A Personal Endorsement for Eric Robertson #AAOMPT Secretary

Naturally, I’m biased on this matter. So, please consider that as you read this endorsement. But, I also plead that you digest my narrative and what it illustrates about Eric Robertson.

As a #DPTstudent, I was fortunate to be involved in the AAOMPT student special interest group. At the risk of sounding cliche, the experience was transformative. I was exposed to the inner workings of a professional organization, afforded the opportunity to organize events, involved in advocacy, and even saw my beginnings as a blogger. Our student SIG was full of energy and set lofty goals.

Students, often, are eager and idealistic expressing grandiose visions and unconstrained thought processes. This, of course, is positive. A motivated and engaged student does not know impossibility. And, thus can be quite an agent of change, or a least reflection. I’d like to share a story with you about how Eric, without even being formally involved in the student SIG, brought focus and professional growth to the student members one evening.

It was 2009 at the AAOMPT National Conference in Washington DC. The AAOMPT sSIG leadership sat around a table in those classically ill lit and muggy conference rooms, frantically discussing ideas and topics almost at random. Bob Boyles, the AAOMPT sSIG advisor at the time listened to us. It was great times! Eric, who at the time, I had only just met, was also present. Eric also listened to our grandiose plans to save the world, cure hunger, and eliminate back pain. After listening intently, as Eric does, he spoke. With pointed questions and strategic steering he efficiently nudged us towards more meaningful conversation without stifling our enthusiasm nor tempering the discussion. Oddly, I can’t remember at all what he said. I just remember his presence and effect. It was effortless, but profound and has stuck with me as an example of the kind of impact Eric can have in a room.

Eric routinely engaged the students as colleagues, but also challenged in a productive manner. After attempting to write meaningfully for the AAOMPT sSIG he extended an invitation, and opportunity to blog at PT Think Tank, an experience for me that has been a professional highlight.

Over the years, I’ve known Eric to possess a cool demeanor, strong thinking skills, and excellent strategic planning. He’s not afraid to tackle a problem from multiple angles and balances a host of commitments with ease. I know a long time goal of his has been to serve in a leadership capacity within AAOMPT, so his decision was not at all rash. He’s a constant advocate for physical therapy with a knack for concise and clear communication.

I’m indebted to Eric for his guidance along my own career path and the informal, but always beneficial discussions. His unique experiences and point of view could facilitate amazing progress. I recommend him highly and without reservation. His vision, his commitment, and his skills would serve the AAOMPT well. But, don’t take my word for it.

Our Gratitude

Image Courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/
Image Courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/

As many of you know, our beloved PT Think Tank was hacked two weeks ago. The hack consisted of copious amounts of comments being posted, and some code inserted into the database that returned pharmaceutical ads when any page on our blog was queried on Google. It was annoying, expensive, and a real bummer that we would be victims of random trolling.

We never thought spammers could cost real cash on a free blog site! Boy did we learn!!

We are all fixed, thanks in no small part to the very excellent skills of one Aaron Brazell. However, talent like that does not come inexpensively, and so we quickly realized help was in order. And to that notion, you, our readers, came through wonderfully!

The purpose of this post is to publicly thank all who donated to our GoFundMe campaign and express our deep gratitude. To date we have raised over $1200 to repair our site and recover from the hack. THANK YOU!

Without further ado, we present to you the “Benefactors of PT Think Tank,” after all, without you we would not exist. In no particular order:

  • Eric Robertson
  • Jason Silvernail
  • Tim Noteboom
  • Kyle Ridgeway
  • Kathleen Nestor
  • Karen Litzy
  • Mike Bade
  • Mike Pascoe
  • Matt Moretta
  • Chris Bise
  • Lauren Kealy
  • Mark Powers
  • Janice Ying
  • Jonathan Walton
  • Kory Zimney
  • Sam DePaul
  • Naomi Cook
  • Tyler Shultz
  • Mary Derrick
  • John Marrujo
  • Nick Parton
  • Amy Pakula
  • John Synder
  • Eileen Li
  • Mary Hartenstein
  • Lorien Appman
  • Wesley Miller
  • Aaron LeBauer
  • Chris Hinze
  • Sturdy McKee
  • Cody Peterson
  • Joel Anderson
  • Several who wish to remain anonymous, but who still rock!

