescribe when we don't know what to do with someone and healthcare rest? So we now know that that's not the ideal thing to do beyond the first 72 hours, but yeah, 2012, cervical spine 2015, brain physician started learning how concussion and 2017 was we call the rehabilitative so that's my third.

 

17:29

Wow, that's, it just seems like that cannot be possible.

 

17:33

Yeah. And, and it seems like that and because we know better, right? But imagine then being, you know, having deficits and having trouble thinking and processing, and what's our most valuable resource attention, but then you can't process. So it's, it's so horrible when you're a patient, and you have to negotiate the system, if you go through a no fault, or you go through a worker's comp, and there's all these other aspects, you know, of that of, of the injury. So I always say, sorry, I always say is that concussion as an injury of loss of it, I am, so you have to really pay attention to where your patients are in space and time when you when you meet them.

 

18:10

And it all seems to me like just not having a clear pathway. To me sounds like barriers to treatment, and barriers to to improvement. And then my question, I just one quick question. It. If you if the patient doesn't quite know who to go to, they don't know that they're they they have a concussion? Because some people like oh, you know, he got his bell rang, or whatever. And they don't even go to see a doctor, but they're having some symptoms, but they're not quite sure who to go to? Is it that the longer your symptoms go on, the less likely you are to recover?

 

18:50

So there's a yes or no answer to that. I don't want to say it depends. But the good news is, is that we have folks five and 10 years out who may have not sought treatment, like the patient you just alluded to, or sought treatment, then kind of plateaued, the brain wasn't ready yet. And that's totally fine. And we've got to tell patients that No, hey, maybe we need to take three to six months and just kind of let this settle. Let's reset, regroup, and then let's come back. Because the brain just may not be ready. You cannot force this. This is not about grit and resilience, in terms of being sore and pushing through. You've got to listen to the brain and I talked about it with like the knee effusion principle. You know, we have residency in orthopedic so I talk ortho all the time, although I love the neuro, neuro world these days as well. But you know, it's like the knee effusion principle, right? You do too much the knee fuses, we want to give it if it doesn't come down in two days, we did too much. Let's cut in half, right. So it's the same thing with concussion except the difference that is super frustrating to both patients and clinicians that aren't in the know is that you can have delayed symptom onset. So you can do something within the therapy office or they can do something like for example, have a vestibular migraine, where they feel good while they're walking outside and they feel okay walking But as soon as they stop their body like isn't really caught up to them yet. And then they get this distributor migraine within 20 to 60 minutes, and then they feel like garbage. But then they don't know what even to associate with. And that right there, Karen will make you feel crazy. So so it's very important to have somebody in the know, but you said something right before that question about barriers? And you're absolutely right, there are barriers, but I'll do you one better is that we're not only have barriers to accessing quality care for concussion, we also have i atherogenic, suffering, where they come and I, as a provider may not know enough about concussion to look at this from 360. So we have providers that don't know, they may be maybe in 2021, we'll be able to pull up the international consensus statement. But that's only for sport, and it's very limited. So it doesn't go through the nuance of the suffering and the delayed symptom onset and things like that. It's very white paper esque, right? So we actually then cause harm by quote unquote, just treating the neck, not looking at the vestibular system, not looking at sleep, not looking at the ocular motor system, not looking at is the the migrant or aspect of it, not, you know, all these other things and aspects that make concussion concussion. So from a symptom profile standpoint, so if you feel typically I should say,

 

21:15

yeah, and, and, you know, like you said earlier, you're all about education, and getting people to therapists, and whether you're a physical therapist, occupational therapist, you've been a personal trainer, physician, really understanding the ins and outs of concussion. And so I'm going to, I'm going to plug your educational entity that is that is launching, and it's concussion, corner Academy. And so now, I really like that you're coming at this from the patient and the provider standpoint. So talk a little bit more about concussion, quarter Academy, and what separates it from other educational programs. Because, you know, as you know, there's a lot out there in the world, right? So how, what, what is it about this that makes it different, and that you're really proud of as you should be?

 

22:08

Oh, I appreciate that care. And, golly, I mean, talk about like, your life's work, right? And I really, I just get goosebumps thinking about this. And I'm like, wow, this is this is really just a dream. And I'll be very honest with you, this is a we're in a pandemic, still, some people may not want to admit that. But we're, we're still in a pandemic. And we all kind of went through something, right, especially in New York City, we really went through it initially in the acute phase of this pandemic. And I did, I lost a good chunk of my practice, and I had to really sit with myself and I said, Gosh, just what do you want to keep doing? You know, what do you want to do with your life, I had patients no less than four years, some 11 years as patients. And I was like, I'm not doing this again, I just don't have the energy. And that was from just a like a, like, almost like a burnout aspect. I just couldn't imagine re building up my my practice again, I have no problem seeing patients, if they call me but I have no desire to market. Now. I was like, Well, my ideal life based off of my symptoms and persistent symptoms. You know, I really work every other day. So yeah, I can push through every five days and do a regular work week if needed, but I don't feel well. And then I'm not pleasant. And it's just, you know, I just know my limits. So with the neuro fatigue and the stuff that I live with, I said, Well, what's, uh, what's, what's something I can do? Well, if I could work remotely, that was kind of it. And I said, How can I help the concussion community? So we decided, and my partner is a graphic designer and in to animation and editing and all of this stuff. We said, how can we make this beautiful, and deliver it? Because the user experience was so important to us? And then how can we deliver it internationally to where it's accessible? So we're, we formed the academy, and essentially, the goal has always been to promote healing, decrease suffering, increase support, and deliver it with kindness to this mismanage patient population, but we need to have access. So I have a tremendous faculty. We're launching we are we have a nonprofit partnership. We have the faculty are actually the people on the international consensus statement. They're the people treating the the boots on the ground, their clinician scientists, and they get it, they get concussions, and they're vested in concussion. So it's going to be a 12 week online course for our first cohort. It's fixed. It's from January 16 to April 10. It's going to be two hours per week one posted for you and one live on Sunday mornings at 10am. Eastern which will allow for our European friends and our California friends as well on the West Coast. And it's going to be 24 hours of CEU activity for for for physical therapists and athletic trainers. As long as we have 10, ot speech pathologists, neuropsychologist, psychologists, social workers, we can see you them as well, but it's the first round so it's kind of a lot of investment here. So I'm just going with PT and 80 to start unless we have 10 of the others. And we're going to have a nonprofit partnership, but the the beauty of it all is already I'm actually going to have, we're going to be doing research on our students. So we're actually going to be looking to change outcomes based off of evidence based practice and education. So we're going to be able to study our students, and then link up with our nonprofits as well to support them because it's really an underfunded sector of research where cancer gets billions and trillions and and TBI and concussion tend to get hundreds of millions. So we're really going to try and support the folks you know, who are boots on the ground.

