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LIVE from the Combined Sections Meeting in Washington DC, I welcome Dr. Mike Pascoe on the show to discuss the use of social media to disseminate physical therapy educational resources. Mike Pascoe, PhD, is a neurophysiologist and assistant professor in the physical therapy program at University of Colorado. His scholarly efforts center around the investigation of constructivist approaches in technology-enabled learning environments (e.g., wiki usage, interactive modules, cadaver skin examination, etc..) to improve learning outcomes and student satisfaction in anatomy courses.

In this episode, we discuss:

-Research highlights in the field of cadaver anatomy

-How Mike utilizes social media and live blogging during his anatomy courses

-How the Anatomical Board serves anatomy educational goals in Colorado

-Cognitive principles of learning for success in PT school

-And so much more!


#APTACSM Twitter

Mike Pascoe Twitter

Mike Pascoe Website

Mike Pascoe Snapchat

TedxBoulder – Mike Pascoe – The Ultimate Gift – Donating your Body to Science

Learning Scientists Website

For more information on Mike:

Mike received his PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Colorado (Boulder) in Dec 2010. He then joined the faculty of the Physical Therapy Program in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. He teaches clinical anatomy and in his spare time loves hanging out with his wife Stephanie and their dog Maia.

Read the full transcript below:

Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hey everybody, this is your host, Karen Litzy and we are coming to you live from the combined sections meeting in Washington DC. And I have the pleasure of once again seeing assistant professor Mike Pascoe. I saw him late last year in Denver. So Mike, Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for coming on.

Mike Pascoe: 00:18 It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Karen Litzy: 00:20 All right, so we read your bio, but what I would love to hear from you is a little bit more about yourself so the listeners kind of know where you’re coming from and what we have in store for our talk today.

Mike Pascoe: 00:32 Yeah, let me give you some things about myself that I really just drive who I am and what I do. So I am a Colorado native, so there’s just a lot of fun things to do in Colorado and I’ve managed to stay in a really awesome place. And so there’s a lot of fun to have there and a lot of that fun I have with my family. So I’m married to Stephanie Pascoe, she’s a PT, so she’s the clinical half of the marriage. And so we liked doing a lot of things together and we like keeping our two daughters busy as well. So very family driven and we’ve got a lot of fun with a five year old and a three year old girls. So I like to bill myself as a minority in a sorority. That’s what things look like around my house. Lots of pink and yeah, so I basically am here at CSM with Stephanie and we both get to go do our own things and check out the various different talks, different posters, different presentations. And I’ve been able to come to CSM since I started at CU in 2011 so yeah, it’s been a great conference. Great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Karen Litzy: 01:36 And so today we’re only on day one of the conference, but have you gone to any lectures or any poster presentations that really stand out in your mind?

Mike Pascoe: 01:45 Yeah, I really wanted to see what Chad Cook and others had to say about predatory publishing. So that was very informative. I’m aware of the concept and fortunately have not fallen prey myself, but it was good to just see the numbers and how big of a problem in this, you could, you could call it an epidemic. So

Karen Litzy: 02:03 Yeah, package that really well. Predatory journals, predatory conferences, things like that. I mean it’s a thing and people fall for it.

Mike Pascoe: 02:11 Yeah, they said that the analogy is everyone’s got a rich relative in Africa that just died and wants to offer you $1 billion. So it’s a new spin on that old email tactic.

Karen Litzy: 02:23 Exactly, exactly. And it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully they’re chorus kind of gave you a little bit of insight on what to watch out.

Mike Pascoe: 02:33 Yeah. If you go onto Twitter, which if you’re not on Twitter, then I don’t know what’s going on. It’s the best way to find out what’s going on, at the conference. Great #APTACSM. And that’s where a lot of us are sharing the real pearls from the session. So there’s a lot to catch up on there. But then following that was a real exciting meeting of special interest group with the Academy of physical therapy education. Then that’s the anatomy educators special interest group. So that grew last year was the first year there were maybe 50 of us and now there’s 133 so we’re really growing a nice base and we’re really starting to cut our teeth on what we wanted to find and how we want to really enhance PT education specifically in the anatomy domain.