This was touching, and inspiring. The authors of this site are indebted to you.

Please don’t hesitate to say hi and introduce yourself one day if you happen to be some of the folks we don’t know. We’ll be glad to shake your hand in person.

We’re going to leave the campaign open for another week and then close it and move on. With your collective help, we certainly made lemonade from these lemons!

Barb Melzer, I Will Miss Your Brain

Barb MelzerIt is with a heavy heart that I write this post, one I sincerely wish I didn’t have to. My esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Barbara Melzer, PT, PhD, DPT, FAPTA, has passed away. The world has lost a kind and intelligent soul and the physical therapy profession has lost a legend. Her captivating smile, is no more.


If I may summarize her bio:

Dr. Barbara Melzer, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA has been an active participant in physical therapy clinical practice and education for 38 years. She has served as the Texas Physical Association President and Chief Delegate. She has served on the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Board of Director and as APTA Secretary, as well as the Chair of the APTA Nominating Committee. She served as an officer of the APTA Education Section for 6 years and Commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as a Team Leader. She was a co-editor of the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education, Version 2000, and has presented almost too many times to count on matters related to clinical education in physical therapy. She has impacted countless physical therapy education programs through the activities above as well as through her widespread consultation. She has served on dozens of doctoral dissertation committees. At Texas State she served as Professor, and Director of Clinical Education, and has represented the School of Health Professions on the Faculty Senate and was a multiple winner of the Texas State University Presidential Award for Service. Dr. Melzer was awarded the status of Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2003, the highest honor for members of the APTA. Through the incredible span of her service and lengthy list of accomplishments, she has impacted the profession in ways no words can accurately capture.

But more than these accomplishments, she was strong. She was generous, and entertaining. She may have been the only faculty on her phone more than I during faculty meetings, which I appreciated.  She could distill most of the world’s problems to a primary color. She was a balanced, thoughtful and wise voice of council that I will personally miss, and Texas State University will not be the same without her.

Please join me in extending thoughts and prayers for Barb and her family, and raising a toast in her honor. Let’s celebrate a life of excellence and service, lest we invoke her ire for stopping to be sad for too long. Barb Melzer, I will miss your brain. I will miss our conversations. I will miss your smile.

Her memory and contributions to the profession will live on forever.


The College of Health Professions and the Department of Physical Therapy will establish a scholarship to honor Dr. Melzer’s contributions to the College, Department of Physical Therapy, and Texas State. Donations will be accepted in memory of Dr. Barbara Melzer. Please make checks payable to the Development Foundation and mailed to:

Texas State University-San Marcos Development Foundation
Attn: Donor Services, JCK-480
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

Update #2:

Barb had worked with a charity she helped found, Texas WINGS, that provides health care to uninsured women with breast cancer. She served on the board as secretary and treasurer of this charity. With this in mind, this is another avenue by which those who wish to donate in Barb’s memory can take action.

#PhysicalTherapy Hashtag Project 2.0

With #CSM2013 only days away, #physicaltherapist twitter chat relating to the conference will continue to increase. Quotes, links, pictures, and thoughts relating to #CMS2013 will spawn far ranging discussion. Individuals will participate remotely from all over the world. I anticipate the traffic on the #CSM2013 stream to be massive given the increase in physical therapists, students, and other disciplines engaging twitter professionally.

In #PhysicalTherapy Hashtag Project, I discussed hashtags in physical therapy specifically and healthcare in general. I also outlined some proposed hashtags for  the PT tweetsphere. These were meant to categorize links, discussion, and comments regarding specific practice areas and topics including sports, pain, acute care, business, advocacy, and research science. A nice discussion evolved both in the comments section, and on twitter inspiring me to create a follow up post based on the conversation.

The Healthcare Hashtag Project on Symplur continues to curate information relevant to various aspects of healthcare and various professionals within healthcare. Of course, much of the information is also important for public health and patients. Interestingly, the #DPTstudent and #solvePT tweetchats rank 5th and 7th respectively in trending tweetchats. #Rehab generally is 15th on the list of trending hashtags. Impressive! The four main categories of organization are hashtags, tweet chats, conferences, and diseases. I envision this project growing in both scope and specificity to connect various professions (and patients!) while simultaneously allowing for more focused categorization within professions. As introduced in the Physical Therapy Hashtag post, specificity of hashtags for the physical therapist profession adds value to the twitter community. A great feature is a schedule of healthcare related tweet chats.