 

25:29

I love it. It sounds so great. Where can people find more information about it?

 

25:34

Sure. It's going to be it? Well, it's already at it's at concussion corner.org.org. If you follow the podcast, we tried to give things away just like you do with healthy, wealthy smart. So we've had the concussion corner podcast is 2018. I hosted the Super Bowl concussion are moderated, I should say, the Super Bowl concussion conference in Minneapolis and we launched it then it's been around in over 50 countries, it's been so well received, we have a lovely community. So we're going into education, and how can we have a supportive community with open office hours and open office hours and things like that, that will what will provide our students with, with eventually a rehabilitation video database, where that's going to be searchable for folks as well. So they can search, you know, cervical spine examination intervention, what's the referral process look like. So it'll be a robust program, but we're going to be beta in January with I just want to point out, we're going to have a referral program. And, again, I'm a person and have one right, so we're not going to have an early bird special, like we're used to at conferences. But the whole thing is to spread this word of mouth. So instead of taking $100 off, we're going to give a $75 referral. If you have seven to eight people that you refer your whole tuition is paid for Plus, you get your 24 hours of CEU. So we want to really just want this to be word of mouth, from from like grassroots, let's build it by conversation and internal marketing and get people in who are invested in wanting to learn about this injury.

 

27:02

Awesome, awesome. And of course, we'll have a link to it in the show notes here at podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart calm for anyone who wants to learn more about the program and about the modules and how it's set up. Or you want to just get some more information. Or if you're ready, you heard this and you're like, I see people with concussion all the time. I'm not 100% comfortable, I need to learn more, or this is something I want to learn more about, I think now you have the perfect opportunity to learn. So we'll have a link there in the podcast notes for anyone who is ready to pull the trigger and join Jessica in January. So now just is there anything that you really want the listeners to take away from this conversation around concussion and rehab of concussion?

 

27:58

Yeah, so I'm sure there's, there's so many things off the top of my head, really connecting to that concussion is a rehabilitative injury. And if we can connect to that the injury of concussion is an injury of loss. It's a loss of your I Am your I am funny, I am husband, I am wife, I am Doctor, I am surgeon, you're I am. So if we are sensitive to that and connect to that concussion is an event, it's not an event there, it has to be a mechanism of injury, don't get me wrong, but it's not an event, it's an actual process. And we have this neuro metabolic cascade. And then we tend to have this loss of function in our in our environment. So that is really what I want folks to connect to. Because we have to make sure we're meeting our patients where they are and their moments of recovery. So that's really the big thing to connect to is that folks tend to really connect to the event of the concussion, you know, the post traumatic amnesia, the domestic event, the loss of consciousness, and less than 10% of those folks, but they're not connecting to where those folks are in their trajectory. And how many folks have they seen before you on average, people see six to 10 providers before they walk into my door. Okay, connect to that. Do they trust healthcare providers before they've talked to you? Did they have physical therapy in a hospital gym that wasn't really, neurologically sensitive to their needs, their smell, their sound, their lights, things like that. So connect to your patients in a different way. I can guarantee you if you're a new grad, this is going to this is going to get you excited. And if you're a little more seasoned, like Karen and myself and you're feeling a little burnt out, this is a great way to look at your patients 360 We're looking at autonomics we're looking at neurology, vestibular ocular motor. The physiological aspect of its sleep, nutrition, neuro endocrine, let's talk about sexual dysfunction and concussion. That's a whole other podcast. But it really is something that you can hear my passion about, or these patients are being mismanaged much more probably than they're being well cared for. And we can change that and there's no reason that we can't change that for next day. Not Knowledge Translation in the clinic, so I challenge your listeners to that care.

 

30:03

Amazing, amazing. And now I have one more question to ask. And it's one that I asked everyone. And that's knowing where you are now, in your life and in your career, what advice would you give to your younger self, let's say, you know, straight out of straight out of Ithaca physical therapy school.

 

30:21

Um, let's see here, straight. So I've honestly joined Twitter, I have had so many, I've had so many positive experiences, the 99 that I've had positive and the one negative, you know, and you really have to conduct yourself in a certain way, of course, but I joined Twitter, I've had so many amazing opportunities. I was invited to the Super Bowl, I was asked to be one of our spokeswoman like you for American Physical Therapy Association, I've been invited to speak at conferences and, and just network with people who I would never have access or touch points to. And I really think it was the most powerful thing I've done for my education, besides, you know, maybe a residency postdoc, really. So I really do and we wouldn't have met the same way either. So I think it's been great.

 

31:05

All right. Well, that I think that might be the first time I've gotten that. What advice would you give to your younger self is to join, join Twitter and join social media. So thank you for that. And like you said, you have to make it your own, and you have to approach it, approach it in the right way. So I think that's great advice. And now, again, people can go to concussion corner.org. To find out more. And of course, like I said, we'll have all the links at podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart, calm. So a big thank you, Jessica, for coming on the program busting some concussion myths. So thank you so much.

