As we continue to push the envelope and give therapists the opportunity to be the best, we are excited to announce EIM’s newest offering, a Pelvic Health Certificate (PHC) Program. The first cohort will launch in January 2015, and we hope that you’ll join us! At first glance, a pelvic health certification may appear to be a departure from some of the programs we have championed thus far in orthopedics, sports, and manual therapy. However, this is pelvic health education unlike anything else that currently exists, and I’d like to share a few thoughts on how this is the case.
The pelvic floor has been a “black hole” in physical therapy education. Many entry-level DPT programs either don’t mention it, or students get the briefest of introductions–frankly, just enough to scare people away. Sadly, once you are finished with school, you’ll be hard pressed to find a continuing education course that mentions the pelvic floor unless you find a course with “women’s health” in the title. Unfortunately, this is a sure way to dissuade many orthopedic therapists from being interested because of the immediate association of pelvic therapy with the need to perform internal vaginal and/or rectal examinations.
As a result, we have intentionally not referred to this new program as “women’s health”. You can provide a ton of benefit without having to have your patients disrobe. Additionally, pelvic floor dysfunction in men is extremely common (ie, post prostatectomy, sports injuries, etc.), so men represent a growing demographic of individuals who benefit from specialized therapy to address these needs. On that note, we’re really hoping to disrupt the typical demographic of those typically seeking expertise in pelvic floor rehabilitation by enrolling as many or more male PTs in the certification process!
The format will consist of a 12-month program comprised of our signature blend of online didactic and in-person hands on training to provide a comprehensive understanding of the pelvis and pelvic floor. Our lead faculty are Drs. Jennifer Stone and Lisa Kiesel, each of whom are superb clinicians and recognized experts in the field. Both of them have also been integrally involved in previous EIM programming so know EIM’s culture and expectation for teaching excellence as well as anyone.
This certificate program is geared for any PT whose goal is to provide the best, most well-rounded treatment possible to patients with low back or SI joint pain, an athletic population, or help spare patients with hip pain from unnecessary surgical procedures. And finally…yes-to become what has been traditionally known as a “women’s health” physical therapist, or a therapist who primarily specializes in and treats the pelvic floor. The bottom line is that physical therapists-the movement experts-can’t afford to be ignorant about a musculoskeletal structure and system that literally represents the basis for all movement and stability in the human body.
You can view more details regarding the curriculum here. You’ll receive valuable tools that add tremendous value to all of your patients-manual therapy techniques, neuromuscular retraining strategies, and information about incorporating in the psychosocial aspects of pelvic pain as well. Additionally, you’ll receive detailed information about evaluation and treatment of common musculoskeletal issues during pregnancy and the postpartum period. For some, the pelvic floor is the primary problem while for others it is more of a secondary issue…but every single one of your patients has a pelvic floor, and the evidence increasingly suggests we need to give it far more attention than is typically afforded. To be clear, the program will equip you to evaluate and treat problems using both internal and external techniques; however, only the second management has an internal component, so there is much to offer even the most reluctant PTs who are not inclined to do internal work.
If you find yourself still on the fence, you might consider that we’re about the only healthcare professional with the requisite background to be proficient in managing patients with pelvic floor dysfunction. Orthopods can manage the bony structure of the pelvis/hips; OB/GYNs are experts in the reproductive organs; urologists are experts in the bladder and male reproductive organs; and yet these professions typically do not receive any education about the pelvic floor. We genuinely believe it’s up to us to disrupt the status quo whereby patients with pelvic floor disorders are passed from provider to provider, only to be advised about highly invasive options such as surgery “complemented” with a polypharmacy strategy, none of which addresses the underlying issues (and mostly unnecessarily drive up costs and risks).
We look forward to helping you expand your clinical skills and set your practice apart as offering the best and most comprehensive care to your patients. Come join us! As an incentive to get started now, we’re offering anyone who enrolls in the initial cohort starting in January 2015 a 7.5% discount! Please reach out directly to Dr. Stone at [email protected] if you have any questions about the curriculum or how to apply. As always, you can certainly reach out to me at [email protected] as well. We look forward to hearing from you!