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In this episode, Founder of Science PT, Dr. Erik Meira, PT, DPT, talks about his campaign platform as the President-Elect of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy, and the many components of this platform.

Today, Erik talks about his roles within the academy over the past 15 years, his formal 5-year strategic plan, creating an executive board separate from the executive committee, and creating a research agenda. What is the overarching vision for the academy?

Who is on the executive committee, and how is the executive board chosen? Erik elaborates on organizational structures and boundaries, and embracing the tenets of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “If you look at any 1 or 2 year period, it’ll look like things are getting done, but when you look over a longer period of time, you’ll see a lot of what gets published kind of has a circular nature to it.”
  • “You have to build the boundaries of your sandbox, and then let the person play in the sandbox.”
  • “Not every great presenter is a great leader, and not every great leader is a great presenter.”
  • “Not everybody wants to keep progressing and keep pursuing, and somebody stepping back should not be slighted and that should not be seen as a negative.”
  • “Somebody turning something down today does not mean that you shouldn’t offer it to them tomorrow.”
  • “Nobody can be you better than you. Remember that. And that goes two ways – remember that the person that you’re talking to is also not you. They don’t have a brain that works like you, thinks like you, and sees things like you, and they’re trying to be the best person that they are as well.”
  • “We all have different perspectives, and that’s okay.”

 

More about Erik Meira

Erik MeiraErik Meira is a consultant physical therapist in Portland, Oregon. He is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with extensive experience in the management of sports injuries at many different levels. He also created and oversees the PT Podcast Network.

The son of an engineer and a school teacher, he developed a love of science at a young age often running home experiments comparing/contrasting the effectiveness of products such as detergents and preservatives. Before beginning physical therapy school he studied philosophy and psychology while geeking out on chemistry and physics courses. Although he follows medical science professionally, he is a fan of all fields of science, particularly particle physics and astrophysics.

He began his rehab training at the University of Florida where he had the opportunity to be a student athletic trainer with Gator Football. After finishing his physical therapy degree, he moved on to The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC where he overhauled the patient education program and became a physical therapy adviser to the GWU Medical School. After moving to Portland, OR he started his own private practice Elite Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine now called Black Diamond Physical Therapy. He also founded and directed the Northwest Society for Sports Medicine, a group of regional sports medicine providers who provided continuing education, professional support, and community outreach in the Pacific Northwest.

Erik is extremely active in the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT), currently serving as the Representative at Large on the Executive Committee. In 2008 he helped initiate, organize, and then chair the Hip Special Interest Group. From 2012-2019, he was the Sports Section Program Chair for Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) for AASPT. He has authored several articles and textbook chapters, and has lectured at conferences around the world sponsored through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Physical Therapy Association, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, covering topics such as the hip, knee, shoulder, exercise prescription, returning athletes to sport, science application, and ethics in practice. He is a frequent consultant to professional and collegiate sports teams and individual professional athletes.

 

Suggested Keywords

AACPT, Campaign, Opportunities, Strategy, Learning, Sports, Physiotherapy, Research, PT, Health, Therapy, Architecture, DEI, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Problem-Solving,

 

To learn more, follow Erik at:

Website:          https://thesciencept.com

Podcast:          https://ptinquest.com

https://ptpodcast.com

Instagram:       @erikmeirapt

Twitter:            @erikmeira

 

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Spotify:                        https://open.spotify.com/show/6ELmKwE4mSZXBB8TiQvp73

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Read the Full Transcript Here:

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Hey, Eric, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on.

Speaker 2 (00:06):

Thank you so much, Karen. It’s a, an honor to be here.

Speaker 1 (00:10):

I know it’s so nice to see you, even though we’re not in person, hopefully one of these one of these years, maybe next year fingers crossed. We’ll be able to see each other in person.

Speaker 2 (00:20):

Yep. Fingers crossed for sure. Yeah. I’m looking forward to it. It’s I can only do so much zoom. I so much prefer being in person with people to do to do conversations and to do a teaching as well.

Speaker 1 (00:32):

Oh yeah. Teaching is, I mean, what a, it’s just a whole different ball game when you’re on zoom or whatever platform you’re using. So Eric, today, you’re on the podcast to talk about your campaign platform. So for people who don’t know, Eric is a present elect candidate for the American Academy of sports physical therapy, which is part of the American physical therapy association. Did I get all that right?

Speaker 2 (01:05):

Yes, that’s right. We’re one of the academies, one of the components of the AP TA.

Speaker 1 (01:09):

Right? So you are here to talk about your campaign platform. So I’m going to hand the mic over to you and I want you to let the listeners know what are the components of your campaign platform?

