I had a lovely conversation with some colleagues from Tromsø University's School of Physiotherapy on Monday night after my keynote to the Norwegian Physiotherapists' Congress. Having talked about 'The End of Physiotherapy', they asked me a question I seem to be getting asked a lot now. "So" they said, "what's the answer ... what's the future for physiotherapy?" Now it's an absolutely foundational principle for me that it's not my place to tell people 'the answer' (as if there could ever be an answer). And that's partly because I subscribe to a Foucauldian approach to critical thinking that says you don't replace one bad hegemony (or dominant way of viewing the world) with another. But … [Read more...] about Leaving (physiotherapy) home
Surely one of the most important projects of the next decade in physiotherapy must be to undertake a thoroughgoing critical analysis of our professional history. By this I mean how did we get to be a profession that looked so distinctly like 'this', and not something else. Perhaps one of the most important questions we need to ask is how has physiotherapy served The State - and how this will change as governments become smaller and push the responsibility for social welfare onto individuals. One of the most intriguing questions that, as far as I know, no-one has really studied, is the relationship between physiotherapy and capitalism. On first glance, it would be hard to see a … [Read more...] about Physiotherapy and capitalism
A few weeks ago, I took part in a panel discussion on the theme of 'The university is dead: Long live the university'. The keynote presenter - the very brilliant Professor Jane Gilbert - talked about how technology is going to disrupt every aspect of our lives in the future. Ever since the talk I've been pondering how much technology will disrupt the kinds of physiotherapy people might need in the future. Here are just three examples of disruptive technologies and ways of thinking and working that are due for a shakeup in the very near future: Fact-based technical subjects, like the kinds of science-bases subjects commonly thought of as 'core' subject in physiotherapy (anatomy, … [Read more...] about Will technology make physiotherapy obsolete?
This German translation of the article 'Judging physiotherapy' posted earlier this week, was kindly produced by CPN member Filip Maric. WCPT-Präsident Emma Stokes, Professor Peter O'Sullivan und andere haben sich diese Woche in einer Twitter-Diskussion damit auseinandergesetzt wie man in der Physiotherapie eine Kultur schaffen könnte die Wandel und Veränderung pflegt und fördert (siehe @ekstokes twitter feed für den 29. Mai). Die Idee von ‘Raum ohne Urteil’ wurde als eine positivere Herangehensweise zu Veränderung vorgeschlagen, als die häufiger übliche gegenseite Kritik unter Physiotherapeuten auf eine abwertende Art und Weise (@karenlitzyNYC, 29. Mai). Ein paar Tage zuvor … [Read more...] about Physiotherapie beurteilen
WCPT President Emma Stokes, Professor Peter O'Sullivan and others have been engaged this week in a Twitter discussion about how to create a culture in physiotherapy that nurtures change (see @ekstokes twitter feed for 29th May). The idea of 'space without judgement' was suggested as a more positive approach to change than physiotherapists perpetually 'bashing each other' (@karenlitzyNYC, 29 May). A few days earlier, Laura Opstedal had written about Letting go of traditions in physical therapy, arguing that resistance to change was a big barrier to progress, and that exploring 'the new' might be a creative way to proceed. This post followed nicely on from Roger Kerry's piece … [Read more...] about Judging physiotherapy
A recent review of Peter Limbrick's new book made me think about some of the anxieties many of us are now feeling about the slow bleeding out of publicly-funded healthcare, and what it might mean for the future of professions like physiotherapy. A full review of the book, titled Caring activism: a 21st century concept of care. A proposal for citizens to join together to support vulnerable children, teenagers, adults and elderly people, can be read here, but what particularly struck me were these two opening paragraphs; Peter Limbrick’s Caring Activism argues the case for what he calls ‘a new concept of care I am proposing for vulnerable people in this 21st Century’ (13). Limbrick … [Read more...] about The case for ‘caring activism’
One of the biggest dilemmas facing the physiotherapy profession today is how to keep it alive. Given the unrelenting pressures to reform, cut costs, and redesign practice, it's hard to know whether to push the profession's stability, history and established culture, or to promote a radical new professional image. And faced with healthcare innovations that seem to be dissolving old certainties, it's hard to know whether we like it or not. Imagine, for instance, that robots were shown to be more reliable manipulators than physios, or that a low-cost assistant could do the work of post-op respiratory physiotherapy just as well as an expensively trained clinician. Would we promote … [Read more...] about Should we give up physiotherapy?