After I sent a message to the Critical Physiotherapy Network mailing list Dave suggested I also make a blog post out of my thoughts. So here it is.
N.B. those of you on the mailing list may note that this post is not very different from the email but please note that we do have an new proposed speaker joining us: Ian Edwards. Also the links to the conference should actually work here!
As far as I know there has never been a dedicated critical physiotherapy session at a physiotherapy conference to date. I have personally found it difficult to find a place for the ‘critical’ topics that I propose to speak on at most dedicated physiotherapy conferences because my subject matter does not fit within usual ‘streams’ such as ‘musculoskeletal’, ‘sports’ or ‘cardiorespiratory’. Last year I brought up this issue with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and after a bit of back and forth communication they accepted my proposal to run a concurrent session (pending final allocation of space) dedicated to the topic of critical physiotherapy for the APA Conference that is held bi-annually here in Australia.
This year the conference will be held at the Gold Coast in October – should be a lovely time of year when it is warming up enough to start swimming at the beaches there. It is a large conference that attracts around 2000 physiotherapists. You can check it out on the conference website.
The format of our session will be short platform presentations followed by a panel discussion that encourages audience input and questions. We already have a number of excellent speakers from New Zealand and Australia namely CPN members Rosemary Corrigan, Clare Delany, Blaise Doran, Ian Edwards, Amy Hiller and Dave Nicholls. Our proposed topics include discussions on elitism, ethics, physiotherapy as luxury, and reflexivity in research. If anyone with interest in critical physiotherapy related topics is thinking of attending the conference and would like to be considered for inclusion in our critical session please contact me (see below). We are still waiting on final confirmation (in July) from the conference organisers but it is sounding very likely.
As we have not yet had final confirmation this opportunity would suit people who are already considering attending the conference.
If you are interested in presenting at our concurrent session please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org You do not need to submit an abstract through the usual conference process to present at our session.
If you would like to submit an abstract to the conference outside of our session, abstracts are due on the 4th of May 2015 and you can submit them here.
Should you also be considering ways to bring critical topics to other physiotherapy conferences I thought I would share the blurb I sent to the APA about my proposed concurrent session. This was partly based on the (still being finalised) CPN constitution:
“This session provides a platform to explore topics from the emerging field of ‘critical physiotherapy’. Critical physiotherapy investigates and highlights philosophical, historical, ethical and social aspects of the profession. It critiques the status quo of physiotherapy, considering and challenging assumptions and norms of practice. Critical physiotherapy also looks externally at how physiotherapy does, or can, affect the world. Therefore, in this forum, speakers (and the audience) have the opportunity to discuss, and make explicit, how physiotherapy is, was and can be, encouraging a conscious understanding and development of the profession. We include both clinical and academic speakers in our platform presentations, and encourage debate through a panel discussion that includes opportunity for audience participation.”
Speaking of conferences, I am heading off to present at WCPT in Singapore soon: looking forward to seeing some of you there.