Speaker 2 (01:24):

Sure. I, I, I really appreciate that. Yeah. So first to clarify, some people have the question, what’s the difference between a president and a president elect and for the for the American Academy of sports, physical therapy, the AAS PT our president is elected to serve one term as the president elect. So kind of the president and waiting under the current president for one year, so that the transition is smoother when that happens and then they serve a three-year term after that. And so a little bit of my background is I’ve, I’ve been involved in I’ve been involved with the Academy for, for, you know, well, over a decade, I’ve been in leadership positions within the Academy continuously for the last 15 years. And so that’s everything from just being a member of a, of a committee moving up to, I founded a special interest group.

Speaker 2 (02:17):

I then was the chair of a special interest group moved on to be the, the section programming chair. So I was involved with all of the the academies program at combined sections meeting did that for about six years. And then the last two years I’d been serving on the executive committee as a representative at large. So I have a, I have a huge history with this Academy and a lot of the things that a lot of the changes that have been made over those last 15 years, I’ve been very involved with and really trying to move things forward. And so one of the reasons I’m running for, for president elect at this point point is to try to kind of complete the mission, so to speak and, and really help set the Academy up for, for the future. We’re, we’re coming up on 50 years of, of existing as an Academy.

Speaker 2 (03:08):

Or as a component, we used to be a section like most of the other components. And now what I’m looking for is, you know, what’s the next 50 years look like, are we set up for, for that future? So the first thing that I’d like to, I actually have five points that I’m highlighting for my campaign. The first one is I would like to create a formal five-year strategic plan that systematically, it gives us something to systematically work towards for our goals over time. And, and so, you know, the Academy has traditionally had strategic planning as a component of what it does, but it has never actually put forward a formal announcement to the members to say in five years, this is where we would like to be as, as a target. And that’s something that I think can be really useful for, for a component to have to give a little bit of guidance to.

Speaker 1 (04:05):

And if, if you are elected, how will you go about implementing that?

Speaker 2 (04:10):

Yeah, so a five-year strategic plan. So currently the executive committee does a strategic planning meeting once a year to set basically the agenda for the next year. And so what this would be is actually sitting down and going over where would we want to be in the next five years? And that would be a process of, of actually first, you know, surveying the members, talking to members, trying to get that information of where are we going to go, want to go pitching ideas to the members, to get some feedback from that and then putting it together and setting it forward. And, and again, you’ll notice it’s a five-year plan. Our terms are only three years. And so that’s kind of the point is something that outlives any one executive committee and is something that really is looking to kind of go past that one.

Speaker 2 (04:57):

One of the other points that I’m kind of looking at exploring is creating a separate executive board separate from the executive committee, which is an organizational strategy that a couple of other components have used as well, but it’s also very common in associations in general. And so the idea there would be you know, I, I see this in the future as being something that the executive committee would work to create a five-year strategic plan. And then that would be reviewed by an executive board who would then have potentially have voting power to to approve such a plan and, and look at going through implementing the strategy.

Speaker 1 (05:36):

And so can you tell the listeners what, what is made up of the executive committee, who is on that executive committee within the organization, and then how would that executive board be chosen?

Speaker 2 (05:52):

So right now the Academy just has an executive committee and a lot of times within the Academy, they use the term executive board and executive committee interchangeably. And that’s not always the case necessarily. So our current executive committee is made up of five elected positions. They are the main elected positions of the Academy. The other elected positions are our nominating committee. And so these are the elected officials. There’s five of them and they, they make all, they do all the decision-making for the Academy. And that’s, I mean, that’s great. You want people who are voted in to be making the decisions you don’t want, just, you know, all appointments across the board like that. And so the problem that that sometimes can create is, you know, they get into, they can get into the weeds of dealing with the nuance and the details and all of these things.

Speaker 2 (06:44):

And a lot of times decisions, especially in a large component like ours sometimes they’re very nuanced, complex, challenging. They’re not easy to kind of educate out on a sound so to speak. And so what an executive board would do first off that would be made up of all of the members of the executive committee would also serve on the board. But then you add additional members that are representative of the rest of the Academy to allow additional conversations that would happen like once a year, for example, of all right, we’ve been working on a bunch of stuff for the last year. Here’s what we’re going to bring forward. And again, this would be, this is how it’s working towards our five-year plan. This is the, these are the issues. Here’s a really tough decision that we’re up against that we’ve had lots of conversations we brought in outside consultants.

