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Whose Job is it anyway? A Physio’s Perspective…

It’s 2018. Sports Medicine is evolving daily. Research is filtering into practice quicker and quicker thanks to the internet, social media and infographics! In the spectrum of managing injuries and sporting performance (in SA) we have, Sports Physios, Biokineticists, Sports Doctors, Chiropractors, Sport Scientists, Strength & Conditioning Coaches, and Sporting coaches – we’re all here, but do we all get along?

There is a lot of crossover and interaction between all the above professionals, who all bring something extremely valuable to the table – however how do we decide who can treat what? Or better yet, do we even have to decide who treats what?

Most importantly: how do we work together to continue to improve our collective professions?

Moving from titles to expertise:

Again, it’s 2018 we all read the same articles, study similar textbooks, attend the same courses and conferences – surely we can agree that we each bring something valuable to the table, but who does what and who is allowed to do what seems to be a hangup for many clinicians. It’s my personal opinion that fighting about “who can do what” is the least of our problems. We give so much attention to fighting those battles that we don’t focus on the things we should be doing.

If we put ego’s aside – there is no way any one person can know all that there is to know about managing injuries or sporting performance. When we acknowledge that we don’t know everything… learning and growth tends to occur. I’m unsure if it’s the “business” of healthcare that drives the scarcity mentality or if we’ve at times forgotten about the best interests of our clients – even if that means referring them onto another professional in our spectrum, or even a fellow professional who may provide another perspective.

I’ve been that overenthusiastic young physio myself, wanting to see and treat every pathology under the sun: assess, treat, rehab, return to play, improve performance, monitor performance, prehab – everything! With some maturity and some help from more level-headed colleagues, I now believe that we ALL have our place in this field, and regardless of “titles” if you’re passionate about helping people, are ’embracing the science’ (in the words of Handre Hay), and are willing to learn and share knowledge – we can sit together anytime.

My personal belief is that to move forward together, we need to have these conversations and challenge the way we think about our field collectively – get to know clinicians in your region (inside and outside of your own profession), find out how they see themselves fitting into this space and find opportunities to work, learn and grow together.

I have the privilege of being involved in an incredible sports community – I work in a multi-disciplinary (Bio, Physio and S&C/Sport Science) team with lots of beautiful overlap and communication daily, and have access to a network of accomplished physio’s (shout-out to the #makephysiogreatagain group), bio’s, chiropractors, sport scientists, strength coaches, and sport coaches who I get to call colleagues, learn from and seek advice from – and I sincerely want all my fellow professionals to enjoy this profession as much as I do! So whose job is it anyway? – ALL OF OURS.

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Enhanced_Physio, we are always open to collaborating, sharing thoughts and ideas and hearing your feedback.

*This was written by Nick Pereira, “Enhanced Physio” founder & clinician, sports enthusiast, self proclaimed aspiring “clinical academic” (whatever that means) & MSc. physio candidate at UCT.

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