Karen Litzy: 03:16 Great. So now let’s talk about that. So let’s talk about your teaching background and what you’re doing over there at the University of Colorado medical campus.

Mike Pascoe: 03:27 Yeah, so about 80% of my time on campus in my role is as a teacher. So I’m really striving for excellence there. And basically I started in 2011 they hired me with very little teaching experience at the professional level, but I really had a passion for teaching undergraduate students when I was a graduate ta. So that’s where I first fell in love with teaching anatomy. And then I got on board with CUPT and I teach PT anatomy. That’s my main role. About 50% of my job is designing and delivering the content for the PT students. But I’ve also been able to extend into the physician assistant and a medical student anatomy courses. So that keeps me pretty busy. It’s a lot of gross anatomy. It’s a lecture in the morning and then going into the lab in the afternoon and looking at the cadaver donors.

Karen Litzy: 04:17 I remember those days.

Mike Pascoe: 04:20 I’m telling Ya, it’s the most memorable and favorite course of all PT students

Karen Litzy: 04:26 It actually was my favorite course and I firmly believe every human being should take gross anatomy because you should know what’s going on in your body.

Mike Pascoe: 04:35 You should know how the equipment operates. And there’s some real good research out there and you know, a lot of people can identify where the heart is, but you ask them where the liver is and that’s where we need a little bit of improvement.

Karen Litzy: 04:46 Absolutely. So now outside of teaching, what other things are you working on? Any kind of research?

Mike Pascoe: 04:53 Absolutely. And you know what I’ve learned from all the excellent mentoring I’ve had in my role is that you should really cover your basis. It should really be optimized in what you’re doing with your research as an educator. So what you do is you do education scholarships. So I walked away from bench research and neurophysiology and now my laboratory is the classroom. So I do educational research. It’s every bit as rigorous as looking through a microscope and you know, modifying genes in a lab. But basically the students are my subjects and I will take an idea that I think is going to be a way to improve my anatomy, teaching, design a protocol, get my IRB approval, collect the data, get some graduate students under my mentorship to help run through the project. Sometimes we find a positive result and sometimes we don’t, but we send those results out anyway and I’ve been able to get some projects out the door.

Mike Pascoe: 05:46 Just a couple of highlights. There’s a type of photography called light field photography, so that’s been really interesting to see how you could change the focal point of a cadaver photo after the photo’s been taken. Lot of anatomy clustered together, so it’s often hard to get everything in focus so that gets around that. But also publishing on students using a Wiki to organize their study materials and why blogging. Actually I got to do a lot of live blogging, have a PT conference and we surveyed the people using a viewing the coverage and they really had positive rankings and satisfaction with the coverage. So I’m really promoting that and hoping that more PT conference organizers jump on top of that. It’s a compliment to Twitter.

Karen Litzy: 06:31 So how were you live blogging and how is that different? I was going to ask is that, what kind of platform is that?

Mike Pascoe: 06:37 Yeah, we use a platform called cover it live. They’re still out there. No conflict of interest, no disclosure, no relation, but basically what you do with live blogging as you can really issue more of a transcript of what’s going on there. No character limits. Like Twitter, Twitter is usually more about the bite size pieces, but a live blogging is much more of a script and you can really capture a lot. You can integrate photos. And what’s been really fun is to capture the question and answer session part of the session. People really rated that as a really good feature of live blogging.

Karen Litzy: 07:11 So you pretty much have to know how to type well to do that.

Mike Pascoe: 07:14 Right.

Karen Litzy: 07:16 Because for someone like me who has to look at the keys at the same time, cause I never learned how to type. Yeah, that would be my problem.

Mike Pascoe: 07:23 Hunting and pecking is hard, but the bigger skill is contextualization and knowing your audience. And it was real good for me to learn about how to interpret what a physical therapist was saying about a whiplash and the anatomy of neck muscles and how that can be put together so that way a PT audience would benefit the most. So yeah, that’s a big skill as well.

