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Medical Screening and Clinical Decision Making

presented by Michael Fink

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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NOTE: This course is part of a nine course series by Michael Fink on Medical Screening and Differential Diagnosis*.

Medical Screening and Clinical Decision Making offers a comprehensive look at common musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal pathologies. It will introduce evidence and procedures integral to making sound judgments as it relates to medical screening and differential diagnosis within the patient/client management model. It will describe how medical, orthopedic, and neurological problems may be interrelated thus making differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal signs and symptoms difficult. The intent of this course is not to train participants to make a medical diagnosis but rather to be able to recognize when physical therapy is indicated, contraindicated, and when a referral to other health care personnel is needed. Medical Screening and differential diagnosis are essential components in autonomous practice and is within the scope of the physical therapy profession. Possessing good clinical evaluative skills is a critical part of the process for effective differential diagnosis and subsequent management of the “treat versus refer” dilemma.
* This course was previously included in a larger 2-course Medical Screening series on MedBridge. If you have taken one of these two courses previously, the material has already been covered.

Meet Your Instructor

Michael Fink, PT, DSc, SCS, OCS

Dr. Michael Fink is a former Air Force physical therapist that is dual board-certified in Orthopedics and Sports. He is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of PT at Lebanon Valley College, national lecturer, published researcher, and winner of numerous PT awards. Dr. Fink teaches differential diagnosis, manual therapy (including high velocity low amplitude thrust…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Medical Screening and Clinical Decision Making: Part 1

Explain the Physical Therapist's role in direct access and primary care. Describe the patient interview and highlight factors impacting information gathering. Discuss the clinical relevance of red flags for serious medical disorders.

2. Medical Screening and Clinical Decision Making: Part 2

Describe three common statistical concepts: sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios in relation to diagnostic tests/CPRs. Interpret findings to determine “treat versus refer”.

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