Arm chair quarterbacks can most often be found 5-10 minutes after a sports play, that evening, or the following day as they dissect and recreate “their” solutions with the tremendous benefits of time, instant replay, and hindsight. These statements are one of the foundations of sports and talk radio, but are also found throughout the internet. Many of these individuals have never faced the same situation or had to make the decision in real time, but nevertheless will comment when the coast is clear and the benefits of hindsight have been realized. Teddy Roosevelt’s excellent quote on the “poor and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat” comes to mind.
In Physical Therapy, we see a close to inverse relationship between social media presence and clinical skill or workload. The loudest voices often do not represent the profession whose true leaders can often be found in the “trenches” where the true work of helping the profession or patients is done. Unfortunately these latter individuals’ voices are drowned out by the sheer volume of the rest. I look forward to when all of our profession’s voices leave the small issues and focus instead on the larger issues facing Physical Therapy including reducing unwanted practice variation, student debt, unrestricted patient access, branding, and reimbursement for Physical Therapy services. A committed group of professionals, under strong leadership, working and leveraging the power of the internet would create lasting change in the profession and the health care system.