 

31:42

Oh, thank you so much for having me and to all your listeners. Thanks so much for your time and attention. I really appreciate it.

 

31:47

Of course and everyone thanks so much for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart

Nov 2, 2021

In this episode, Creator of Practiceology, Paul Wright, talks about 7 critical mistakes that healthcare professionals can make that can hurt their bottom line and their business in general.

Today, Paul talks about Perfectionist Syndrome, the implications of discretion, and doing your own PnL. What is the true role of your business?

Hear about the danger of falling in love with your product, packaging an outcome-driven solution, and maintaining effective recruitment and internal systems, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “If it’s [your business] robbing you of your life, it’s not what it’s there for.”
  • “Find the hungry market and satisfy that need.”
  • “If you’re not embarrassed by the first launch of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
  • “To the blind man, the one-eyed man is king.”
  • “If you haven’t upset someone by midday every day, you haven’t said anything really important.”
  • “One of the single biggest and most effective things you can do in your practice is to tighten up the reporter findings conversation.”
  • “Remove discretion at the operating level of your business.”
  • “Once you are the only person that has that program, you can’t be compared on price.”
  • “You can’t put a monetary value on family time.”
  • “There’s no such thing as quality time with your family. Family time is quantity time.”

 

More about Paul Wright

Paul Wright is a Physiotherapist and former owner of multiple allied health clinics in Australia (which he rarely visited). He is the author of the Amazon Best Seller "How to Run a One Minute Practice", founder of the Practiceology™ health business freedom program, and has helped thousands of allied health business owners across 57 countries, earn more, work less, and enjoy their lives.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, PT, Business, Practiceology, Supply, Demand, Mistakes, Solutions, Healthcare, Entrepreneurship,

 

Resources:

Get a hard copy of "How to Run a One Minute Practice" ($4.95AUD. Use promo codes below)

Promo Codes:

  • Non-Australian Buyers: KARENOS (Get $15 OFF)
  • Australian Buyers: KARENAUST (Get $5 OFF)

Register for the next Practiceology demonstration

 

To learn more, follow Paul at:

Website:          PhysioProfessor.com

                        HealthBusinessProfits.com

                        OneMinutePractice.com

LinkedIn:         Paul Wright

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

Website:                      https://podcast.healthywealthysmart.com

Apple Podcasts:          https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/healthy-wealthy-smart/id532717264

Spotify:                        https://open.spotify.com/show/6ELmKwE4mSZXBB8TiQvp73

SoundCloud:               https://soundcloud.com/healthywealthysmart

Stitcher:                       https://www.stitcher.com/show/healthy-wealthy-smart

iHeart Radio:               https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-healthy-wealthy-smart-27628927

 

Read the Full Transcript: 

00:02

Hey Paul, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on.

 

00:06

Absolute pleasure to be here. What a boss.

 

00:09

I know it's so we're doing a little podcast swap here which I love. I love being able to swap podcasts with other hosts where you come on mine I come on yours and we get to know each other better. So it's been really great leading up to these podcasts. And today, you are going to talk about seven critical mistakes that healthcare practitioners can make. That can really hurt their bottom line and their business in general. But before we get to that, can you tell us your story of your career and how you ended up where you are so the listeners get a better idea of who you are?

 

00:52

Well, I'm I was born for a young Karen. Now I'm from from a small country town. I'm obviously Australian by my accent. I live in beautiful Newcastle but an hour north of Sydney. But I grew up in a small town about seven hours northwest of Sydney in the middle of the outback. They talk about Australia next so I'm in the outback. And what does what does a young kid do as in a small country town he Bhikkhu like sport, he becomes a physical education teacher. Because that was all I thought you could do as as a kid. I love sport. So I went to Newcastle University studied my physio, field education qualification, and then didn't even know what a physio was, but I met a physiotherapist at a party. And I liked anatomy I liked physiology. I thought, gee, that sounds cool. I don't think I could be a teacher for a long time I had an entrepreneurial streak I think so I didn't know I could work for someone else for my rest of my life. So I'll get into this physio course went to Sydney Uni did my physiotherapy degree and within two years after graduating I had started my first practice I then ended up with six of them in Sydney, one in Newcastle and five in Sydney. And I think my claim to fame Karen is I as I went through this journey I didn't go to them I was fortunate that I stumbled across the E myth by Michael Gerber very early in my business career and and I'm trading at my window counter in my practice and and looking out on the road that goes past in Sydney and there's a bus keeps going past one on the side of the bus why most small businesses fail and what to do with that is on the side of the bus and I'm getting there watching the sun come up in the morning watching the sun go down like most most help business owners and this bus kept going past and I'm getting better now I wasn't good there but I'm better now that the universe was telling me something followed up with this with this he ended up getting it to a Michael Gerber seminar read the book EMF and then I created then systematize the practice and as I said eventually had six didn't go to any of them and I then sold them which is a lesson for all of you guys the major role of a business is eventually to sell it and then started teaching other health business owners how I did it how I was able to run the remotely and how how you can still be a great health professional and have a successful business and still have a great quality of life which I think most of us miss out

 

03:19

yeah that's a great point talking about quality of life and I think that we'll probably get into that throughout this interview so without yeah without further ado, why don't you share with us these seven critical mistakes that can reduce your profits increase your stress and really not allow you to live your life outside of your business. So let's start with number one.