Speaker 2 (07:35):

We’ve, we’ve had again, conversations after conversations, and now we need to convince the board that this decision is the right decision. And the example here would be well, if that board disagrees, this is where again, these are things that would have to be figured out in designing a board. Would they have the authority to block an executive committee or would it just be, Hey, we’re just going to go on down on record that we don’t think this is a good idea. And the board, you know, is, is doing this alone. And again, just, just being a little more transparent with that. So those other members, you would want it to, you know, you think of all the different components of a, of an Academy. And, you know, we have, like, we have practice, we have research, we have education within our Academy, we also have early career professionals.

Speaker 2 (08:26):

We also have diversity equity and inclusion as its own part of it. And then we have our SIGs as well. So I could see a representative from, from, you know, all those different committees. So, you know, practice research these could be, the chairs would sit on that and, and there could be a conversation about whether or not those would become elected right now, they’re appointed positions and then and DEI and early career professional. So we get all of those voices having a strong voice and then maybe a, an at-large position, which could be a SIG chair, or a couple of SIG chairs could serve in that role there. And, and then, you know, they kind of get that opportunity to be heard, but again, it’s still kind of behind closed doors, but it expands that ability to have those conversations out and, and get more advising for an executive committee.

Speaker 1 (09:18):

Got it. And, and because the you’ve got the, these people on an executive board that are part of these different sections within the Academy, I would then imagine that you can get some more input and feedback from the members. So it sounds like, and you can correct me if I’m wrong. You’re trying to allow the members of the Academy have a bigger voice in the decisions made by the, by the executive board.

Speaker 2 (09:43):

Exactly. Cause one of the issues we have is, you know, we have an Academy that’s, you know, seven between seven and 8,000 members in any given time during the year, there are definitely fluctuations and all being represented by five people and five people that, you know, yes, they were elected their position and they do know a lot of people within the Academy. They can go talk to those people, but then you have a tendency of just talking to the friends of the executive committee, for example. And so the more, the more kind of diverse voices you can get into the conversation the better. And, and again, if you have an executive board that has a very unified voice, well, that’s a very strong position that you would be taking as opposed to a more divisive type position than these would be things that would probably have to have more of a conversation.

Speaker 1 (10:28):

Okay. All right. I like it. Let’s move on to, you’ve got, you said you had a, a couple of things within your plan. So we talked about a five year strategic plan and executive board. What else?

Speaker 2 (10:40):

So the other thing I’d love to see is creating a research agenda and that would be to kind of lay a roadmap for the research needs of our members and explore our ability to drive this research potentially through some Academy funding as well. And so, you know, research and science, that’s something that I hold very dear. I it’s, it’s you know, pretty much everything that I kind of geek out about, you know, in particular. And I hear a lot from, especially our early career researchers, but then other researchers as well, especially the ones that are running smaller labs of of how a lot of times, it’s hard to know what is kind of useful information from clinicians or what the true path is to get to what we want to know. And then I hear from the clinicians on the other side, you know, I’ve been practicing over 20 years and there’s a lot of things that I don’t feel like we’ve made much progress much real progress over my career and, and it can get kind of frustrating.

Speaker 2 (11:35):

And, and what I mean by that is if you look at any one, like, like one or two year period, it’ll look like things are getting done, but then when you look over a longer period of time, you’ll see that a lot of what gets published kind of has a circular nature to it. So they, they’re kind of revisiting some of the same questions, not really doing a very thorough job of answering that. And what I mean by that is a lot of times, you know, a group will have, it’s like, look, we only have one study that we can do. We’re going to try to answer as many questions with this one study as we can. And what ends up happening is it’s so diluted that they don’t really answer any question really thoroughly for the future. And again, this is looking for where are we going to be 20 years from now with this information?

Speaker 2 (12:20):

I understand that small steps are frustratingly slow, but that’s where we actually make a difference long-term. And so creating a research agenda would basically take clinicians X are some of our researchers. And then ideally also methodologist that they’re, they’re what we call meta scientists. So people who study this study the science of studying information. And so making sure studies are designed appropriately making sure that replication is being set up, making sure that a study isn’t biting off more than it can chew. And so in a research agenda can lay out here are the next five steps that we need to see to go towards what we’re trying to get done. And then researchers can look at that. It can be published publicly, and they can look at that and say, Oh, I can actually step in right here. And the thinking here is if you have a large Academy kind of endorsing that these are studies we’d like to see done, that should increase the value again from the publishing side where journals would look at it and say, Oh, well, you know, this is a study that was very well executed.

Speaker 2 (13:24):

That answers the question specifically that was asked by an Academy. This is going to be cited in future studies. This is something we’d want to publish. So kind of putting those incentives kind of on both ends of it.

