Physiotherapy is heavily grounded in evidence-based practice. And, this is a good thing. The constant search for improving injury management means better outcomes, faster. A healthier population is a happier and more productive one.
But this emphasis on clinical research has left gaps in other aspects of the vocation. There is little spoken about career sustainability and satisfaction, for example. And these factors are vital – to the individual and the profession:
- The individual – Most physiotherapists won’t stay in a job unless they’re satisfied (and this often means they’ve found meaning). With meaning comes an intent to learn more and do better. So, patients get better care (and progressively better care over time)
- The profession will advance. Physiotherapy is well-known for its high attrition rate. Turning this around will lead to enormous growth because:
- There will be a drive to deliver the best level of care (such is the competitiveness of physiotherapists)
- There will be more research because of reduced clinician fallout. So, we’ll work out better ways to manage conditions
- Retention of high-calibre people will lead to innovation in non-clinical areas too. Perhaps physiotherapy will broaden and become a bigger player in the health care scene
So, what’s in the name Physiosyncrasy? This portmanteau combines Physiotherapy and idiosyncrasy.
It’s not often that a physiotherapist finds their niche. That thing that interests them within the profession (clinical or not). That thing that they obsess over. That thing they continue to learn about (even when others look at them funny). That thing that, over time, they become an expert at.
So, that’s where Physiosyncrasy fits in. By talking to people within the profession who have found their thing (or are on their way) and even those who haven’t, the aim is to:
- Demonstrate the variety offered by the profession. Physiotherapy has a lot to offer. Though many pathways are shrouded
- Show how others have carved their way. We can learn from the route they’ve taken (including the necessary steps as well as the difficulties they’ve overcome)
- Discuss how to combat the challenges we all face on a non-clinical level. Like preventing burnout, for example
- Explore how we can move the profession forward. Such as boosting career sustainability and creating a more collaborative environment
Physiotherapy is at the crossroads. While we’ve moved forward – emphasising education over electrotherapy, for example – there’s room for improvement. We’re being pressed to deliver a higher level of care by encroaching professions, like chiropractors, osteopaths and exercise physiologists.
But this competition should not be driving us (not entirely, anyway). Instead, it should be our own desire to optimise ourselves and our profession. Physiotherapists are inherently smart and driven people. Though we consistently undervalue ourselves. How can we provide the best level of care if we don’t completely believe in what we have to offer?
So, join me on this journey. Leave your comments, suggestions, questions and opinions below posts (or send them via the contact link). Together, let’s take physiotherapy forward.