Karen Litzy: 07:47 That’s awesome. I’ve never heard of that. I mean I don’t think I can do it because like I said, I can’t really type, but I love the fact that it’s long form. And so if I wanted to, if, if I wanted to watch you do this, how do you, how do you do that Mike as not for you as a person blogging but as the consumer.

Mike Pascoe: 08:09 So we have to get a marketing campaign out there. And what we ended up doing was just promoting the link to the webpage through social media. So fortunately people are very aware of that conference has come with their own hashtags and people are having conversations around the conference leading up to the conference. So we took advantage of that. Now we would just publish in advance, these are the sessions Mike is going to be covering. So come back this day at this time for the live coverage. The real beauty of this platform too, as you can play them back, well you don’t play them back, you, you scroll through a timeline and you get to look at the content that way. So it was really rewarding to know that you’re helping people real time, but for the busy clinician that can’t step of treating patients at 2:00 PM that could come in and look at it later. That’s really good.

Karen Litzy: 08:59 Sounds great. So aside from being a little more innovative in your teaching and in academia, in education, which obviously, is a must these days. What else are you doing as your role at CU or your role as an educator?

Mike Pascoe: 09:19 So another real cool role that I took over about a year ago was, it’s an administrative role, but it’s for the state, Anatomical Board of Colorado. I serve as the secretary treasurer. And so I oversee the day to day operations at the anatomical board. And basically this is still educational because what we do with the anatomical board, our big mission is to serve the educational goals of anatomy education in the state of Colorado. So think of every health care profession program, PT, OT, MD, dental graduate programs. Whenever a program would like to use a donor for an educational resource, they approach us, they make a request, we take a look at how many donors we have available. And we’re very fortunate in Colorado that we have a very large donor pool, a large donor base, and I help assign the donors. And so indirectly I’m able to impact thousands of students a year with anatomy education simply by facilitating the use of cadaver dissection.

Karen Litzy: 10:21 That’s awesome. Very cool. I often wondered how that worked now, well at least now I know how it works in Colorado. So you had mentioned earlier the use of social media. So if people are listening to this and they’re not familiar with you, I obviously suggest following you on social media, but how has your use of social media impacted the way that you teach and the way that you sort of view education in physical therapy?

Mike Pascoe: 10:51 Yeah, so I incorporate social media into my teaching directly and indirectly. So directly I have recognized that there’s a real power behind this, this cognitive psychological principle called retrieval practice. So any way you can get your students to practice retrieving information without the learning materials in front of them, they’re going to benefit. Studies have shown that for decades. So how am I going to, aside from doing like the polling audience response system, how can I really get their attention? And I found what’s really successful is to use social media and people are doing Twitter, people are doing Instagram, but students really pay the most attention to content on snapchat. And if you’re not familiar with snapchat, the thing that makes it different, what sets it apart is that the content disappears after 24 hours. So when you’re doing retrieval practice, you don’t need it necessarily for the student to preserve the questions and answers.

Mike Pascoe: 11:49 They just need practice interacting with the content that goes away. And they know this. So there’s something about the way the brain is wired and the brain pays more attention to ephemeral content so they know it’s going to go away. And so I, I push out questions during the semester and they get the question, they get the answer later. So it’s great for the students, but it’s great for me, the educator I found with Twitter and Instagram, it really took so much time, to perfectly create the right content. But everybody on snapchat understands that it’s raw, it’s unedited and it’s uncurated. So as long as I put the correct information out there, it’s quality enough. So it’s very quick. It’s very rapid. And every time the students find out that I run in anatomy related snapchat account, they can’t believe it. At first they’re in disbelief like what’s going on.

Mike Pascoe: 12:38 But once I convinced them that this is educationally based on sound pedagogy, they’re onboard. And then I’ll have a break from it and they’ll bug me. We need more snaps. Pascoe put some more content out there. So if you want to check out what I’m talking about, the handle, the username on snapchat is anatomy snap. I’m all one continuous word and I’m telling you, it’s been really exciting. I collected data this summer. I’m looking at the data now and hoping to see, number one, if students found it satisfactory, but number two, how did their exam scores look? They could have been the same. They could have been worse, it could have been better. The exciting thing is I’ve learned how to put a protocol together that will allow me to level up beyond satisfaction. And did your learning change has your knowledge base change? So stay tuned for that publication.

