Q and A with Jerry Durham of San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy

 Photo Credit: jerrydurhampt.com

Photo Credit: jerrydurhampt.com

1. Why did you decide to pursue a career in Physical Therapy?

After my 1st semester of college I realized I needed to find something that would make ME happy for the majority of my life.... I had a mentor who was a PT during my high school years... I tracked him down after my 1st semester, he took me through the steps I needed to take and here I am today!

2. As an experienced private practice owner, what advice would you give to clinicians who are considering opening their own practice?

Understand that YOUR clinical skills CANNOT and WILL NOT keep the doors open of a poorly run business!   Take home?!   Your lack of knowledge is PROBABLY greatest on the business side of things so spend ALL your time, energy and money on that... NOT just MORE PT skill education

3. Within the evidence based framework, patient values and expectations seem to receive the least attention from researchers and clinicians.  How can practicing PTs best foster the therapeutic alliance during patient care?

TAKE more classes that emphasize communication, listening, reflection.....   THOSE classes will probably not be offered in your PT world...     Jeff Moore of ICE physio does include, some of the course at Entropy Physio include.... YET you need to be reading and learning from OUTSIDE the PT world to better this skills...   what I'm finding VERY interesting is that the Pain Science Education Courses that I've researched are training PTs WHAT and HOW to approach Pain patients...YET they DONT make the PTs dig into HOW AND WHY they think the way they do...so WTF?!?!    if you don't first understand yourself, how can you possibly HELP others?!     That is difficult for people to address because we ALL believe we understand that part already...   took me until I was about 20yrs into my PT career to understand that, and THAT is why Im trying/doing so much talk and work around it!



4.One of our profession’s goals is to become the practitioner of choice for musculoskeletal diagnoses.  What does our profession need to do in order to achieve this goal?

Basically the answer to number 3 above!   We must be willing to face OUR OWN personal limits, beliefs and biases FIRST!   do that and WE become the solution that we believe we are!....   that is WHY I hang out with Jeff Moore, Justin Dunaway, Andrew Rothschild... they are ALL keenly aware of their biases and beliefs and they understand the HUMAN standing across from them... they understand the complexity and that the research or #EBM is a path NOT the guide...WE ARE THE GUIDE!  so its our opportunity to be successful OR a failure with all our patients!

5.Based on your experiences as a clinician, owner, and educator what do you hear patients report as the most important components of a high value clinical experience?

Listening, acknowledgement, trust ... which ALL translates into showing the patient it was about THEM 100% of the time