Differential Diagnosis in Physical Therapy

The course will cover the principles and methods of clinical screening in physical therapy practice. A basic format for musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, Integumentary, and cardiopulmonary screening in physical therapy will be presented, with a focus on differential diagnosis within the scope of physical therapy practice, and incorporation of the role of the physical therapist as it interfaces with the role of the physician.
A clarification of red-flags that differentiate a systemic condition from a neuromusculoskeletal condition will be a continuing theme throughout the course. Decision-making skills related to physical therapy will be emphasized through the use of patient case scenarios with a focus on when to treat, and when to refer. Strategies to effectively and appropriately communicate with health care colleagues and patients regarding medical diagnostic information and medical status will be introduced.