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Time for our APA to Walk the Talk

I picked up InMotion today and only got in 6 pages before I saw red. 

Some of you have been asking what has happened with the APA and AAP Education. I was thinking that myself. Back in Feb, I was asked to participate in a phone link up with James and Cris to 'sort out some issues' in regards to the provision of PD and 'external ' providers.

Firstly I explained that I thought the APA was going in the wrong direction in regards to PD, by limiting those parties that wanted to provide PD offerings to physios. Physiotherapy is diverse and physios love diversity. 'Let the market decide what it wants to support', is my opinion. This in clinical terms is equal to 'feedback or post-treatment assessment'; an integral part of any clinical decision-making loop. If something works, you develop and expand it, no artificial support. If it doesn't, then time to ax or change. Oh no, not in the APA's feedback loop. If a course is considered 'competitive' to something the APA offers, then it is a no-go-amigo, if you want to advertise in InMotion or other APA mediums. Fundamentally this may be okay behavior if you are a listed company driven by the profit god, but in a professional association created to support its members. Mmmmm ... certainly has me scratching my chin.

Secondly, is the issue of the next up and coming Maitland, Mulligan or Elvey. It takes a lot of time, effort and .. you know - those dangly bits, to develop and create a body of information that is evidence-based and dipped in clinical relevance. The current landscape before new and aspiring physios is the 'APA way or the highway'. They have the option of teaching on vanilla courses that will infrequently be updated (current reality as no one person is driving a course's improvement) or struggle to gain traction in a market because any course they develop will in some way 'compete' with an APA course. If it competes, they can't advertise in the number one forum - InMotion. In shutting down the option to be creative and teach, our profession loses a bright idea, the individual becomes disillusioned and potentially leaves our profession in frustration of not being able to fulfill their potential (see below in reference to high turnover).

I thought the conversation went well. I was told that as a result of listening to 'disaffected' members (yay to social media), the APA had decided to amend its attitude in dealing with 'external' providers. They said the APA would like to work with AAP Education and would send through their revised 'arrangement/contract' documentation for me to consider. Nada - haven't seen or heard anything since.

So as I was saying, I was reading InMotion and was pleased to see our President batting for the bush "we need to have a close look at the working circumstances of physios in the bush" ... "we need to tackle high turnover in the bush" .. "we need to increase the incentives for experienced managers to stay in the bush" and finally "we need to strengthen, not weaken the professional communities in rural towns". Awesome.

Turn over 2 pages and our CEO Cris, is talking about how the "APA is offering its members an intimate learning experience with world's best researchers and clinicians". What a 2-ton pile of cow crap. 

Only 1 of the 4 'intimate learning experiences' is actually taking off from the east coast to touch down in SA, WA. Sorry NT, obviously not your day. What happened to the "strengthen, not weaken professional communities in rural towns". I mean, we the APA members (WA, SA and NT included) are flying these guys out from Belgium, Canada, USA and the UK. Are we so much further away that the APA can't arrange them to board one of the 15 or so flights a day to Perth, or Adelaide? Oh, and by the way, Cris said, "if we get a lot of uptakes and there is a lot of demand, then we may expand in the future". Well, again thanks for nothing.

For me to attend a two-day weekend course on the east coast, it would mean at least a four-day removal from my 'professional community' and family. On top of the course cost would be 4 flights, 4 nights accommodation, taxi transfers and a couple of days out of the clinic. Really feeling the APA love at the moment.

Love to hear your thoughts. See you in the Comments section.


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