Speaker 1 (13:36):

Got it. So kind of using the Academy as maybe a jumping off point for ideas for future studies, given the input from the members and what they’re seeing clinically and what they would like to see, continue on in the research.

Speaker 2 (13:49):

Yeah, exactly. And so part of that too, is, you know as a clinician, you might say, you know what, I would just love to have an answer to this right here. And it may seem really simple to the clinician of, I don’t see why that’s a hard thing to answer. And that’s where the research community can go, come in and say, all right, well, if you want to answer that, you actually have to start with this very simple question way over here that you’re not even thinking about. And so we’re going to start there and lay the path so that clinicians can also see where are we on this path to see what do we know and how does this actually develop over time? And I think that that’s a huge value both for, for the practitioner and for the researcher,

Speaker 1 (14:27):

Right? And, and on the research side. So obviously the clinician side. Great. Cause we’re getting some of what we’re seeing every day put into the research from the researchers side. It’s Hey this is what we’re seeing. You get an endorsement from the from the Academy and maybe it will maybe it will allow you to have a greater chance of being published. I don’t know. That’s not that I’m not phrasing that in the best way. You could probably phrase it better.

Speaker 2 (15:01):

Put it is, I would say that it makes their research more translational. So it’s showing that. And, and so, and I think this is something that researchers sometimes struggle with where they’re, they’re trying to kind of dress up the clinical application side of things to make it more clinically applicable. So it gets that, that, that, that translation, but by doing that, it actually kind of dilutes their, the quality of the study, so to speak because there’s certain looking at too many things. And so by getting that opportunity for the research community to say, Hey, it may not look clinically relevant yet, but it’s going to be. And so then they’re part of that clinical relevance as a package. So instead of one study trying to answer everything, you would have a suite of studies that actually lays your foundation for, for gives you a good foundation for knowledge.

Speaker 2 (15:57):

And, and I’d like to stress. I mean, there are plenty of, of research labs in our profession that are doing this themselves and doing a phenomenal job of that. And this wouldn’t necessarily be for them. It’s just, we have a lot of questions to answer. And there’s a lot of, of again, some of these smaller labs and early career researchers that are looking to jump in and, and, and even some, you know, research clinicians who are like, Oh, I can, I can do a 10 person study that answers this one little, very finely asked question. If it’s laid out for me, I can then take that and run with it, or simply just do a replication of it.

Speaker 1 (16:36):

And how does this look practically running through the Academy? How does this happen

Speaker 2 (16:44):

Here would be, you know, somebody would bring it forward an idea, for example, and there would be, you know, we do have a research committee they would start organizing around a couple of research questions and right off the bat. And, you know, I posted this on my blog this idea around a research agenda and I did get some people actually contacted me through my contact form saying, Hey, this sounds really awesome. Are you thinking about, you know, a return to play after ACL? It’s like, well, sure. Are you thinking about Achilles repairs? Sure. Again, it’s we lay out the agenda and the idea here would be that they would also be living, breathing documents, so to speak that would be revisited every year or every two years. And Hey, where are we? The idea, you know, you lay it all out and then as things get done, you know, you things get checked off the list, so to speak it just gives us a way to have kind of a repository for, for thoroughness that I think is often beyond the scope of a, of a large lab.

Speaker 2 (17:42):

And this is where, you know, even large labs can step in and say, wow, there’s a ton of basic science work that got done by lots of little entities. Now we’re going to swoop in and we’re going to collect 500 subjects and we’re going to now do an effectiveness study based off of all of the solid foundation that was laid out for us. So we didn’t have to do year after year of sequential studies. We have a base of studies that we can now just move forward.

Speaker 1 (18:11):

Got it, got it. So you’re looking at this from the Academy standpoint as being a repository of ideas that early career researchers, clinician researchers, smaller labs can go in and say, Hmm, I think I can, I think I can handle this. I’m going to pull this out and I’m going to see what I can do. I’m going to try and create a study.

Speaker 2 (18:30):

Exactly. And this is also one of, some of our really, you know, big, big names. So to speak. Researchers can look down and go, no, no, no, no, no. That’s, that’s not how you design that study for something I can use. I would need you to also do this here. And then our research committee and our methodologists might even kick back to them and say, Oh, I understand that what you’re actually doing is adding another study in between not necessarily trying to do too much with one study. And so again, this is where it’s creating a sounding board that all these people can have these conversations.

Speaker 1 (19:01):

Got it. Okay. All right. I think I understand it now. Thank you. Sorry for asking so many questions.

