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Educating the Educators

Educating the Educators

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By Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

Awareness. If you're not aware of something, you won't think of it. If you don't think of it, you can't use it, you can't teach it, you won't work with it.

Our clinic was involved in 2 activities last week designed to increase awareness of rheumatic disease.

GP seminar: Degenerative Joint Disease: Slowing Down Progression through Connected Care

On Wednesday night, we ran this seminar for general practitioners (GPs) working on the north shore of Sydney.

Hardly a "sexy" title. Usually GPs turn up to talks about the latest expensive anti-cholesterol drug or some new anti-blood pressure medication. This time, the focus was clearly on non-drug treatment. Errol Lim taught the biomechanics of the knee while Rachael Butterworth explained the importance of core stability in helping treat and prevent progression of back pain. Monica Kubizniak talked about buying plates with markings to help portion control, about how she works hard at realistic measures in helping real-life people make better food choices. Ray Jongs showed how he creates splints to help the symptoms of arthritis at the base of the thumb.

It was a practical night and hopefully the 28 dedicated GPs who attended after a long day’s work were made more aware.

AS You See It Physiotherapy Seminar

On Sunday, over 200 physiotherapists gave up their rest day to attend a 6-hour seminar at the Kerry Packer Education Centre, at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

The topic: Ankylosing Spondylitis & other inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Our aim: Make frontline musculoskeletal clinicians aware of these common diseases. We talked about how patients actually present, their signs, their symptoms. We explained the poor natural history of these conditions and the need for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. We described recent advances in therapy.

The physio attendees were hungry for this knowledge and there was clearly a need for education of this type.

I wrapped-up the seminar with these words:

“I hope those of you who felt that you don’t see these diseases have changed your mind. On Monday, I’m almost sure you’ll look at that chronic back pain patient a little differently. You’ll probably be suspicious when you see that patient with the 5th episode of achilles tendinopathy. You may even notice that scaly rash on the elbow, or that puffy knuckle. If so, my rheumatology colleagues with the help of our various friends & colleagues have done a good job.”

Awareness. Remember when you became aware of something for the 1st time?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. BJC Health provides coordinated, comprehensive, and colocated multidisciplinary care to achieve effective solutions for patients. We call this model of care, Connected Care. Our clinics are located in Parramatta, Chatswood and Brookvale. Contact us.

This blog focuses on musculoskeletal disease, healthcare in general, and our Connected Care philosophy. Read More.

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