There are many powerful critical arguments about health professional practice. Anyone who has studied how health professionals came into being, whose interests they served, or how they've adapted to the broader changes happening in society, can't fail to be shaken by the belief that the fight to become the agents of our own destiny is one with many casualties, many of whom are the people we earnestly claim to serve. Perhaps one of the most powerful arguments pertaining to physiotherapy - especially those areas of the practice that relate to long-term illness and disability - comes from disabled people themselves, who, for more than half a century, have been vocal in their criticism of … [Read more...] about Are health professionals parasites?
From October 27-28, 2017, this two-day academic conference at the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité examines the ways in which knowledge and experience of illness and disability circulate within the realms of medicine, art, the personal and the cultural. We invite papers that address this question from a variety of different perspectives, including literary scholarship, comics studies, media studies, disability studies, and health humanities/ sociology/ geography. Keynote speaker: Leigh Gilmore (Wellesley College), Author of The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (2001) and Tainted Witness: Why we doubt what women say about their lives (2017). The PathoGraphics … [Read more...] about Stories of Illness / Disability in Literature and Comics – Berlin, October 27-28 2017
Cast your mind back to your days as a physiotherapy student. Did any of your lecturers ever change what or how they were taught based on the personalities of the people in the class? Was the subject of the session changed from the lesson plan to reflect an individual or group's cultural beliefs and values? My suspicion is probably not, or if it did happen, it didn't happen much when you were learning anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, biomechanics, assessment or treatment techniques, research methods, or any of the other 'core' subjects in the physiotherapy curriculum. I once shared an office with a lecturer who had very devout faith, and I often wondered how she reconciled … [Read more...] about There is no ‘you’ in physiotherapy
It's quite common these days to see advocates of a more 'holistic' healthcare practice championing the Biopsychosocial (BPS) Model. In areas where healthcare has become increasingly complex - where people's individual values and beliefs can't be avoided, and where people's social context affects their lives so palpably that a biomechanical approach to assessment and treatment is simply inadequate - the BPS model is promoted as a way forward. But is it as sound as people seem to think? The BPS model was initially proposed by George Engel as a ‘unified concept of health and disability’ (Engel 1960) and was based on a very particular form of positivist psychology called General Systems … [Read more...] about Is the Biopsychosocial Model all it’s cracked up to be?
In this post, physiotherapist Hanni Vitelson writes about how a classic children's story became the inspiration for some critical thinking. An advertisement for an anti-freckle cream catches the attention of 9-years old Pippi Langstrump. The sign says: DO YOU SUFFER FROM FRECKLES? Pippi goes straight to the selling lady and says: 'NO!! I don’t suffer from freckles!!' 'But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!’ says the seller. ‘I know that,’ says Pippi, ‘but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.’ This episode appears only in the fuller versions of the book, originally published in Sweden in 1945 by Astrid Lindgren. This ever-fresh 70-years old … [Read more...] about Hannah Vitelson – Pippi gets critical – 30DoS #28
In this post, physiotherapist and educator Wenche Bjorbækmo writes about the art of presenting qualitative research. The first time I saw the film The Cost of Living, by DV8 Physical Theatre (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZTMyWt50kk), it made an indelible impression on me. Over the course of a few late summer days in an English seaside resort, two out-of-work street performers -- Eddie and David -- encounter a variety of other people on the fringe of society. Dave, a double amputee, is determined to hold on to his independence, while tough, aggressive Eddie is a stalwart defender of justice and respect. The play presents a sequence of human tableaux that challenge our … [Read more...] about Wenche S. Bjorbækmo – The art of presenting qualitative research – 30DoS #24
This book chapter is part of an important text within Canadian Disability Studies. Rethinking Normalcy: a disability studies reader edited by Tanya Titchkosky and Rod Michalko (2009). This is the first Canadian disability studies reader from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and draws on primary Canadian but also some international scholars. The critical perspectives in this book examine not only dominant views of disability but interrogate what is meant by normal. The specific chapter makes clear that different bodies, in different spaces engage in the world in various ways that are not seen as “normal” by abled-bodied conventions but are usual to those who see themselves as … [Read more...] about Karen Yoshida – The normality of doing things differently – 30DoS #17