Speaker 2 (19:07):

No, no, of course. And then ultimately, you know, the name of the game is almost always funding. So if, if we can then set up some, some grants, for example, to say, you know, we want to, we have money set aside to pay for this next step. And then, you know, people can pitch the ideas to us. We can do like a register report process where we would review the study before it was even starting to collect data to say, Oh, this looks beautiful. We’re going to, we’re going to give you money to complete this.

Speaker 1 (19:35):

Got it. All right. Sounds like a plan. Okay. So what else is on your platform?

Speaker 2 (19:42):

So another thing I’d like to see is creating more structure to our organization. So something that, you know, as I mentioned, we just had the four, you know, executive committee members, and then we’ve had other we’ve had committees over the years, as I’ve said, I’ve served on a lot of those. But a lot of times what ends up happening is that everything ends up having to go through the executive committee for final approval for every single step. And, and I understand the need for that. I mean, these are the elected officials, these are the ones making the decisions, but when you get to a Academy, as large as ours, it kind of can start to smack a little bit of micromanagement and making it that if you’ve ever been in a, in an environment where you’re feeling micromanaged, it really feels like your hands are tied, your creativity is stifled and you can’t really give to the, to the institution if you’re in that situation like that.

Speaker 2 (20:33):

And so the way that that gets solved is actually to have better defined roles that people are stepping into. So our, we have a new membership engagement director, Jamie little, who’s just absolutely phenomenal. And he’s been with us for the last year. And one of the things that he likes to point out is you have to create, you have to build the boundaries of your sandbox and then let the person play in the sandbox. But you, you give them a lane to be in so that they feel confident in what they’re doing and feel supported in what they’re doing, not just giving them like a very vague instruction and then say, then come back to me and show me what you got. And then I’m going to change everything anyway, but really empower them to say, Hey, here’s, here’s the goal.

Speaker 2 (21:23):

Here’s generally what, you know, what your role is to say, like the chair of the practice committee or the chair of the education committee. And, you know, let’s see what you can do. And you know, as long as it’s not too far out in left field, we’re going to support, support that all the way through. And so since I’ve been on the executive committee, we’ve expanded the leadership opportunities for our SIG members. So SIGs used to just have a chair in a, in a vice chair, and now they also have a practice lead and education league, a membership league, and a communication lead, all opportunities for people to step in and take leadership roles and allows us to to let people demonstrate what they can do in the Academy. And I mean, the beauty of it is I, these people, when they step into these roles, I don’t know who half of them are. I’ve never heard of them. And I think that is awesome. That’s not me trying to think of somebody to fill this role. That’s somebody who stepped up and said, I want to do this role. And of course, some of them are not going to do very well, but a lot of them are really going to demonstrate who they are and what they can do. And it’s an opportunity to to let our members really kind of, kind of contribute to the Academy.

Speaker 1 (22:35):

Yeah. And it also sounds like you’re developing a bit of like a leadership development pipeline.

Speaker 2 (22:40):

That’s exactly right. Yeah. And that’s where, you know, and that, that gets to the final. One of my points is and embracing the tenants of diversity, equity and inclusion, and make sure that that applies to all of our members and our future members. And that’s going to ultimately make our Academy a better overall. And again, this is the thing that, you know, people get, they get hung up on. And again, diversity equity inclusion typically noted as DEI is kind of the popular initialism that’s used now. People get hung up on, Oh, well, that’s referring to minorities. Oh, that’s referring to gender. It’s like that also refers to early young professionals, older professionals people who otherwise don’t, you know, quote unquote fit into the to the, the, the club, the cliques, so to speak. And we just want to make sure that we’re embracing of all the different voices that are within our Academy and make sure that they, they feel they feel represented and they feel seen.

Speaker 2 (23:45):

And so, you know, you mentioned leadership development. That’s definitely one part of it. And a lot of components, a lot of times leadership and, and presentation. So like getting up at a conference and speaking a lot of times they’re kind of shoved together as the same thing and not every great presenter is a great leader and not every great leader is a great presenter. So we don’t want to fault people for being really strong on one, but not so great on the other. And so we want to create two opportunities for the, the face of our Academy, which is our leadership and our presenters to develop as, as again, as leaders. And then as people who are getting into more of the education side.

Speaker 1 (24:29):

Right. And like you said, they don’t have to be the same person that’s right. So you can speak on behalf of the Academy, let’s say it’s at CSM, or maybe even an international conference, something like that as, as a representative. But it doesn’t mean that you’re the president of the Academy, nor does it mean because you’re on the executive board, you get to speak at these different places. It has to be something that is earned, not just given for the position that you’re in.