A while back, PT Think Tank’s Eric Robertson introduced the idea of a new PT hashtag #LivePT to capture statements and sentiments that were more appropriately branded outside the #solvePT tag and chat. Below is the revised list of hash tags. Please review and comment….

Practice Areas

  • #AcutePT
  • #CardioPulmPT
  • #GeriatricPT
  • #ManualPT
  • #NeuroPT
  • #OMPT
  • #OrthoPT
  • #PainPT
  • #PediPT
  • #PelvicMafia
  • #SportsPT
  • #WellnessPT

Other Topics

  • #bizPT
  • #brandPT
  • #cashPT
  • #PTadvoc
  • #PTscience
  • #PTtech
  • #therapycap

Students and Education

  • #PTedu
  • #DPTstudent

Global #physicaltherapy Hashtags

  • #LivePT
  • #PTfirst
  • #PThero
  • #SolvePT

Other Hashtags

  • #HCSM
  • #meded
  • #mHealth
  • #SocialOrtho
  • #SportsSafey

Tweet Chats


Is the list too long? Too short? What hashtags do you utilize and follow? Any tweet chats you participate in or follow? Remember to utilize both the #CSM2013 hashtag and topic specific hashtags for your Combined Section Meetings tweets! See you in San Diego. Tweet with you if not!


#PhysicalTherapy Hashtag Project

#Hashtags are a robust means of tracking or tagging information on Twitter. They help you manage the fire hose-like nature of the constant stream of information on Twitter. Conferences, tweet-chats, and general topics of discussion all benefit from the use of hashtags. Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT), and the Private Practice Section of the APTA all have hashtags surrounding their conferences. The conference acronym is usually followed by the year. For example, #CSM2013#AAOMPT13 (No AAOMPT conference this year because of IFOMPT Conference), and #PPS2012. Functionally, hashtags  group tweets by keywords. For those not familiar check out Twitter’s help page what are hashtags? or the wikipedia page hashtag.

Personally, I have leveraged hashtags to follow and contribute to discussion surrounding conferences (CSM and AAOMPT for example). I  unfortunately was not able to attend #AAOMPT11 or #IFOMPT12. But I did learn, discuss, and contribute via the conference hashtags. The # creates potential for discussion and collaboration on a topic, course, conference, or issue. Unable to attend a conference or event? Participate virtually! Busy during the time of a tweet chat? No problem, you can search the hashtag later to read, respond, and continue the conversation. Wondering what individuals are saying on a particular topic? Search that hashtag. Storify even lets you create and save conversations or stories based on certain parameters.

Outside the PT Sphere

@HealtSocMed claims #HCSM (Healthcare Communications and Social Media) forumlated in January of 2009 was the first global healthcare tweet chat. Other non physical therapy specific hashtags or tweet chats include #SocialOrtho#SportsSafety, #mHealth, and #MedEd.

Physical Therapy Hashtags

Established physical therapy hashtags include #physicaltherapy, #physicaltherapist, and #physioPT. Kendra Gagnon PT, PhD (@KendraPedPT) who has guest blogged here on PTTT, utilizes hashtags in entry level DPT education. Her students tweeted #WhyIchosePT to communicate their reasons for pursuing the profession of physical therapy. Her class used #PTprof throughout the semester. On her blog, Kendra discusses social media communication as a part of the curriculum in a Professional Interactions course.

In some cases hashtags are utilized both as a tweetchat and to track discussion on a particular topic. #SolvePT is an example with weekly tweet chats on Tuesdays from 9-10PM Eastern Standard Time as well as ongoing discussion related to issues pertinent to the physical therapy profession. @SnippetPhysTher (Selena Horner, PT, GCS) discusses the emergence of the hashtag and the tweet chat. The #SolvePT hashtag continues to be an interesting conversation regarding physical therapy.