 

03:47

Well the first one having said I've done all of these by the way so you have earned the right to

 

03:52

I can't I kind of I kind of assumed that so I've done

 

03:57

I've done all of them but the smart people learn from other people's mistakes so hopefully you'll listen to what's happening now. That Mistake number one that I identified early is failing to understand carrying the true role of your business and if you think about what what does what does your business do for you and if it's robbing you of your life it's not what it's there for the role of your business is to serve you it's your certain needs to give you more life yet when you ask most health business owners why they started this I I wanted to be my own boss or I wanted to make my own decisions or the guy was working for before was an idiot. Whatever they like to say but is this really happening now and as Gerber talked about when I first read it you're now doing the hands on work of the practitioner plus you're also doing the business stuff the marketing the recruitment in any wonder we get overwhelmed so early. And and that's why Gerber talks about it's true. I was probably better off opening a plumbing business because I couldn't do it. plumbing work I was better off opening a business that I couldn't physically do then I could list run the business and that's the whole idea of this. My brother who's a plumber would be staggered because I'm hopeless with power tools and I he's banned me from using any sort of manual labor things but the idea of the businesses to serve you and one thing I suggest you look at guys, his his work out what I call your freedom score. And your freedom score is simply how many hours per week on average? Do you spend treating patients at your practice? How many hours per week do you spend physically treating patients and if you're telling me that we've done this in seminars, 50 6070 I've heard I've had one guy doing it five hours. And they're still trying to run the business, you just, you just can't do that. So and we talk about this thing between practice ology, right is law, which is, which is as your number of team members increases, your freedom score must decrease, you can't keep adding team members to your roster, because they time suck, they have to take energy out of you, and still see all the patients, there's going to be this balance. And that was how I was able to run it. But when that being said, you have the choice of how you run your business. Now my model was to replace myself, get therapists in do the work for me. So I had freedom of time and freedom of money. But some of our clients have a Mr. X. Mr. X is the guy that runs healthcare practice, but he runs it on his own terms or her own terms. Doesn't work, school holidays, start at nine finishes at two sets his own hours or her own hours charges, what they feel it. And guys I'm thinking about that don't even have sometimes receptionist though, sometimes if the surfs up, they don't turn up at the practice, they just gave surfing. But the patients know that's the deal. If you want to see this person, that's the model. But even in that case, Karen, the business is still serving that person. It's, it's it, you're the master, but not the other way around. And I don't know if you've ever made that. But that's understand what you want your business to do for you. And make sure it does it. Otherwise it'll suck the life out.

 

07:17

Yeah, and I think that's why when you look at your business, whether you're just starting, you've been in it for a couple of years, you've been in it for 20 years, if you've never written down what your goals are for your life, not what your business goals are, but you know, do you want to spend, do you want to be able to watch a movie a week workout five days a week, spend dinner with friends, pick up your kids from school, drop them off, you have to write those goals down while you're looking at your business. Because that's that's how you're going to have that freedom. And that's how you're going to have your own life outside of the business.

 

07:58

And the natural recourse for all health business owners is typically to see more patients, regardless of what happens in their business. Regardless, they need more money, they see more patients, team member leaves, I'll see more patients. So that that's that's the recourse their natural recourse is to go back to what they know. We teach our clients sometimes that's the worst thing you can do. You need to do something exactly the opposite. And one point also to this is that this is probably one of my worst moments. You've got understand to the concept of current bank and future neck when you think about your business. Now I had a current bank business meeting. I had one of my practices earlier was inside a fitness center. So I had a physiotherapy practice inside a fitness center in Sydney. And it was a good business. It was a cash cow. But what I didn't realize at the time was it was fragile. So it was it was making me lots of money at the time. How I knew was fragile. I got a phone call from one of my clients would have been a Thursday night. He said, Paul, I've got some news for you. The owner of the gym I've heard hasn't paid rent for three months. Okay, this is a $300,000 business like I'm running here. Oh, that's the good so I ring the owner who when you will do the gym tonight what's the deal? He said it'll be sold out Don't worry about Okay, I arrived at the practice the next day cancer that patient list hard to track proceeded to put everything inside the trap that day. So by Friday, five o'clock, I've been everything inside the event saying what are you doing wrong? What are you doing? Well, I said I'm taking everything out because I don't know what's happening here. This is all a bit unstable because I went to give the owner the gym my rent check for the month and he didn't accept it. He said hold on to that for a second. Roger, you might need it. So okay, the writing's on the wall, drove off in the truck and everyone's saying Ronnie, another another gym Chad's gonna buy this place, you'll be back open on Monday. So when I open on Monday, I'll bring the truck back and I'll check everything back in then I'll be fine. But I'll tell you, I never again set foot inside that building. It shut that day and I never will went back in there. So overnight, a business goes from 300 grand to zero. What's the lesson I had a current bank business, there was nothing. I was relying on someone else's rent someone else's tenancy. If you're leasing a space in a Medical Center in a fitness center in something else, you think you've got a business you can you can sell. There's no real future banking, that you are at the mercy of your landlords. So it's not a bad way to test the market to see if there's available market. But that's not your long term gig. Because there's a problem with it, and I've suffered badly. Anyway, yeah, yeah, start number one.

 

10:41

Big mistake, mistake number one. So let's talk about Mistake number two.