Speaker 2 (24:59):

Yeah. And so that’s, that’s another definition of diversity is playing to your strengths. So not trying to make one person do everything, but try to find the best person for that job regardless of who they are. And it may be that they’re really good at one thing, and they’re not so great at other things, instead of trying to shoe horn them into things that, that they’re not gonna Excel at, let them really shine where they, where they can shine. And, and again, you know, we’re an Academy between seven and 8,000 members. We don’t need to have one person doing everything. It’s really an opportunity that lots of people can step up and fill different roles. And, and I think that’s just, it’s just great for all of us.

Speaker 1 (25:37):

Absolutely. And it also makes people feel like they’re wanted. Yes. Yeah. And that’s important because there’s nothing worse than not feeling wanted.

Speaker 2 (25:47):

The other thing too is, you know, I’m a, I’m a big data guy, big analytics guy. And so one of the things that we used DEI in particular for, and this was a little over a year ago when we put together a task force to look at it. And that, that was the mission of the task force was to see what do our demographics, how do our demographics break down along gender and along race race identity. And the simple thing is you can just look at those numbers of the membership and then how do our leaders break down by gender and by racial identity. And then how do our presenters break down in the same way? And so in some respects, we had very, very good matches you know, specifically CSM presenters were pretty well representative specifically in gender, not quite so much when it came to race.

Speaker 2 (26:50):

So we’re able to say gender is pretty well addressed from the CSM side. Now that doesn’t mean there’s, there’s not future issues or not some issues still to be solved, but it looked much better for example. But then when we looked at leadership and we looked at some of our other, other events, we had some bigger issues around that specifically. And so, you know, a lot of people will say, Oh, so, you know, are you saying that you know, some of your leaders are racist or massage? Monistic, it’s like, no, that’s not how this works. What it means is that there’s something at play here that is restricting equity and inclusion because of all things being equal, it should balance itself out in that way. And, and, and again, looking at the way CSM programming was selected it was intentionally set up to try to increase the number of submissions in and then trying to go strictly based off of the merit of the submissions and the quality of the speakers and not trying to read into it anymore.

Speaker 2 (27:52):

And it kind of organically started to sort itself out. And so this is where, you know, when we look from leadership, well, if you have an Academy of 7,000 plus people, and you only have five elected positions, a couple of nominating committee, a couple SIG chairs, there’s just not a lot of opportunity for people to step up and have a path to leadership. And so that’s why we expanded the leadership opportunities within our SIGs. Again, a little more low risks low stakes opportunities for people to step in demonstrate their, their abilities. And then if they want to pursue further, they have an opportunity. And that’s the other thing to remember is not everybody wants to keep progressing and keep pursuing. And somebody stepping back and saying, I don’t want to do that, is that should not be slighted. And that should not be seen as a negative either.

Speaker 1 (28:40):

You, I was just going to say that, darn it. I was just going to say, then that person can make the decision if they want to continue further, is this for them? Is it not? But it at least gives people the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.

Speaker 2 (28:57):

Yeah. And not only that, when, when talking from a leadership perspective, what leaders have to understand is that somebody turning something down today does not mean that you shouldn’t offer it to them tomorrow. And so you may offer somebody an opportunity. They’ll say, you know what? I just don’t have time for that right now, I’m going to have to pass. And, you know, a lot of times people are advised, you know, never say no, because you never know what it’s going to lead to. It’s like, okay, well then it’s, you’re just encouraging people to take on way more than they should be doing. And then you end up with a handful of people doing everything. And so a good, a good developing leader is someone who recognizes, you know, I’m not in a good spot right now to take that on, to do it justice.

Speaker 2 (29:37):

So I’m going to pass for now. But then when another opportunity comes around, you know, bring it back to them and, and keep, keep asking. That’s cause a lot of times, you know, especially when we talk you know, women in the workforce in particular, a lot of times they may be, you know, stepping back a little bit with you know, child-rearing and things like that. Which, which honestly, I don’t understand why men wouldn’t be doing the same thing, but this is where they may not want to be engaged in that way for a year or two, but then they need the opportunity to step back into it. It’s not a matter of, Oh, well they just say no to stuff. So we don’t ask them anymore. That’s not really fair to people.