Call to Action

I propose a #physicaltherapy hashtag project. As a physical therapy community lets discuss specific hashtags for practice areas, topics, and ideas. I recently began using #AcutePT to tag some tweets containing evidence and rationale for the physical therapist’s vital role in the acute care environment. The Healthcare Hashtag Project has curated content and hashtags relating to health care topics, specific tweet-chats, conferences, and even diseases!

Below are my proposed hashtags for the physical therapy profession in addition to what we currently utilize. What did I miss? Should we change the wording? Let’s get started…

Practice Areas: #AcutePT #CardioPulmPT #GeriatricPT #ManualTherapy #NeuroPT #OrthoPT #PainPT #PedsPT #SportsPT #WomensPT

#PTscience for research, evidence based practice, and critical thinking relating to physical therapy.

#PTAdvoc for physical therapy advocacy and legislative issues.

#bizPT for business and private practice topics.

#PTtech for information relating to technology and the physical therapist.

#DPTEd for topics relating to physical therapy education and educators, including clinical education.

Hashtags for education and student topics could include #PTedu or #PTschool. Rumor has it that #DPTstudent will emerge as a hash tag topic and potential chat spear headed some of the student leaders in social media. You know @MattDeBole is at the center of that! Also check out @LaurenSPT as well.

And last, but certainly not least, #PTHero for inspiration and greatness within our vital profession.



#IFOMPT12, here we come!

Quebec City Aerial | flickr user Andos_pics


The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT <- say it, it’s fun!) will be happening very soon (Oct 1-5) in Quebec City, Canada. Specific details on the Conference Website.

The conference will showcase some of the most up-to-date information by the leaders in manual therapy. It is an opportunity not to be missed. You may not be able to attend, but fortunately the 21st century offers many ways for you to learn and to engage with those attending:

Live Blogging

Live-blogging is live coverage of an event as it happens. The correspondent sitting in the lecture hall can share quotes from the speaker, links to relevant websites, photos, and more. The service we will use is called CoverItLive. You can check out their current event listings and view a live event right now to get a flavor of what this is like. You can also scroll through a transcript of the coverage of an event after it has concluded, here is an example from CSM2012. The best part of watching a live blogged session is your ability to contribute to the discussion remotely!

Replay Transcript
Replay Transcript


PTTT contributor Mike Pascoe had a successful pilot experience live-blogging five sessions from CSM2012 and is ready to step up his game for IFOMPT2012! We have dedicated a special page of PT Think Tank to IFOMPT Live Coverage. Mike Pascoe will be live-blogging all day, every day! Head over to the page and look at the sessions Mike Pascoe is planning on live-blogging. You can even sign up to receive email reminders a specified amount of time ahead of the event:

Setup an event reminder
Setup an event reminder



Official conference handle: @IFOMPT2012

Conference hashtag: #IFOMPT12

Are you using twitter to network before arriving at IFOMPT?



Official conference blog

PT Think Tank, of course!


Au revoir!

Looking forward to meeting you in Canada and interacting with you on the web…

Happy Mother’s Day: Get Real

[icon style=”notice”]Update: Be patient with the Samahope.org site as they roll out over the next few days… [/icon]

Welcome to PT Think Tank’s new website design and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!

Today, we’re going to jump right in and get real on Mother’s Day. So real, in fact, that we’re going to talk about fistulas. Obstetric fistulas, to be specific. The kind that form mostly in impoverished countries after childbirth, we’re birth trauma causes tissue death and connects parts of the mother’s pelvic anatomy that should never, ever be connected. Women suffering with obstetric fistulae are ostracized by husbands and communities and suffer from infections, poor quality of life, and even death.

According to The Fistula Foundation, the occurence of new obstetric fistulae number about 50,000-100,000 annually, while the global capacity to treat this condition is only around 20,000. While this condition is extremely rare in developed countries, the World Health Organization estimates that between 2 to 3 million mothers in poor countries struggle with it. While the cause of obstetric fistulae are complex,  with as little as $450-$1000, the condition can be effectively repaired surgically.

