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Direct Access and Medical Screening: the Sherlock Holmes Approach
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3/24/2018 to 3/25/2018
When: March 24 - 25, 2018
8:00am - 5:00pm Saturday; 8:00am - 3:00pm Sunday
Where: Allina Health
Pettingill Hall
2925 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55407
United States
Contact: Paul Johnson

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Speaker: William G. Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAAOMPT, FAPTA
Contact Hours: 13 contact hours (MN BPT Cat. 1)
Location: Allina Health, Pettingill Hall, 2925 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis


Brought to you in partnership with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

About This Course

The patient you are seeing for low back, hip or neck pain; any reason to be suspicious of occult cancer or infection, or a fracture? This seminar will help prepare therapists to assume the role of an interdependent practitioner working within a collaborative medical model. Efficiently and effectively collecting and interpreting “clues” (patient examination findings) is at the core of clinical expertise. A key responsibility for therapists is recognizing red flag warning signs that suggest a patient should see a medical doctor. A proposed examination scheme, highlighted in a number of patient cases will provide the structure for our discussions. Professional communication with patients and medical doctors will also be a central theme throughout the seminar. A combination of lecture, small group activities/discussion, and laboratory sessions will constitute the learning experiences.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
  • compare and contrast the therapist’s role and responsibilities to that of physicians associated with the differential diagnosis/medical screening process.
  • integrate medical screening principles into an efficient and effective patient examination scheme.
  • evaluate history and physical examination findings (red flags), and decide whether communication with a physician is warranted regarding a patient’s health status, and indications for imaging.
  • employ strategies to facilitate professional communication between therapist and physician, and therapist and patient; including when, how and what to communicate as part of a patient referral.
  • describe the risk factors, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of selected medical conditions and medications that could potentially present to therapists as back, joint and limb pain complaint

Course Schedule

Registration: Saturday, March 24, 7:30 am - 8:00 am


Saturday, March 24, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 25, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

More details coming soon.


A light continental breakfast and afternoon snack will be served. Lunch is on your own.

Speaker Biography 

William Boissonnault earned a Doctor of Health Science degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in St. Augustine, FL in1999 and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the MGH Institute of Health Professionals in 2008. He is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a senior physical therapist at UW Hospital and the curriculum director of the UW/Meriter Hospital Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinical Residency Program. Dr. Boissonnault holds adjunct faculty positions at Arcadia University, Columbia University, Marquette University, Medical University of South Carolina, Samuel Merritt University, University of California-San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Tennessee-Memphis.


Dr. Boissonnault is the current president of the Foundation for Physical Therapy-the national research fund-raising organization. He was president (1995–2001) of the Orthopaedic Section of the APTA. His research interests include investigating the impact that illnesses, medication and substance use (caffeine, tobacco and alcohol) have on outcomes following rehabilitation, investigating physical therapists’ role in medical screening-identifying patients/clients who should be referred to a physician, and health policy and health care delivery-investigating patient direct access to physical therapy services. He also has an interest in investigating the intervention thrust joint manipulation from a physical therapy educational perspective.

Registration Information

Who should attend this course: PTs

Registration Prices:
PT Member PT Nonember
$399 499

Cancellations: Except for medical emergencies, cancellations two weeks before the course will be completely refunded, cancellations one to two weeks before the course will be refunded at the rate of 50%, and cancellations less than a week before the course will not be refunded. 

Questions: Please contact the MNPTA office with any questions at:

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