 

10:46

All right, we do this all the time. We fall in love with our product. We fall in love with the idea of being a therapist, like I fell in love with the idea of being a physio, but I didn't know was there a market for that? Was there a need for more physios, I just wanted to be one. But we do that all the time, we fall in love with our product of therapy, what we got to fall in love with is, is the market, you got to fall in love with the market once, so you might have a passion for trading on that elbow pain in one arm. Gullfoss, that might be your passion. But if there's not enough one arm golfers out there, you're not going to do any good. So the market doesn't care what you want, find what the market wants. So your job is to listen to all of your patients, listen to the doctors, listen to the community, what's missing, your job is to fill the need. And if you do that, you'll be successful in business. My favorite one, hope you guys watch Shark Tank, you guys have shark tech in the States. That's shark tank with a my favorite one is the guy that turned up with the pad for guys shirts. So now that so you put up your stick to pads on the ROM so your shirt didn't get all sweaty, there was his product. The Sharks wouldn't touch it. I said I'm not really interested. And they said how many have you sold? I've been doing it for seven years now. I've sold about 500 so in seven years, and out the back the entity in there. So what are you gonna do now he said, Our, I believe in this, I'm gonna keep going I fell in love with this product, the market had already said they didn't want to move on. So find the hungry market and satisfy that need. If you do that, you will be okay. And you see that lock county if people so they open a practice in, in a country town or regionally because they might have identified there's a market for that service. So they've done well. But the part that missing is the available labor supply. Because there's two drivers of every business available market available labor, you haven't got enough labor, you're going to be staffing that thing yourself for the rest of natural life. And that happens all the time. So be very aware, don't, don't fall in love with a product, fall in love with the market, what's the desperate need in your community? solve that and you'll be halfway there. And that's that's kind of what I did in my second my next career because I I knew help business owners struggle with business and finance and marketing and other things. And it happened to marry up with something I liked and was good at. So that was a fortunate thing. But you've got to find the hungry crowd first.

 

13:18

Yeah, do your research. If you don't do your research first. You're in big trouble.

 

13:22

I had a guy come to me once and he said, Paul, I want to open seven practices on the northern suburbs of Sydney That's what he said to me in the seminar. I said oh is there is there enough market for that automatically sell so i think so he said he just he cuz he wanted to do it. Karen he wanted to open I saw Kenya available. I was a bit tired. Can you staff those seven practices? Will you find your start? I'll just advertise. There's a guy with his head in the sand. It's not funny. But I think the key thing I want to do I want to do this. Now that's okay, if that's a passion project. But if you want to generate a revenue and a business successful and you can sell it down the track if that's what you want to do, solve solve the desperate problem. Yeah, yeah,

 

14:14

turn it around. It's not about you. It's about you, but it's not about you all the same time, right.

 

14:21

If you get married up, it's great if you can find that that thing but be careful of what you do. So make sure there's a hungry market for an audit this we found out in one of our practices, there was a real market for lymphedema treatment. So massive market lymphedema and we had a guy who knew all about it the therapist and knew all about it. So we got him doing the lymphedema program. It was great. But But don't be Dora here didn't get him to train everyone else on how to do you know what happened? The guy leaves. Three years after we're still getting phone calls from people wanting lymphedema treatment and every time they rang it killed me. So Solve the desperate problem. Yes. But then protect yourself with the viable labor supply if you're doing something like that.

 

15:06

Yeah, absolutely. That's a great example. Okay, what's number three. So we've got failing to understand the true role of your business falling in love with your product, your product number two, what's number three,

 

15:18

we'll do this falling in love or falling victim to our own perfectionist syndrome. I was probably fortunate, I had some good mentors early in my career, and they'd tell me, Roddy, it's better to be 80% and out the door than 100%. And in the drawer. And it's so true, we just worry so much about putting something out there, because it's not quite perfect yet. Reed Hoffman, I think, was the founder of LinkedIn. one of the founders, he said, if you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late. If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late. Meaning put your put something out there and you see if it's got traction, is it going to get some market share? Is it going to work for me? If it does, then you can then do version two, then do version three. But so many health professionals I get so caught up in making it perfect. I just want to do this, I just want to finish this, I just want to do this. And they end up not doing it. They wait that long, and they just slowly implement. Maybe it's because we're analytical thinkers, we're sometimes slow to implement, and we just, we drag the China bit. And I like this expression to, to the blind man, the one eyed man is king. But one of my mentors said to me, Roddy, you don't have to be the best in the world. You just got to be the best in their world. Say there might be a nice specialist down the road, who's who's a superstar does all the courses and is on all the all the seminars and other things and you've got your own new program. That's great. But don't let that stop you from what you're doing. Just be the best in your clients world at it. You don't have to be as good as that guy. You just have to be the best in the client's world. And, and that also, I think, Karen, sometimes maybe it comes from our universities that that we want to be anointed or we want to be awarded, or we want to wait for someone else to recognize me. Don't Don't wait to be anointed by your profession. Don't that's too slow, anoint yourself. Someone. Someone says to me, Roddy, who's the best health business mentor in the world? Well, I want to do wait for the National Association of physical therapists to make the announcement I'm not going to wait for that I am. And I think we're going to have some balls do that. But people take you at your own appraisal aren't going away in? And if not, that's your choice. But that's it again, don't wait to be annoyed because it's just too slow to do it that way. So don't fall victim to perfectionism because it's just a curse

 

18:12

for us. Yeah, very, very common. Especially I think I see it more in women than men. Men will often center feel like I'm just gonna do it and see what happens and women are more like, okay, it needs to be like this, it needs to be perfect. And I think sometimes our women judged more harshly than their male counterparts for things. There aren't as many women in leadership positions so you don't have that person that looks like me in those leadership positions as a point of reference, and so I think oftentimes women tend to keep putting things off because it's got to be as almost perfect before it goes out because we don't want to get judged harshly on something. And I see that consistently. Again and again. And a lot of men will just throw shit out there and it's like, yeah, this is fine. Who cares and women are like a

 

19:12

you got to remember littering once I was I did electric in the fitness industry years ago and in the in the personal training space. And I remember doing anatomy lecture one day to a group of trainers and I in the audience was my anatomy tutor from uni, like a superstar like this person, you everything about everything and I'm at the front talking anatomy and and it was a pivotal moment for me because I'm so self conscious about what I'm saying in front of this, this mentor. But no one asked her any questions. They all asked me the questions. I was at the front of the room. I had the clicker. I was in charge. I was the best in their world. She was the best in mind, but I was the best. There's that's it. I'll leave all of you to make the comments about Gaza girls, I can't say that sort of stuff. So knock yourself out cam