Speaker 1 (30:17):

No. And that’s, I think it’s so important is to remember that you have to ask because a lot of people feel like maybe they’re not smart enough. They don’t know enough people, but boy, they really want to try and get involved, but no one really asked them. Yep. So if you don’t ask someone, you may be missing out on some great opportunities that that person can bring to the table. Great ideas. So I’m a huge fan of just asking and then if they say no, then you circle back and you ask again, and if they say, no, you keep circling back and circling back. That’s what I did as part of the nominating committee for the private practice section. It was just a lot of circling back, a lot of conversations and sometimes long conversations, you know, because it’s not like if someone says, Oh, no, I don’t want to. I’m always like, okay, tell me why. Tell me, you know, tell me more, tell me what the barriers are now and what might that look like in a year or two, just so that we have, you know, a good also repository of people who we know want to serve this Academy or the section or component or whatever you want to call them.

Speaker 2 (31:34):

Yeah. And that’s where and I like how you, how you put that at the asking the question of, okay, well, you know, can you explain why not now, again, assuming it’s not a personal issue. And they may say, you know, I’m, I’m just not really good with this one part of that job. And it might be, Oh, we can get somebody else to do that. You know, that that’s not a problem. As a matter of fact, there’s another opportunity for another person to step up into a role. And so, you know, hearing them out from that perspective. I remember when I took over as programming chair for CSM, we greatly expanded, you know, we went from, I think it was eight or nine sessions that we offered at CSM. And then I took over and it was like 36. So it was like full, you know, big explosion.

Speaker 2 (32:19):

And it was more, a matter of APA had always offered us that, those number of slots and we just turned them down. We just wanted to do one every, every block and not program against ourselves. And I was like, Hey, if they’re going to get us a spot, I’m going to throw people up there. And it was difficult the first year because we didn’t have enough submissions to support that, but I wanted to set the precedent. No, no, no, we are going to do this. And so I then had to get on the phone and walk around at conferences and say, Hey, can you submit something on this, this or that? Or why aren’t you submitting something on this, this and that. And the most common answer I got back was, Oh, I didn’t, I didn’t know that, that anybody wanted me to submit something like that. I didn’t know that you guys were interested in that. It’s like, no, yes, we are definitely interested in that and pleased and trying to lay things out. And then of course stressing that. There’s a difference between me asking and me accepting, you know, a lot of times it’s just, Hey, give me some missions so that we have something to work with here. And we don’t have to accept, you know, necessarily the same speakers over and over, but because of that opportunity to do that.

Speaker 1 (33:24):

Yeah. Amazing. And now, Eric, what would you say when looking at this platform? So we have five-year strategic plan, creating research agendas, expanding organizational structure, creating an executive board and embracing the, and progressing the tenants of DEI. What is sort of the over arching vision in your mind for the Academy?

Speaker 2 (33:49):

So what I’m trying to do is really set things up for and the term that I’ve been using since I came on as, as representative at large, as well as my big thing is, is architecture. So I’m trying to set up kind of a scaffolding for our members to inhabit and to, and that is set up in such a way that the Academy can move forward into the future with the ability to be adaptable as things are changing, but also to be strong at the same time. And, and that’s something that I think having things laid out, you know, I mentioned five-year strategic plan. That’s where I would start. And then I would love to see, you know, a 10 what’s the 10 year strategic plan. What’s the 20 year strategic plan. I mean, that was something that, you know, we just passed a 2020 which, which turned out to be a different year than I think we were anticipating.

Speaker 2 (34:38):

But back in 2000, that was vision 2020. That was the APA made a strategic plan of where we want to be in 20 years. And I think people forget how important strategic planning is. You know, there’s a lot of decisions that happen in the course of a year within any organization. And a lot of times there could be three or four perfectly acceptable, you know, courses that could be taken you know, decision courses that can be taken on one of those, you know, big decisions that need to be made, but one of them may support the strategic plan down the road better so that when you’re making that next decision, it’s going to build off of the previous one, as opposed to just solving the problem that’s in front of you. And so making sure again, kind of like that research agenda, making sure that what you’re doing today is something that can be built upon tomorrow.

Speaker 2 (35:33):

We’re never finished. It’s never the end. It’s never, we’ve just solved it. It’s how does this set us up for the next thing that we’re going to be doing, you know, down the line and, and intentionally laying that out. And, and so some people will ask, well, w w so, so how locked in is this five-year plan? It’s like, no, it’s, it can be amended as we go. I mean, that’s, that’s kind of the whole point of it. It’s just that we have some sort of a vision going forward with that. And so again, it’s more trying to set things up, not for me, not even for the, our, our younger members, but for the members that haven’t even joined yet that they have a path through their career, through our Academy, that our Academy supports them every step of that way. And they feel like they’re involved as they go through.

