FOX Rehabilitation Is Fighting Ageism In Healthcare

by Brett Kestenbaum
Aug 28, 2018
3 min read

This is a sponsored post by FOX Rehabilitation, a supporter of NewGradPhysicalTherapy & new graduate physical therapists 😎 

“When I first started in physical therapy school, I was probably like most people,” says Dr. Travis King, PT, DPT, GCS, and FOX Rehabilitation’s Vice President of Quality Assurance and Professional Development. “I thought I was outpatient ortho and sports medicine: I was going to be working on young athletes, and getting them back to sports. And when I joined FOX Rehab, I quickly realized that the way to make the most gain, the way to change people’s lives the most and to be most impactful, is with the older adult.”

This is FOX Rehabilitation’s mission in a nutshell. “We have to eradicate ageism from our own profession. We can’t under challenge people.” says Dr. Will Dieter, PT, DPT, GCS, FSOAE, and FOX’s Director of Physical Therapy Clinical Services and the FOX Geriatric Residency in Physical Therapy. To this end, FOX is harnessing all the clinical evidence—and there is a lot—available in geriatric PT to make their innovative practice model as successful as possible.

“If you can teach an older adult how to go up and down their own steps, and how to get dressed again; and how to get out of their house, down their steps, and into their car, so that they can go to their son’s house for Thanksgiving dinner—it seems small, right?” says Dr. King. “It doesn’t seem impactful. But that changes people’s lives. It changes their ability to be social; it changes their ability to communicate with the environment around them.”

“When I think about this organization, and how we view the older adult client, it’s objective,” Dr. King argues. “It’s based on that client—not their age, their clinical presentation.” Rather than assuming that a client can only stand a certain intensity level because they’re 70 years old, or 90 years old, FOX clinicians assess each client’s clinical presentation and assign high intensity treatment plans—because that’s what the literature supports.

“We don’t treat clients different because of their age,” says Dr. King. “Nor should we. We don’t see clients more or less than younger when you control for the other variables. We do see clients differently based on presentation, ability to improve, chronic conditions—which are appropriate, right?”

It’s been observed that only 14% of the clinical evidence actually makes it to practice, and it takes 17 years for the evidence to do so. This timeline, for FOX clinicians, is far too slow to be in patients’ best interests, and so FOX mobilizes its resources to get that evidence into the hands of its clinicians as quickly and effectively as possible, and to provide them what they need to put it immediately into practice.

“The mission and the focus is on clinical care, optimizing people’s ability, helping them achieve what they once thought impossible—and I think it all boils down to this practice not accepting ageism,” says Dr. Dieter.

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About Brett Kestenbaum

As a physical therapist myself, I understand the general struggles of life after graduation, and the importance of focused attention on our patients. As Chief Operating Officer at CovalentCareers, I am afforded the opportunity to connect with thousands of physical therapists around the country. My goal is to improve the accessibility of information and careers for healthcare practitioners. Feel free to message me at any time! Always happy to connect.