EIM Team Sky Diving
EIM is a developer and facilitator of ideas, ideas about influencing practice and changing practitioner behavior, and the potential for transformational educational efforts using a variety of approaches to affect change. There are many pros and cons to continuing education, and doing it right is no small task. EIM has accepted an enormous professional responsibility to bridge the gap between the academic setting and the realities of the busy clinical practice. EIM was formed in 2003 with an interest in assisting to bridge that gap.
Ultimately, EIM’s endeavor has little to do with continuing education in the classic sense. The vision has been to create an on-line evidence-based marketplace (an “educational studio” if you will) for the advancement of musculoskeletal physical therapy practice, incorporating a variety of educational strategies in a coordinated fashion (i.e., weekend courses, on-line courses, topical discussion threads, on-line journal clubs, virtual groups, residency and fellowship opportunities, etc.). Weekend courses are an important, hands-on, component of a new knowledge exchange model. It is EIM’s belief that the availability and proper use of technology reduces the need for heavy, slow moving infrastructure, thus speeding the pace of this knowledge exchange.
Dr. Richard “Dick” Erhard
EIM was born in 2003 out of a passion to bridge the gap between the academic setting and the realities of busy clinical practice. Its birthplace lies geographically somewhere, perhaps equidistant, between the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
In 2003, evidence-based practice within the PT profession was just starting to be introduced as a foundational element to clinical practice. EBP was not even universally recognized as an acronym within the PT profession, much less carried out in practice! The importance of evidence-based practice was drilled into the head of each and every graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh (I being one of those graduate students). During that era, the message was coming from the likes of, among others, Dr. Anthony (Tony) Delitto and Dr. Julie Fritz. While at Pittsburgh, if I heard his name once, I heard it a thousand times … Dr. Steve Rose. I was reminded many times that Steve was, in genealogy parlance, my “Research Grandfather”. Dr. Rose was the Chair of the PT program at Washington University in St. Louis where Dr. Delitto was a PhD student and during his first faculty appointment. Well before there were virtually any randomized clinical trials related specifically to physical therapy practice, Dr. Rose was well known for challenging the status quo and constantly harping that “our practice needs more research, and our research needs more practice.” He understood well that academics in physical therapy could not survive without the tripartite and inseparable infusion of teaching, research, AND practice.
Dr. Steve Rose and Dr. Tony Delitto
Steve was in his prime and remains today an iconic figure in the history of PT and one whose career profoundly influenced many in his circle of influence, which still reverberates today through the training of PhD students around the country and via organizations like the Foundation for Physical Therapy.
Through the “ghost of Steve Rose”, Dr. Delitto would often (and likely still does) rant that “clinicians should just read the damn literature!” It seemed like a simple request…simply read the current literature and then do what it says in caring for your patients. However, it quickly became obvious that there were few “bridges” that could assist physical therapists in getting from Point A (evidence) to Point B (practice), hence the incubation period for EIM had begun.
In its earliest days, EIM offered a limited set of traditional continuing education courses that occurred mostly on the weekends, based on the vision that our curricula could eventually be packaged together in the form of Residency and Fellowship programs to promote lifelong learning and a culture of evidence-based practice within the profession.
In late 2005 EIM started to grow rapidly. A few trusted colleagues joined as partners to take EIM to the next level. Larry Benz, Tim Flynn (via an acquisition of Manipulations, Inc, the original company that developed the manipulation CDs), and Rob Wainner became partners in EIM. EIM continued to offer continuing education around the country and also expanded to collaborate with many practices around the country offering a variety of consultative services that could perhaps be succinctly summarized as an “EBP How To” (EBP training, marketing, etc.) for differentiating yourself as an EBP provider in your marketplace. EIM continued to grow and moved beyond the ability to be managed by “4 guys with other full time jobs”. It was time to hire a full time business leader. We expanded our partnership by adding George Burkley as EIM’s CEO in 2007.
Since 2007, EIM has been transforming and expanding its content into educational “packets” of Residency, Fellowship, and Executive Private Practice Management programs. We work every day to push ourselves and EIM as a conduit to elevate the physical therapy profession and the role of physical therapists in our healthcare system. We are working today on new offerings that will expand the way we serve that mission. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the History of EIM.