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From The CriticsReviewer:Steven Hoffman, PT,ATC,SCS(North Hills Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy)
Description:This is the first book of its type to objectify expertise in physical therapy practice. The authors describe research methods used in assessing expertise, provide portraits of various experts in clinical practice, and bridge the concepts of clinical practice and research together to describe the evolution of the "clinical expert."
Purpose:The purpose is to bring together education and practice and establish objectivity in the realm of clinical physical therapy. The authors spend a significant amount of their efforts describing research methodologies in clinical practice, and uniquely "interview" individuals who engage in the practice of physical therapy in specific areas (i.e., pediatrics, neurology, and orthopedics). These therapists are asked to delineate their understanding of the role that they play in providing clinical services. Each is able to incorporate his/her integration of didactic, practical/clinical, and research knowledge into the development of a clinical expert. The authors' objectives are met in so far as they are able to give the reader a great appreciation of the integration and synthesis of "book knowledge," clinical research, scientific validation, and clinical "gut" experience. For clinicians to be considered expert, they must have years of practical experience as well as the ability to utilize results of controlled scientific experiments. The authors do a wonderful job of pulling these concepts together.
Audience:The target audience is the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant. I believethat it would be appropriate for the entry level and graduate student who is just "starting out" in clinical physical therapy. It is also quite refreshing for the experienced practitioner who at times "forgets" what it takes to integrate all of the didactic and clinical experiences, which ultimately results in expertise. The authors are renowned in the area of clinical education and classroom study.
Features:The book has three major sections — the study of expertise, portraits of expertise in physical therapy, and linking the worlds of education and practice. A number of contributing authors discuss the theories of expertise, specific applications in the areas of practice (i.e., neurologic, pediatric, geriatric, orthopedic), and clinical case chapters to reinforce the theories presented and the link to the clinical setting. The book is well organized and reads nicely. I did not feel that the didactic information superceded the relevance to the realities of practice.
Assessment:The practical application of classroom study and research into clinical relevance is what most clinicians strive to achieve. The authors present this concept in a lucid and thoughtful manner. They are well respected in the field and in my opinion shed light on an area that clinicians oftentime take for granted. I highly recommend that students and clinicians alike purchase this book and digest the information contained within.