 

20:05

Yeah, yeah, I'm just that's just what I've seen, you know, over and over again, is, is that women tend to be a little more hesitant at putting themselves out there. And I get it, you know, as someone who has and who does put themselves out there, the criticism is harsh people can be mean, mean spirited, especially when it comes to social media can be a little toxic and, and you are judged very harshly and people say really mean things. So you have to grow a thick skin, I think if you're going to want stepping into kind of those leadership positions

 

20:43

that was published one of the key things, I think my management style of the business that you had to have a thick skin to work for us. I mean, maybe I was more suited to being an owner back then that I would be now I don't think I'd be as quite as sensitive as I'd need to be now. Anyway, that's if one of my mentors said to. And I love that when I say this, if you haven't upset someone by midday every day. You haven't said anything really important. What everyone's gonna agree with you You don't you don't have different doesn't have to agree with you. You just you haven't you have the right to have your opinion in this, but I think you need to do you'd have to agree with me, that's just what it is. But if everyone's agreeing with you, are you really saying anything of any importance possum?

 

21:24

Right, right? Very true. Very true. You don't want to surround yourself with Yes, people all the time, that's for sure. Because then you'll never move forward because you're never kind of grow and challenge yourself. Okay, let's, let's move on to number four.

 

21:40

Number four, ineffective, non existent. And unsupervised internal systems. You we've seen it, we've seen it, countless times someone goes to a seminar or they or they get an idea and they launch it into their practice. And, and they seem so excited about it. But the team have seen this before they've seen you come in with an idea and they've seen you launch it and they know you'll just it'll blow over. Once you get you'll see more patients and get busy so so that sometimes they do it for a while and you can see this owner because you'll say to them, do you have for example, you have a follow up system in your practice? I think we did here we look we did do something like that. Ryan, are we still doing that follow up system so that they haven't followed up and measured it. So one of the best things give you the tip, one of the single biggest and most effective things you could do in your practice is to tighten up the report of findings conversation. That's that's after I've done your history of January, your examination, and I'm saying what we're going to do to fix you that's the chiropractic wellness report the findings in their words, it's the action plan or it's our treatment plan, get get that script, right? Get that conversation, right? Write it down, sit the person next to you and write it down Mary to get you back running in that marathon in two weeks time. You need to see me three times a week for the next two weeks. I'll reassess you then and we'll get you ready for that race. How does that sound like that? Does that conversation that that currently is not done? Well in most practices? And and because I'm an analytical guy can often How do I measure that? How can I control that conversation. So I created an action plan a written plan. And, and the penny dropped for me when there is a number at the bottom. So the numbers at the bottom was how many how many sessions, how many times a week for how many weeks. So that's three times a week for two weeks, I had a number six, so that person needs at least six sessions before the next assessment. So I then made it mandatory that every patient would walk out at the front counter with that sheet that would give it to the admin person who and would verbally hand over that patient current to get married back to her run in two weeks time she's doing a marathon she's gonna do it really well. She needs to make three appointments for the next three weeks for the next two weeks and we'll get there admin to person books in in. And then I then got a spreadsheet that we created that has consults on plan. So that would be a six, the column next to it, consults booked. So you recommended six and how many were booked. Now if I if I then log into that spreadsheet and I see that my therapist has recommended six and a booking one so 616151 to one with it's a one on that on that booking column. I've either got a therapist problem or I've got an admin problem. Has the therapist not been good enough to get the confidence in the patient or is the admin under pressure and hasn't got time to book those sessions in advance. And you will know the dangers of a session by session appointment diary. It's just it's a recipe for disaster it's but that's that's an example of a system Karen you've got to put in to your business that you can then measure and stay on top. And you'll love this. So in true Polaroid style there was only one time in All of my practices where the therapist did not have to do one of those sheets written physical shit. And I get them all in a room and say guys, what's the only time that you can get away without doing one of these things? And they'd say, the person need to go and see a specialist or I ran at a time or whatever else that said, Now none of those things. The only reason I'll accept the no completion of this form is if the patient dies during the consultation and they've got a chuckle it's a chocolate gets a check. I want to talk about it now. But there's an element of truth to it. Everyone else gets one. Now that's that's the problem with most health businesses, we don't enforce our systems, we don't put them in and we don't make them mandatory. One of the keys to business success, remove discretion at the operating level of your business. Remove discretion, remove the chance for seminar I was going to give them a plan but I didn't think they needed it or the Garda see the surgeon or like, I want to look at the that report and say, Okay, what happened with Mrs. Johnson yesterday said news about Mrs. Johnson. She didn't make it through the consultation. And the therapists were Hi, can I get it ready? And then I can say, Man, I've noticed Mrs. Jones didn't get an action plan either. What's happening here is, is something that I'm wanting to do not sinking in, is there, imbalance here? And if it happens a third time we're gonna have a serious discussion. Now that's that may be used multiple that's hardcore. But

 

26:37

would you tolerate a therapist turning up without a shirt on? Would you tolerate that? horrifically bad breath? Would you tolerate them being late all the time? What are you going to tolerate? removed discretion?

 

26:53

Yeah, yeah, she just, Yep. Yep. That's a great system. Yeah. So really making sure that you've got systems in place that work for your practice, because every practice is different. And so you have to know what works for you. What are the KPIs that work for your business?

 

27:12

And quints of non compliance? What if you don't do it? Unfortunately, can we notice it now with with available library a bit short? Too many owners don't enforce this systems because they worried the therapists will leave so they're trapped they're trapped because they can't enforce this system. So what if they leave Well, what are they costing if they stay you know there's a cost for them to stay you're happy to where the cost make the decision. We've got a client in practice soldier now he's got an admin person just off sorry, a therapist, but just might want follow that action plan system to the letter, but he's got a labor supply issue. We know our numbers, we know what she's worth to the practice. We just made a decision to tolerate it for the moment that we could jump on if one day but it's not worth the fight because we're gonna have trouble with that off. Better Off fighting our battles in the right order. But it's a decision. It's a strategic decision.

