Thoughts on Physical Therapist Education – Day 1 of ELC

I am attending the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC), a conference by the Education Section of the APTA. While the keynote was interesting (calls for including business education in the curriculum and modifying/ removing non-essentials, and challenges to ask “what if…” to improve various aspects of education – gave me some good ideas), my biggest interest was a presentation on implementing the 2:1 model.

I did the 2:1 model for the first time this summer, and I have to say I’m a definite proponent of it.  The speakers reported that on the academic side they were able to increase from 30 to 60 students with fewer clinical sites, and on the clinical side productivity, number of patients, and units billed all increased (they will be presenting a poster at CSM, so check it out).  Their presentation was largely a story of how a school and clinical site can work together to implement the idea.  It was interesting to hear the thought processes, the planning, and the implementation of the 2:1 (for me, I jumped right in to help out St. Kate’s and talked briefly with those who had done it before).  I picked up some good ideas I plan to implement next time from the speakers and from the audience, including ensuring coverage plans in advance (easy enough to do, but I want to solidify it beforehand), have a list of questions for the 2nd student to be thinking of and give feedback to the treating student, and use the time the students are working on a project for me to work on the CPI’s (doing two isn’t bad if you do weekly forms and use the CPI language on them).

Tomorrow I’ll attend a Clinical Education SIG Forum and a presentation on “Culture Change in Physical Therapy Education” (two sessions recommended based on my involvement with the National Consortium of Clinical Educators), and possibly “Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety” or platforms on “Innovations in Teaching.”


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