PAUL'S POINT OF VIEW
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OFF TO LONDON! I’m on my way to London! Well, by the time you read this, I will have returned to the States. I was in London for a week to visit my son, Julian. We spent some time together while he continues his tour of Europe. While I was in England, I made my way to Greenwich, which is a borough in London. I wanted to visit the prime meridian at the Royal Observatory. At the observatory, they actually have a line embedded in the walkway where you can stand on the meridian. I’m really fascinated by what the prime meridian represents. I recently read the book “Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time” by Dava Sobel. The book details the history of longitude, which today, many people assume has been a part of maps and navigation for as long as latitude. It was a man named John Harrison, an 18th-century clockmaker, who first set about making a chronometer that could establish longitude at
sea. It was an invention that would change the world; it allowed the British to know exactly where their ships were, greatly improving global navigation. This is why the British ruled the waves in both the 18th and 19th centuries. As much I had looked forward to seeing the prime meridian and this major piece of British maritime history, Julian and I also attended a football match! We watched Chelsea take on Burnley F.C. It was a good time! Closer to home, there’s a topic I want to bring up that affects many of our patients. Very recently, a patient mentioned to me they had gone to see their doctor for an injury unrelated to another injury that I had been helping them with. The doctor examined the injury and referred them to “their” physical therapist. This is pretty standard practice among general doctors. However, this patient asked to see me. While I’m flattered, it brings up an important point a lot of people don’t realize.
Many doctors refer their patients to specialists who they have on a short list, and this includes physical therapists. But you have the choice to see whichever relevant specialist you want. The patient’s choice comes first. So if your doctor refers you to someone you’ve never heard of, you can ask for us instead. Oregon is a direct access state, meaning patients are free to make appointments directly with their PT of choice without needing to see a doctor for a referral first. There are a few states that do require patients to see a general doctor first, but thankfully that’s not the case here. Whenever you experience pain or discomfort, all you have to do is give us a call, and we’ll do the rest!
–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP
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