 

28:07

Yeah, yeah. makes sense to me. Okay, let's move on to number five.

 

28:13

Number five, using your accountant to do your p&l for you. is a mistake because most accountants on average your account but assuming even give you a p&l, like most accountants, their job is to keep you out of out of jail and to make sure you pay enough tax and that's pretty weird. But what we want to know is, is a down and dirty profit loss for your practice. We want to know take out all the dodgy expenses take out the trip you took to the conference in New York take out all that. Even the year there was a conference there, but it's a bit dodgy like what take everything out of the car, all the other things that are legally claimable, but aren't really required for the business, get a down and dirty profit loss on a calendar month basis. Revenue we build, this is what we spent a know your numbers every month, and you shouldn't be able to wait for the end of the month to come to track your numbers. And one thing you must allocate Karen, you must have an owner consulting wage in there. Which is not the amount of money your accountant told you to take. It's not the dividend. It's a reflection of your consulting effort. So how you do that freedom school, so how many hours per week you're at the practice, multiply that by what it would cost to replace you, as a therapist, assistant your replacement costs, that money is not changing hands, by the way, the accountants looking after that. But this is we've got that in our p&l as a reflection of your consulting time. Because I can tell you now from having done this a long time, the only way sometimes you can get over practice to drop their consulting is to show them a down and dirty profit loss and show them that it hasn't changed or has improved if they dropped their consulting hours. Then you got it and you don't do that with your accountants p&l because it's a different spreadsheet, you got to deal with a down and dirty p&l. But because our natural recourse, Karen is to just consult more, whereas as a result of that we're not mentoring our team. We're not recruiting, we're not marketing. We're not with the kids, all these other things we're not doing.

 

30:17

Right? Yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. Yeah, I yeah, yeah, it's different. I mean, my accountant does do my p&l. But I also do monthly p&l is for myself. So on a month to month basis,

 

30:32

it can work if you're if you're doing a percentage of grossmith. But I just the problem with most therapists, we don't know their personal contribution to consulting and the overall scheme of things and we've show owners if you if you cut your hours, 20 hours a week, we can maintain your profit. Would you be happy to do that and see it because they're their natural recourse is to see more patients that just happens all the time. Sure. Anyway, can do it? He's know the numbers, the numbers will set them free.

 

30:58

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. No, I like that. And so when you're saying putting your consulting numbers in, you're talking about not just the time that you're with patients, but time that you're working on the business as well. Or just time when you're

 

31:14

just you're just you're face to face consulting time, because everything else is part of your profit margin. Right? Right. But the other thing is product and it's the other stuff is discretionary. You You can do your marketing when you want you can cancel a staff track you can you can you've got freedom to that, but your patient list. That's that's the one that use you're stuck in. So that's when you would change your business. Got it? Yeah. And, and most of ours, we try and get that down to zero. We try and get your owner consulting wage to zero maintaining your profit, then they have discretion. They can go to work if they want to say they're doing they're seeing patients because they want to not because they have to. Yeah, that's a differentiation. Not enough of us, Mike.

 

31:55

Got it. Okay, that makes sense. All right. So let's go on to number two to go six.

 

32:02

ineffective recruitment systems is a is a classic problem. And I know what it is we just we take it personally if they don't, if they leave we we don't get the right people always stuff this recruitment stuffs a nightmare. And I think it comes back a lot of it. As an owner, you have to make make a big decision regarding your team. Do you want to be liked? Or do you want to be respected, to be liked, or to be respected. I believe too many health business owners worry so much about being liked by their team, they can't have those difficult conversations, they don't have the respect of the team. And you're not always going to be like just accepted as an item of business. You know, there was going to be popular, you control the way ours you control the wages, you control everything in the business. It's important to be liked all the time. And if you're trying to be liked, it's going to be very difficult for you. Everyone is replaceable, except that and if they're not you want to make them replaceable. You need to think about the systems in a bit like my lymphedema God big mistake. I, I had an epiphany one night, I often have these epiphanies there. So there I am. And my admin, I had an admin superstar one of the practices and she knew everything. And she was so good everything she just did everything. And I had an I'm in there in bed one night, when I bought up right? What happens if something happens to Gina and I remember I couldn't sleep the rest of night. So I rang Gina, June at nine o'clock in the morning, I want you to come in, I've got someone to replace you at front desk, I've got my camera, you're going to show me everything. And we sat in the back room with the camera, show me how to do this show me how to do that show me and we just that we did that for a whole day. And I had all this stuff so if something happened you can watch the Gina file that someone can do. If you aren't doing that you are you are in all sorts of trouble. So recruitment systems, people are replaceable, except they're going to move on Don't take it personally. One of my mentors, we did a recruitment training program recently and one guy said, Just accept the fact that people are gonna, your business is like a train journey. People are gonna get onto certain station, get a bit down the track and then they get off the train. That's just that's what this journey is like they're not going to stay with you till the end of the line. Don't expect them to that's just just accept they will move on. And the final one and are running in the time, final one, not packaging your services, not packaging it into into an outcome driven solution. The bite write program for TMJ, the run marathon pain free program, whatever you do, we had a corrective orthopedic rehab program with exercise so name it something because once you are the only person that has that program, you can't be compared on price. If I'm bringing around the practices and you're charging 80 bucks and someone's charging 75 you're commoditizing yourself but If you're the only person with the x y Zed migraine program, because no one else has got that you can't put a price on that. So So you got to make sure you don't you have to package your services as a solution driven outcome, not just as a session by session deal. If you do that you're reducing the church have been caught up as a commodity. Now we've got time for one bonus mistake, I think. Yeah, all right. This is one bonus mistake. And too many owners do this. They, they think, well, they put a monetary value on their family time. They put a monetary value on their family time. Meaning I could finish at four o'clock in the afternoon. Or I could I could if I stay I'll make an extra $1,000 whenever I stopped but but I'll miss my daughter's concert. There's there's a so we put a monetary value if I do that, it'll cost me this. You just there's some things in life, you can't put a monetary value on. You just you can't put a monetary value on your family time. And people who told me that it's that it family time, I don't have much but I have quality time. And again, I don't want to guilt you into this stuff. But there's no such thing as quality time with your family. Family time is quantity time. things just happen. When you're around them. things just happen. I'm on. I'm on the back porch of my house. My second youngest daughter was about 17 on home a lot as I was on the on the back porch in she comes in she stands at the door. Not a crier young Jade. She's a very, very stout young lady. And she I said okay, down, and she dissolves like just the tears coming up. Right? a Cadillac for five minutes. Yeah, Caden are just a few things happening at school done. Um, right now, as you took off, yeah. I couldn't plan that.

