TMTalks: Karen Litzy on the 2018 Graham Sessions

New year, new Graham Sessions. I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Karen Litzy, host of the Healthy, Wealthy, & Smart podcast to discuss the 2018 Graham Sessions.

If you don’t know what Graham Sessions is, you’re not alone. It’s the exclusive conference (limited to less than 150 people) put on by the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association where physical therapists can discuss the hot button issues in physical therapy without fear of repercussion (or their name being tossed around later). The rule is you can talk about what happened at Graham Sessions, but names aren’t allowed. I went last year–we covered population health, the rise of the hybrid DPT program, and burn out.

The conference has a series of discussions, or panels, interspersed with “What I Believe Talks” (think of these like the openers, the things that pump up the crowd). The entire conference is designed to get you to think and discuss. The conference doesn’t necessarily close with an action plan–the goal is really to get the creative juices flowing.

So let’s talk Graham. We wanted to know about the lively debates. Karen delivered.

  1. [3:20] Diversity. As Karen points out, it’s not a secret that the profession isn’t very diverse. “We all have eyes.”This past year, the APTA’s 2017 House of Delegates passed a motion to increase diversity across the profession. This year at Graham Sessions, the topic came up again.  The conversation focused on a) the lack of diversity and b) what we’re going to do about it. The American Academy of Physical Therapy is one organization that seeks to increase diversity in the field by reaching out to underserved communities.
  2. [9:10] “Creep”: Ever have to choose between two sections and realize you might be getting the same thing? There are questions about the overlap of sections. For example, several sections have leadership tracks….but there’s a section specifically for leadership. What do you get out of your section membership, and does the overlap between them make you forgo one for the other?
  3. [14:28] Read the research or just the CPG? This year they tackled the question: should physical therapists spend their time reading research, or leave it to the experts and just read the CPGs? Karen states that we should be able to read and appraise research (we’ll throw out the challenge of 1 article per week), but the CPGs can be an incredibly useful tool. It takes 17 years for research to translate to practice–how do we make that shorter?
  4. [23:45] House of Delegates vs Board of Directors. What does our representation look like? Is the House dominated by academia? Who represents you on the House floor?

Graham Sessions next year will be held in February, since the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting is going to be held in January (!?). I know. I’m surprised. If you’re looking to score a coveted invite….just start saying hi to people, you’ll never know what you’ll end up with!