If PTs are “hammers”, then we definitely “nailed” the whole spine this past weekend with the Institute of Clinical Excellence (pun intended)! Dr. Justin Dunaway and Morgan Denny had this cool “mom and pop” vibe as a couple (yes, husband and wife) teaching a young, hungry group of up-and-coming clinicians and students like myself in the Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center in Summerlin (Las Vegas area). Before diving in, one of the unique philanthropic missions that Justin and Morgan are deeply involved in is STAND: the Haiti Project, which provides people living in Haiti with access to great clinicians, including Physical Therapists and Orthotists. For more information, check out the website linked above and be on the lookout for an upcoming episode of the Capable Body Podcast where we will discuss more on this topic (here is the Capable Body Community Facebook group for more updates where I will post the episode links once released). It’s inspiring and lovely hearing the stories of how people have been impacted by STAND. Justin and Morgan brought the same energy and hope into the clinic.
Back on course! After hearing from RJ Williams about another ICE offering in Vegas, I immediately signed up. I enjoyed having the opportunity to “get the reps in” with my classmate. In addition, the group was overall friendly and fostered a nice learning environment. It was humbling to be learning alongside someone who guest lectured at my school! I truly appreciated the constructive criticism and useful feedback from real PTs. It helped me feel much more comfortable and less “bitey” during palpation of the cervical spine. The experience certainly made me more anxious in anticipation of my graduation date next year in June 2018 from Touro University Nevada (TUN). I enjoyed reconnecting with TUN alumni and hearing more about their stories after graduating.
Having previously taken the Institute of Clinical Excellence’s Cervical Spine Manipulation Course with Dr. Jeff Moore at the same location, I felt more comfortable interacting with the group, deliberately practicing how to fine-tune my setups as a novice, and, most of all, having fun. I probably got my money’s worth alone from being the patient and feeling the solid technique of various manipulations, especially from Dr. Justin Dunaway himself. The most fun and humbling experience is the Round Robin, which is a nice free-for-all anything goes intense bout of practicing where “patients” lie down while “PTs” rotate around the different tables to perform the various techniques we just learned. The music in the background was definitely a plus!
Overall, I enjoyed this course! Perhaps I was biased having asked around for feedback from previous ICE students but… they were right! The focus of this particular course was on techniques, though we did cover interesting topics.