Karen Litzy: 13:28 Awesome. And now can you give an example of some of your snaps? So yeah, give me a couple of examples so that people kind of get an idea of what you mean. Like what do you mean you’re putting stuff out for anatomy? Like just taking a picture of like a muscle or dissected bodies. So give me an example, but before you do well give me an example for us then I have another question.

Mike Pascoe: 13:53 Yeah, no, it’s good to leverage it. Leverage the principles, you can get retrieval practice and you can also get leverage examples and just to like real life examples. So you’re at a table, you’re just going through the upper extremity anatomy and you’re between lectures or whatever you’re doing as an educator. Put your hand on the table and elevate your thumb and get the extensor pollicis longus tendon to pop up. Take a picture, add text. What tendon end do you see here? Drawn Arrow. Then you can take it further. Just keep building, keep elaborating. What’s the line of inquiry that the student would go through? How would you go through this at the cadaver? What anatomical region does this tendon define? Anatomical snuffbox? The next snap question is now what structures as a physical therapist are you most interested in finding in the stock box? So then you could go through that. You can step through a very sequential Socratic series of snaps, and then you can say, okay, everybody send me a snap of your snuffbox if you so choose. They’ll usually do this without solicitation. But that’s an example.

Karen Litzy: 14:59 So I think that’s great and it actually leads perfectly into my next question is, are you creating a curriculum for your snaps or is it just off the cuff?

Mike Pascoe: 15:10 You know, I’m very mindful and aware that doing things intentionally is the best way to go. So what I did for the summer is I did focus my snaps on a specific aspect of anatomy in the course and that was blood flow diagrams. So I do look at my learning objectives and those informed my teaching methods. So these snaps, although they seem frivolous and accessory, what they really do is there a direct extension of being able to describe the path that blood takes from the left ventricle to a distant site in the body. So it is very informed. It’s very intentional, it’s in the curriculum, but you have to be mindful that not all students are going to go there. It has to remain optional. I do not think it’s appropriate to push your students into social media. There’s a lot of valid reasons students don’t want to go there, but for the ones that are there, I’ve found it’s 90 to 95% of the students. And you know what? It’s a great way to role model and show them how to be professor professional and how to use social media in an appropriate way. That’s beyond tearing down somebody’s beliefs and ideals.

Karen Litzy: 16:16 Well said. So there is a method to your madness is what you’re saying. There is not, it’s not random like, oh, I stub my toe today, I know I’m going to do something on the foot.

Mike Pascoe: 16:28 Yeah, exactly. It’s intentional and yeah, it’s been out for so long that it’s just time that everybody had a good understanding of how to use it appropriately and then how we can really think about incorporating it into education.

Karen Litzy: 16:40 I think that’s a great way to incorporate into education and hopefully people listening to this will now follow anatomySnap. No S. I follow you on snapchat and I can say that it’s really interesting. It’s really interesting even as a, a more quote unquote seasoned PT because I feel like you can never have too much anatomy. That’s so great. Now, anything else that you’re doing that’s kind of outside of the box with your students or even without your students as far as furthering your education?

Mike Pascoe: 17:16 I think that another thing to bring up here is how there’s a real need for physical therapists that are anatomy instructors to understand what is needed to know and what is nice to know. So that’s my second area of work. The first area is the technology integration, but I’ve really developed some nice ways to look at what do anatomist that teach physical therapy students need to teach their students. So I’m just looking at the data now, but I recently put out a survey to about 200 people in the, that our stakeholders for the physical therapy programs, talking faculty, clinical instructors, recent graduates, the two most recent classes. Do you and your opinion think that in your practice you need to name all 10 bronco pulmonary segments of the lung? That was an example of an objective for which most people rated. No.

