What Affects Our Clinical Thoughts and Beliefs?

Have you thought about how you have grown clinically? How have you evolved? What has shaped your thoughts and beliefs since you have become a physiotherapist?

Sure, conventional courses will affect your thoughts and beliefs. There are other factors that also play a role in shaping who you are clinically.

One area that I’d like to focus on is social media. Social media interactions provide an opportunity to spark a thought, alter beliefs and create change. This all depends on who is in the conversation and the motives.

Do you know what makes a great social media discussion? It isn’t the retweets or clicks of love. If the reason for interacting is for retweets and lots of love, the conversational sound bytes may be more sensational in nature versus a real conversation. Great social media conversations shouldn’t be more different than a conversation at a pub or in a hallway. The whole group is engaged… those conversing seem to be “hearing” the thoughts of others… and there isn’t an “us against them” sort of divide. If the conversation doesn’t feel like that, why doesn’t it?

What motivates individuals to partake in a social media conversation? I wish I had some level of education in group psychology. From my observation, it seems some individuals need attention and need to be validated by others. Other times, it seems an individual desires to be seen as “the” expert. There are others who choose to use social media to bully anyone who questions. At times it seems that the need to be accepted and to belong is so strong that the conversation begins to feel like a debate with a clear divide with participants on each side of the conversation. (This can be reasonable, until questions are not directly answered, sound bytes begin happening and the stream becomes full of retweets or clicks of love.) There will also be individuals who are truly curious and interested in learning and at that moment in time have no strong opinion. Have you ever just sat back and read through comments or tweets and the journey in which the conversation goes and how the individuals involved interact?

Everyone online has a voice… who’s voice should be granted the highest power to alter our clinical thoughts and beliefs? I’m really wondering this. Those we immerse ourselves with will have an effect on us. Our thoughts and beliefs will be affected – whether we know it or not – slowly, like land erosion. Our thoughts and beliefs are changed. The big question: Does the change positively impact the care we provide to our patients? (We can only know this if we measure and manage our outcomes.)

Until next time,