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Foundations of Autonomous Practice

Examine the essence of the doctoring profession.

Explore the responsibilities of the doctoring profession. You’ll examine issues related to direct access, paying for performance, and the typical employment structures in which most physical therapists work. You’ll analyze core professional values and frameworks for clinical reasoning, decision-making and evidence-based clinical practice.

With an emphasis on the importance of your patient as the primary source of data, you’ll develop the skills to acquire, analyze, and integrate the best available evidence into your clinical decisions. You’ll become prepared for the responsibility of clinical decision-making at the expected level of the doctoring profession.

The ability to measure patients’ progress levels is vital to your practice. You’ll review principles of measurement in examination, diagnosis, prognosis, outcome measures, and basic clinical research. A wealth of resources support evidence-based practice, and you’ll examine strategies for finding, accessing, and integrating data from appropriate literature in order to advance patient/client management.

Sample Topics

  • What is the “doctoring profession?”
  • Do physical therapists diagnose?
  • How has your clinical decision-making evolved?
  • How will you integrate the new knowledge of evidence-based practice into your clinic?

Topics are subject to change

Sample Assignment

Pose a specific clinical question regarding diagnosis, intervention, outcomes, or economics, and perform a literature search for evidence-based answers to your clinical question. Review five articles and select the most relevant to your question. Document this process in a written paper that draws conclusions about searching for evidence.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use technology to research and address clinical questions about efficacy of practice.
  2. Examine the role core values/ethical behaviors and professional communication play in conflict resolution, negotiation skills, and networking.
  3. Appraise levels of sensitivity and specificity of evidence to make clinical judgments.
  4. Develop diagnoses based on disablement models to guide patient/client management.
  5. Integrate research evidence, patient values and preferences, and clinical experience to examine patient/client problems across the lifespan.
  6. Apply the patient/client management and disablement models to determine primary, secondary, and tertiary care for patient/client problems.
  7. Examine patient/client problems by analyzing the principles of history taking, systems review, and selection of valid and reliable tests and measures.
  8. Use principles of evidence-based practice to develop hypotheses to guide clinical decisions for patient/clients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, lymphatic, and integumentary systems problems.
  9. Adapt to using the American Psychological Association (APA) style of citing resources to encourage consistency and academic honesty in all course assignments.
  10. Investigate how direct access to physical therapy services in respective states can address issues with health care costs in the U.S.

Programs that include this course