Mike Pascoe: 18:11 Like that is not essential. So I take that feedback and I improve my curriculum. On the other hand, should a PT student be able to know name every spinal segment that is serving a muscle, the myotomal innovation and most people, the majority came back saying, yes, that’s neat to know. So it’s been really nice not being a PT to survey a wide base of people. The next step is going to be to survey the community at large to kind of level up the methodology, get a consensus document together and then present that to the educators in the PT Community.

Karen Litzy: 18:49 Great. Well it sounds to me like you’re up to some really fun stuff and I look forward to touching base again when you have a lot of this data together and you’re ready to present. So is there anything that we didn’t touch on?

Mike Pascoe: 19:03 Well, Gosh, let’s see here. Anything else? I guess if you’re really interested in body donation, it’s often, it’s often confused with my driver’s license has a heart.

Mike Pascoe: 19:17 But that’s organ donation and that’s totally separate. You do need to opt into whole body donation. And I go through this concept in a six minute ted talk and basically if you, if you just search youtube for Pascoe Ted x, you’ll find a nice little talk I was able to put together for Tedx Boulder in Colorado and just kind of let people know what body donation is all about. And the title of the talk is the ultimate gift because we have extreme gratitude to the individuals that make this choice to, to give us the ultimate gift, the body that has served them all of their life. And now we’ll go on to serve health care professionals as they work toward being able to take care of, to treat those patients.

Karen Litzy: 20:04 I love it. So everyone, don’t worry, we will have links to everything on the show notes under this episode. So before we wrap things up, I have one more question. Given where you are now in your life and in your career, what advice would you give to yourself as a new Grad or to your students? Like when you were a student, what advice would you give to yourself?

Mike Pascoe: 20:40 So there’s two I want to give you. One is more like the life side of things and learning to say no, I had definitely gotten myself in trouble. Okay. So I’m super passionate about teaching and every time I was approached with a teaching opportunity I rationalized how I could make it work and I trick myself and I got way overloaded with teaching. So I would go back to, you know, 27 year old Mike. Like you’re going to have a lot of opportunities, but there’s a, there’s a tactful way to say no. And even though that time may not be the right time, things do cycle back around, you’ll get another pass at it if it was meant to be. And then the other more practical. For those of you that are PT students, those of you that are looking at getting into PT school, you have to look at your study techniques.

Mike Pascoe: 21:27 So I’ve totally revolutionized the way I do office hours. When students come in and they’ve had a bad performance on an anatomy exam and they say, I don’t understand, I studied so much, I blow a whistle and I throw a yellow flag on the ground and I say, hold up. The penalty on the field is quantity does not equal good learning. So you have to look at these psychological, cognitive principles of learning and what got you through in Undergrad will not get you through in PT school. The volume is too much. So in the show notes, I’ll give you a link to a really excellent website that summarizes these key principles of learning and you’ve got to look at your study habits. Then you’ve got to be prepared to change them. Otherwise you’re in for a really painful and arduous path through your physical therapy curriculum, in other programs that you might be pursuing.

Karen Litzy: 22:20 Amazing advice. Thank you so much. What’s the name of the website?

Mike Pascoe: 22:24 So the name of the website is a learning scientist. And I believe if you just Google learning scientists, you’re gonna find a website that has principles of effective learning.

Karen Litzy: 22:36 Thank you so much for sharing that. And I’m sure the students and myself will greatly benefit from that. So thank you. And now where can people find you on Twitter? We know where they can find you on snapchat. How about Twitter?

Mike Pascoe: 22:49 Yeah, go ahead and look for me @mpascoe. You know what, if you’re looking at the Hashtag for the conference, I’m tweeting up a storm here, so that will be a good place to catch some of my contributions and go from there.

Karen Litzy: 23:05 Awesome. Well Mike, thank you so much for taking the time out at CSM where we, everybody’s busy. I get it. We’re all busy. So I really appreciate you for taking the time out coming on the podcast and sharing all this great info. So thank you so much.

Mike Pascoe: 23:19 Yeah, my privilege and thanks to you, Karen, for getting everyone together and being a vessel for getting this information out.

Karen Litzy: 23:25 Thank you very much. And to all the listeners, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.

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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.

©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.