My very compassionate and talented fried, Michelle Greer let me know about Samahope. Samahope.org is attempting to tackle this problem. This new venture is working to crowd-fund this procedure for women who can’t afford it. In an elegant interplay between philanthropy and technology, Samahope.org allows donors to select the individuals you want to help, donate simply using PayPal, and even track the outcomes for the surgeries they helped fund. Samahope.org is a project of Samasource.org, a non-profit based out of Silicon Valley who is working to reduce poverty through creating jobs via the innovate idea of mircrowork, connecting people with jobs over the internet. Leila Janah, the founder of Samasource, spoke recently at a TED event in Brussels:

[youtube id=”319sQ9s-lyQ#!” width=”550″ height=”300″ align=”center”]

Get involved and for this Mother’s Day, in addition to that nice pot of flowers and brunch we all like to confer upon our maternals, give the gift of life. If you’re feeling a bit quirky, consider browsing through some Weird Gifts to add a delightful twist to the traditional Mother’s Day celebrations. Those who are looking for custom gift options may consider visiting sites like Swagify to see more items.

Samahope.org is beginning their rollout today. In fact, they have but one tweet. It says, “How can you help change a life with only $20? Easy… I just did.

[button style=”green” link=”http://www.samahope.org/donate.php” target=”_self” align=”left”]Donate Now[/button]

CSM Kick Off

Arrived in New Orleans, and man I am excited!

A full flight from Denver to New Orleans, with many Denver area physical therapists and even some PT students from University of Southern California. Oddly enough, I sat next to a very nice PT Student from UCSF. We chatted the entire flight about early mobility in the ICU and physical therapy treatment of individuals who are critically ill (which if you know me gets me talking!) as well as PT education and research.

We even exchanged e-mails via our smart phones. Tomorrow should be a great day. Stay tuned here at PT Think Tank for updates and information.

Follow Me on twitter for quick blurbs and links.

Follow the Hashtag #CSM2011 for tweeps chatting about the conference! Let the technology leveraging begin…

Say Hello to Mike Pascoe

As you may have seen from his first post, our second new author is full of energy and really likes sharing! That’s a good combo for this blog. Mike and I have been acquaintances for several years now, albeit in a completely virtual sense. That is, until earlier this year when he took me on a tour of Boulder, CO. We found a coffee shop that could make this and had some real geeky conversation:

Mike is also just beginning a new phase of his career. He’s signed on to a faculty position at the Univeristy of CO, and is instructing Anatomy in the Physical Therapy program. He’ll be attending his first CSM conference this week, so if you see a tall fellow live-blogging and tweeting, run up and welcome him into the field of physical therapy.

About Mike:

Mike Pascoe, PhD recently joined the faculty of the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as a senior instructor of clinical anatomy. He graduated in December 2010 from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he studied age-associated differences in motor unit activity under the direction of Roger Enoka, PhD. He is married to Stephanie Pascoe PT, DPT, OCS, and together they enjoy traveling, snow boarding, and discussing basic research and clinical practice over cups of coffee.

Meet Kyle Ridgeway

This month, PT Think Tank is welcoming new authors! Fresh from some heroic writings on the AAOMPT Student SIG blog, Kyle Ridgeway is on board. Kyle currently manages the AAOMPT social media streams and is an avid hat wearer. Check out his first post about smart phone usage. Here’s a bit about him:

Kyle Ridgeway

Kyle is from Mukilteo (north of Seattle), WA. He completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in neuroscience in 2007 at Pomona College in Claremont, CA where he also competed in varsity football. After numerous injuries, including 2 knee surgeries Kyle solidified his commitment to becoming a physical therapist. In 2010, he received his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Ridgeway has broad clinical interests and experiences ranging from outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation to injury prevention and sports performance. He currently practices at private outpatient clinic, University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) as well as a long term acute care hospital. At UCH he is aiding in research, and treating within the confines of a randomized control trial, pertaining to early physical therapy with patients who are critically ill in the intensive care unit and require mechanical ventilation.

He is very interested in leveraging technology and social media in patient care, education, research, and advocacy. Dr. Ridgeway is excited by novel practice settings and practice models for physical therapists as the profession continues to evolve.

Dr. Ridgeway is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). He enjoys playing golf whether it be outdoors or indoors through a skytrak golf simulator, skiing, downhill mountain biking, and various other outdoor and athletic adventures.

Connect with Kyle here: