Alphabet Soup Redux

In 2009 at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Physical Therapy Association in Baltimore, MD, the Oxford Debate took up the issue of alphabet soup. The issue debated was, “Are the use of multiple credentials a distraction or an attraction to our profession?” The team in favor of eliminating the excessive use of credentials included, Robert Landel, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS; Stephen C. F. McDavitt, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, and Robert H. Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, FAAOMPT. A well-credentialed bunch, indeed.

I recall siding with that team, as I have always had an eye toward PR and branding and consider too many credentials as being bad for a brand. Successful branding includes paying attention to your brand’s identity, as Philip Davis points out in this well-crafted blog post. This can be anything from making sure your fonts and colors are the same to making sure you dress according to how you want your brand to be perceived. If fonts and colors are important, a myriad of obscure credentials are most certainly critical as well.

This weekend’s visceral debate on Kyle’s post brought this larger issue to the forefront once again. What do you think about this issue of alphabet soup? Join the #SolvePT discussion tomorrow, hosted by @SnippetPhysTher.

[icon style=”notice”]Update: Check out the summary of the tweet chat on 5/22/12 here. [/icon]

One Reply to “Alphabet Soup Redux”

  1. Eric,

    Interesting subject. Can you elaborate on how a person would be able to differentiate an experienced PT and a not so experienced PT. While I actually agree with you in regards to branding, I would tend to believe that those with such distinguished credentials would not appreciate being looked at in the same manner as someone who just graduated from PT school. I am currently enrolled in EIM’s Executive Management Program along with the transitional DPT. I was originally enrolled in the first OGI manual therapy program in Louisiana with Dr. Rowe but opted out of it about two months before it started due to leaving my job to open a private practice with a 1 year old child and another on the way. While I don’t regret that decision, I do sometimes wish that I had gone back to “official” school much sooner. I have done some extensive continuing ed with some of the best in the profession and i have done some certification tracks (ART, CKTP, TDN) and i am plan on getting my SMT and cert MDT after finishing the EIM program. I do feel that Dr Rowe and the others
    listed deserve that distinction because they have obviously put in the time, dedication,effort, and money to become better at what they do. There are too many in our profession that settle for the quick and easy CEU’s and always get just enough to renew their license. This is what I consider to be one of the most harmful things to our profession. I have spoken to many PT’s about this and the usual response is “well my company doesn’t pay for my cont. ed so I just find the least expensive course that is close and go to it”. They also say the same in regards to the APTA membership and PACs. If those in our profession dont start stepping up and taking some responsibility to advance their skills it is my belief that we should use these credentials to separate us from those that don’t seek to advance our profession. Therefore, I believe that we all should be striving to add some credentials. Maybe if we all did there would be no need but until then I think that they deserve to use them.

    Thanks for the post. I look forward to reading the response.


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