Sunday, January 5, 2020

Excuse Me, Are You A Physiotherapist?

At Pippa's b'day this morning
My boys were invited for a birthday party this morning and my wife and I accompanied them. I almost never introduce myself as a physiotherapist now in a social setting.

I used to, but not anymore. Every time I tell somebody I meet I'm a physiotherapist they end up asking me about a pain or condition they have. Even friends that I haven't met for a while will ask me about their pain before they've even said hello sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. And it's not because I don't want to help or prefer them to come to our clinic so I can charge them. It's natural to ask someone who knows what they're doing for an opinion. Hey, I do the same pretty much all the time.

I often ask my patients who work in financial markets whether the stock market is heading up or down. Or if the US dollar is appreciating. Or is it time to buy some gold or silver bullion?
Picture from USAGold
My patient who manages a hedge fund tells me that the truth is, most financial market professionals know that they are at best guessing with what information they have. What's worse is in the financial market is that it is also time dependent. An opinion can be wrong now but right in a year or two. Or vice versa.

He added that stock tip hunters never consider what time horizon lies behind the idea/ tip as they always assume the information leads to a "quick buck".

As a physiotherapist/ health care professional, I definitely do not mind helping someone who asks look for a pathway to solve their problem. For instance, which specialist to consider, which hospital that has the best facilities, MRI scan especially if the problem is beyond me.
Comic from
If I cannot assess someone properly, all I can do is ask questions. That will give me clues about the most probable reason for that person's problem. I know full well the dangers of offering opinions and how they can be interpreted differently depending on the person asking and circumstances. Hence without a proper assessment, giving a clinical diagnosis is not something I'll do.

For a clinical diagnosis is a well-informed weighing of probabilities. No diagnosis has a 100 percent certainty unless you can assess the patient physically.

If you do happen to ask for my thoughts on your pain/ condition (at a birthday party etc), I'll still give my opinion but will definitely suggest a physical assessment to follow up in our clinic or get another health professional to verify.

Happy New Year.

Another funny comic from Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment