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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Developing professionalism – The physiotherapy way

1 Department of Pediatric Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oncology Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication3-Jul-2019

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Deepa C Metgud
Department of Pediatric Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_21_19

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How to cite this article:
Metgud DC, Pattanshetty RB. Developing professionalism – The physiotherapy way. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2019;1:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Metgud DC, Pattanshetty RB. Developing professionalism – The physiotherapy way. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Jul 20];1:1-2. Available from: http://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2019/1/1/1/261996

Greetings to the readers from the Editor's desk!! Being in the teaching profession and clinical practice for more than two decades, we wish to draw the attention of the readers regarding the importance of professionalism in the field of physiotherapy, which is a challenging task. It gives us great pleasure to pen our views on “Professionalism in Physiotherapy” in this inaugural issue of Indian Journal of Physical Therapy and Research an official publication of KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, a constituent unit of KLE Academy of Higher Education, Belagavi, Karnataka, India.

The term “Professionalism” has been very appealing lately and we really ponder, are we doing enough to inculcate “Professionalism” in our graduates and budding young therapists? We agree that without hard work and discipline, it is difficult to bloom and metamorph as an apt professional.

“Professional and Professionalism” are two different terms with different meanings for people in different context. In general, “Professional” is a single entity who is an expert in the specialized field of a job, whereas “professionalism” denotes the quality of that individual and his/her ability to deliver the desired services to the client.[1] It is also a term that may be used as a description of job performance on a review. However, in healthcare professionals, “professionalism” may have a deeper perspective. It includes more than just punctuality, reliability, not getting emotionally involved, and committed. On a broader perspective, it is also to practice, teach, and keeping up to date with evidence-based physiotherapy, both in teaching and in practice.

As stated by the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapist is a professional who demonstrates core values by aspiring to and wisely applying principles of altruism, excellence, caring, ethics, respect, communication, accountability, and by working together with other professionals to achieve optimal health and wellness in individuals and communities.[2]

Since Physiotherapy education has been manifesting with a shifting paradigm from a simple therapist to a professional, advocating the need to bring a change at the grass root level is of utmost importance. This can be achieved by introducing “Professionalism” in the undergraduate curriculum. As suggested by Wear and Castellani, preparing our students scientifically, astutely, knowledgeably, politically, ethically, and empathetically, becomes the prime focus.[3] Furthermore, the outcomes of the same may be assessed in students in terms of patient care, skills, competency, knowledge, interpersonal communication skills, and evidence-based practice.

However, “Professionalism” in physiotherapy is becoming stagnant which may be due to the lack of well-designed curriculum and an outcome-based evaluation system to name a few. This could also possibly be attributed to the nonexistence of the central regulatory council or body for the physiotherapists in India. Hence, the onus of implementing professionalism as part of the curriculum lies on the decision of competent authorities and teachers who impart physiotherapy education at the undergraduate level.

It is agreeable that teaching professionalism is not an easy task and is one of the most challenging competencies to define, teach, and evaluate. The first challenge is about context specific to “Professionalism.” There is a need to design and develop a learning module/curriculum based on local and global needs including the stakeholder's perceptions. The second challenge lies in implementing and planning formal didactic sessions outlining “Professionalism.” It should be situated in scenarios where students can discuss and reflect on what professionalism is and what is not? The third challenge is very typically related to physiotherapy education in general where there are always too many subjects and sciences to learn.

Instead of teaching “Professionalism” in the context of “what to be” and “what to do” developing “know-why” attitude is a good option since “what” changes with time and circumstances. Teaching “Professionalism” is a challenge. It is agreeable that “Professionalism” is a core competence in physiotherapy education and there is a dire need to implement the same in the near future.

  References Top

Empson L, Cleaver I, Allen J. Managing partners and management professionals: Institutional work dyads in professional partnerships. J Manag Stud 2013;50:808-44.  Back to cited text no. 1
Guenther LA, McGinnis P, Romen M, Patel K. Self assessment of professional core values among physical therapists. HPA Resource 2014;14:pJ15-J24.10.  Back to cited text no. 2
Wear D, Castellani B. The development of professionalism: Curriculum matters. Acad Med 2000;75:602-11.  Back to cited text no. 3


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