 

36:59

I can't, you can't. You can't plan that. That just happens because you're around. And again, I'm not I'm not guilting you guys. Yes, you have bills to pay, they have other things to do. But the business is there to serve you. You do what you need to do to make sure your family is happy and fed and everything else but don't put a monetary value on it. Because it's it's a it's just not a fair comparison. You can't price it. It's just ridiculous to even think about it. Anyway. All right. Sorry to guilt everyone into something but that's the deal. Now I've lost you can you muted yourself.

 

37:40

There's a loud siren going by sighs just

 

37:44

could not go to Yes.

 

37:53

That was allowed one. Well, obviously edit this out. But I was like, I couldn't even I couldn't even It was so loud. Because it must have been like right in front of my apartment. So we'll edit that out. So annoying. That's that has not happened in a while that was allowed one. And didn't I don't even know what it was. Anyway. So we'll just sort of I'll do a little clap, and then we'll start. So this helps me for editing. But uh, you're killing me. I know, he's, I don't like it's fine by me. You know, I don't even realize he's there. But okay. So all right, so we went through seven mistakes, plus a bonus, which is great. And, you know, if you weren't taking notes, don't worry, we'll have all of these written out in the show notes to make it really easy for you and to follow along. But now, where can people find out more about you get some more resources so that they don't make all these mistakes.

 

38:59

best place to start, we do a monthly demonstration of practice ology. It's a webinar we do every month. And we'd basically show how our clients across 54 countries earning more, working less and enjoying their lives, even during a pandemic. So we talked about some of the principles to talk about today. And it's really a very interactive demonstration of how we do it. So if you go to my practice, ology.com forge forward slash Litzy li Ts Ed, why obviously. So my practice ology.com forward slash, let's see, you'll get the you can log in and register for the next next session. And if you want to get a copy of the book, I wrote a book how to run a woman a practice, as Karen explained at the start. It's not a it's not a big book, I didn't want to write it. It doesn't make sense to have a massive journal for how to run a woman in practice. It's got to be a woman's book, you should read that in less than an hour. Just covers a lot of the action plans and the bookings and there's great resources sample action plans you can get from the book If you just get to one minute practice.com forward slash book sales. So one minute practice.com forward slash book sales. And if you just put in the code, Karen Oh s for overseas. So if you're not Australian, which I don't imagine you will be if you're not Australian, do Karen r West. And it'll take 15 bucks off and you get it for $4.95 Australian which I think's about $1 us. That's a bit more than that. But it's not it's a pretty good deal. If you happen to be Australian, listen to it put in Karen, au, s t. So I'm going to practice.com forward slash Bob sales. Karen Oh s get it for if you're if you're outside Australia, or Karen a USD if you're Australian, and you get that for $4.95. And we'll post it out for you. And my social media platform is LinkedIn believer not I'm an old school, LinkedIn. So follow me on LinkedIn. Paul, right, Newcastle, I'd love to have a chat. And I hope you can join it for join us for a webinar and get some of those great resources from the book. And posted sorry, posters is a bit slow, I think we've covered but once you, once you buy the book, you do get the PDF of the book straightaway. And there is a second page, a link to all the resources and the action plans and all the scripts and stuff. So that's perfect.

 

41:16

And we will have links to all of that at podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart, calm. So one link will take you to the webinar to the books and to your LinkedIn page. And before we wrap things up, I'll ask you one last question. And it's one that I asked everyone knowing where you are now in your life and in your business and in your practice. What would What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

41:40

Oh, you love this one? Okay. I would probably be a podiatrist or an optometrist. You're sitting thinking, Okay, what are those things got in common? Well think about it. They've got a product arm. They've got a range of products, because I, I did what we talked about earlier, I became a physiotherapist because I wanted to be a physiotherapist. I didn't know I could be limited in what I can sell our products. So if I could go my time again. podiatry, I would, but I don't like feet. So maybe it's a problem. optometry, I'd be okay. Maybe orthodontics? I'd want a product range. That would be that would be why don't go and say all my diamonds done. Put a product range in your current business, if you can. That helps. But the idea of relying on your hands and trading time for dollars, I'd probably do differently.

 

42:38

Right? Well, great advice to your younger self, for sure. Thank you so much for Paul, for coming on and sharing seven mistakes that you've made and probably a lot of us who have been in business for more than a couple of years or more than a year have made and hopefully all the listeners out there you will not make those mistakes because we have covered them here. You've got them in your head. You'll sign up for the webinar and you won't make up and it'll be clear sailing. Fingers crossed. So thanks, Paul, for coming on and sharing all of that with us. I appreciate it.

 

43:14

Absolute pleasure, your superstar. Thanks for having me.

 

43:17

Thank you and everyone. Thanks for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.

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