It is truly an awesome spectacle to see the dedicated and vocal professionals covering all bases of social media today. Even better is the traction that patient-centered care has garnered. The idea that more than 3 people (my wife, Zach Stearns, and Dustin Jones) downloaded and even listened to the first few episodes of the VOTPt podcast is pretty fantastic. If you haven’t listened yet, check out this episode with Emil Berengut and be blown away. With this growing chorus of professional advocacy, it’s critical the patient remain that singular voice around which we all center our growth, practice, and advocacy efforts.
As I write, I’m on a plane headed to Washington DC for a weekend of FSBPT meetings (okay, maybe a little less exhilaration than CSM generates) reflecting on the important differences between state APPTA chapters and state licensure boards. While the professional organizations challenge the status quo, advance baseline knowledge, grow the profession, and are generally the more “sexy” of the two sibling groups, licensure boards are charged simply yet profoundly with the responsibility of protecting the public from harm while receiving care. Professional regulatory bodies hold and advance the profession’s “bottom line” or, as I like to think of it, playing defense to the professional organizations’ offense. The voice of the patient is so important in regulation of practice that at least 1 unlicensed and independent public member is included on each state board (important arguments have been made to include more – slow process to change practice acts).
My purpose here is to question and challenge the factors currently influencing your professional trajectory. Maybe more accurately, to challenge you (and remind myself) to continuously question these factors.
- How does this CE course allow me to better address patients’ needs (expressed or unexpressed)?
- Does my employer (actual or potential) allow me to respond the voice of my patients?
- An important consideration in becoming your own employer too.
- Does my practice setting (current or potential) provide the best gateway for me to serve and deliver real impact to the benefit of the patient?
- Would also apply to promotion or change in role.
- What does the voice of the patient (the voice of your own patients) say in response to this professional decision (in the clinic or for your career)?
Some Final Thoughts
Professional organizations and regulatory bodies are not opposing forces. Rather, two components in the effort to elevate the standard of care. Get involved with your state board and volunteer with national bodies like the FSBPT. Stay involved with your professional organization. Keep the patient the center of all of it.