Speaker 1 (36:22):

Yeah. And if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that amendments are probably needed on any five-year plan. So if it’s locked in, it’s locked in and it can’t be changed, then we’re all in a lot of trouble.

Speaker 2 (36:33):

Exactly. Right. Yeah. Everything has to be flexible.

Speaker 1 (36:36):

Yeah. Everything needs some fluidity to it these days. That’s for sure. Well, Eric what, what are the things that you want the listeners to take away from this and to think about the possibilities of you being president of the Academy?

Speaker 2 (36:53):

Well, what I would say is you know, I was elected as a representative at large a couple of years ago because I’m, I’m a regular old member. I don’t have a PhD. I’m not a, you know, I have not taught in a S you know, as a school or anything like that. Not academic, not a researcher. I owned a private practice for almost 20 years. Just sold it. I work with patients day in and day out. I’m not, again, I’m not conducting research, I’m not doing these things. I do continuing education. I talk to a lot of physical therapists. I do a lot of mentoring across across the country and across the world with other sports physical therapists. I know this world inside and out, and what I’m trying to do is bring forward an entity that supports that.

Speaker 2 (37:50):

Ultimately, it’s not that it supports the researchers. It does support the researchers, but that’s not the mission. It’s not supporting the clinicians either. It does support the clinicians, but that’s not the mission it’s to support our patients, to make sure that they get the best service possible by supporting our researchers and our clinicians and doing it in such a way that it’s integrated in such a way that makes our members feel like they are getting a back and forth conversation with the Academy, which is made up of all the other members. So it’s everybody talking across each other. Everybody communicate communicating everybody working together towards some common goals, trying to make their careers, what they want it to be setting it up so they can hand it off to the next generation to make it what they want to be as well.

Speaker 1 (38:40):

Excellent. Sounds wonderful. And now it does, it sounds great. Now, Eric, where can people find you if they have questions or comments or they just want to say hello?

Speaker 2 (38:52):

So probably the easiest way is well, the, the, the most comprehensive one is just going to the website that I run, which is called the science, pt.com, all one word, the science PT, make sure you put the at the beginning. And that’s got links to my Twitter account. My, I have an Instagram account although I’m terrible at it. If you want to see an old man hitting something with a rock, that’s pretty much what I do on Instagram. But definitely available for the most part on, on Twitter. But there is also a contact form on my website that if you have any questions, you can click on that, right on the homepage. There’s a, a button that’s, that’s a link to my campaign page. And so you can go there and, and everything that we’ve talked about, I have a blog post and individual blog posts for each point that I highlighted going into more detail.

Speaker 2 (39:41):

And also as I, you know pointed out in this conversation, there are things I don’t have answers for. I’m just talking about where I’m thinking of pointing things and then getting information and seeing is this something we can work towards, and maybe it’s something we need to revise or change and do differently. But these are just my thinking from what I’ve seen from all my years of service, things that I think are very doable, very possible within our current means within our current support, within our current structure to really set us up, to grow into the future. And so just that website probably is, is the the most comprehensive spot.

Speaker 1 (40:18):

Perfect. And then before we go, last question, which I didn’t tell you about, I probably should have done that. I think you’ll be fine. I think you can handle it. So knowing where you are now in your life and your career, what advice would you give yourself as the new grad as that, you know, young, young, professional,

Speaker 2 (40:37):

You know being flexible, being adaptable is, is always the biggest thing be patient for probably the best lesson that I’ve learned is that nobody can be you better than you. And remember that. And that’s, that goes two ways. Remember that the person you’re talking to is also not you, they don’t have a brain that works like you and thinks like you and sees things like you, and they’re trying to be the best person that they are as well. And so the more that we can support each other to both be better at all times, I think is huge. And I think that’s something that you can carry in with your patients when you’re working with them of being compassionate, to understand that, you know, it might be easy for you to get up every morning and do a 30 minute run, but that might be like torture to the person you’re talking to. And it’s not their fault. They’re not lazy, they’re not wired wrong or whatever. It’s just the way they, and we have to be supportive of, of that. But then that’s also with our colleagues when we’re trying to have conversations around things as well, to, to understand that you know, we all have different perspectives and, and that’s okay.

Speaker 1 (41:47):

Absolutely. And what wonderful advice. So Eric, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your platform. I’m sure myself and the listeners really appreciate it. So thank you

Speaker 2 (41:58):

So much for having me. I really appreciate it. You’re doing a great job with all of this.

Speaker 1 (42:02):

Aw, well, thank you. That’s very kind and everyone, thank you so much for listening for tuning in, 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.