The Physio Curse..

By Andrew on 09 Mar 2018

The problem with physios and doctors is that we are cursed.

Yes, a dreadful curse.

A so very dreadful curse …

We believe that people know what we know. As Chip Heath (professor of organizational behaviour at Stanford University) says, we suffer from the ‘curse of knowledge’.

It boils down to Tappers and Listeners.

Let me explain:

John thinks of a tune in his head and begins to tap this out on the table. Mary, who does not know what John is thinking, is trying to guess what the tune is.

John is convinced that the tapping sounds exactly like the tune in his head but Mary hasn’t got a clue. She keeps guessing wrong and John becomes more frustrated, so he taps louder and faster. Mary now also gets frustrated and walks away. Mary says ‘John is rubbish at that game’.

John thinks ‘ Mary is rubbish at the game’. Both John and Mary lose the game.

Let’s swap tapping a tune to explaining a diagnosis and prescribing exercise.

John is a very qualified physiotherapist with over 10 years of experience and post graduate education. He is trying to explain to Mary about her lower leg pain and why she needs to change her running style and training habits through a process of medical jargon. Mary has no medical experience but does enjoy running. She cannot understand why John is asking her to reduce her running volume and complete an exercise programme 4 times per week. John says the SAME thing again but this time with some frustration is his tone. Mary now becomes frustrated also but is a polite lady and nods her head and leaves Johns clinic confused.

Two weeks later when Mary comes back and has not improved, who does John blame? Himself for not explaining things clearly or Mary for being lazy and not doing her exercises? I think we can guess the answer here…(physio’s are ego driven just like everyone else, and if you are one of the few that is not, please accept my apology)

John has been infected with the curse of knowledge. He thinks that because he KNOWS all the information about lower leg pain that Mary will know it and understand it. Therefore on his first assessment, he speeds through his explanation of the problem and races through the exercises so that everything gets fitted into the 30-45 minute (average for most physic’s) appointment.

John is a tapper and Mary is the listener. This cycle continues for a few sessions and finally, Mary gives up as things don’t seem to be working. John is left scratching his head and thinking that Mary is just a bit mad or lazy or madlazy.

Mary thinks John is a rubbish physio and maybe ALL physio’s are rubbish (heaven forbid).

The curse of knowledge has struck AGAIN (the sound affect after this sentence is DEN.. DEN… DEN)

This is why at ProCare, we have 90 minute assessment slots so that we can explain things in great detail. It is why we use video analysis so that clients can see for themselves and not just take our word for it. It is why we use a multitude of mediums to explain the diagnosis and the process
involved in recovery. This is why we get results.

At ProCare, We play a sports medicine tune and you hear it in surround sound.

If you don’t believe me, call 078401800668 for a free 5 minute phone consultation

Posted in: Why ProCare is Different

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