#ELC2016: APTA Education Conference – Keynote Review

The 2016 Education Leadership Conference, hosted by the Education Section of the APTA & ACAPT, got underway in Phoenix, AZ this am (You can follow on Twitter with #ELC2016).  Over 800 attendees from across the country participated in this event.


The talks started with the 3rd annual forum on innovation in physical therapy. The theme was: Formation of a Doctoring Profession: Are We Shying Away from Education that Really Matters in the Lives of our Graduates.

This started with a keynote addresses given by Dr. Emma Stokes (Trinity College/Dublin, Ireland), President of WCPT, and was titled “Walk with the dreamers“.

Here are some highlights from her talk:

  • She began by acknowledging influencers who included: Justin Moore, Chad Cook, etc.
  • From whence we came…
    • Dr. Jules Rothstein in 1998, “Move to post-baccalaureate education…based on moral authority derived from education need and the expectation that a profession serves society before itself.  Need to prepare PTs to exemplify the highest standards of health care, use evidence, skillfully apply techniques, etc….
    • Vision 2020 then came along.  Physical therapy would be provided by doctors of PT who consumers would have direct access.
  • Success – what does it look like, feel like?
    • Scott Hasson editorial – DPT will result in autonomous practice and self-referral
    • Hypothesized core of curriculum based upon evidence based practice, autonomous practice and professionalism
    • Wondered if there would be an international impact…
    • We now have a DPT, direct access in 50 states, but do we have DPT curriculum balance? She doesn’t think so…(there is stuff we aren’t focusing on that should be focused on)
    • It has not had an international impact  — the baccalaureate is the most common PT degree  (Taiwan, Pakistan and Iran are the other countries that have converted to DPT programs).  Conversation is happening in Canada and Australia.
    • Scope of practice in United Kingdom is largest scope of PT practice internationally
      • Autonomous
      • Self-Referral
      • Imaging
      • Injections
      • Prescribing Medications
      • Whole care pathways run by PTs
  • Does the DPT support leadership to respond to, shape and serve future heath needs of society?
    • Henry Ford, “If Id asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”
  • The APTA is taking the lead in determining our future
    • Transformation built upon 8 guided principles: identity, quality, collaboration, value, innovation, consumer centricity, access-equity, advocacy
  • Are we shying away from education that really matters? YES
    • What does the next generation of leaders need?
      • Are we striving for the “marvelous”
      • Its only by making mistakes, talking to loud, dancing too hard that we push the boundaries.  Do we include a space for the marvelous, as we do “the matter-of-fact”.  We need to embrace leadership and advocacy in a much better way.
      • Physiotherapists are “quietly competent”—the deputy minister for health in Canada
        • If you think of the word “transformative” do you associate it with physical therapy? No…
        • We have the capacity but our responsibility is to instill this spirit in our graduates and future leaders


  • We are shying away from all of this because we don’t talk about “how do we create advocates” or give tools to our future leaders
    • In CAPTE document, the word “leadership” is featured 4 times and 3 of those it is associated with “faculty”.   Maybe we are too focused on other things…
  • We are currently learning to know, not learning on how to exist/be as a profession/professional.  This is an issue.  We need to create leaders.
  • Physiotherapy needs to be like “Pippy Longstocking”—-Responsible, Courageous and Imaginative”  — This should be highlight of curriculum.

  • “Walk on Air Against Your Better Judgement” 

Here’s Somewhere Where We Can Be Disruptive, Innovative and Create Change…

At the Nxt Gen Institute of PT we are pleased to announce the launch of our learning app which will revolutionize the delivery of content in post-graduate education.  Until 10/31/2016 you can access “Triage Management of the Cervical Spine, Thoracic Spine and UE” for FREE and Get 66% off our top selling course, “Medical screening & differential diagnosis reference/course for PTs“. Here’s how you can redeem:

  1.  Download the app  (Apple iOS    Google Play)
  2. Go to “Online” and select your courses
  3. Enjoy learning on-the-go!