Putting new skills in providers’ hands
A failed hip surgery performed elsewhere had left Dr. Anthony Capobianco’s patient with a leg that would not straighten, forcing her to walk painfully on the toes of her right foot for more than 10 years.
Then a technique that the New York family practitioner learned at a workshop organized by UNT Health Science Center’s Professional and Continuing Education Office (PACE) helped his patient walk without pain for the first time in a decade.
“Nothing had ever worked as effectively and dramatically, so we were both impressed and amazed,” Dr. Capobianco said.
Physicians and other providers must earn continuing education credits to keep their licenses to practice medicine, and PACE offers a broad range of more than 500 accredited activities annually.
“These events offer much more than just credits,” said Andrew Crim, PACE executive director. “Our interprofessional educational activities are opportunities for health care providers to learn the innovative new treatments that benefit their patients and their practices.”
The June workshop that Dr. Capobianco attended was the brainchild of Jerry Dickey, DO, a retired Health Science Center faculty member and historian of osteopathic medicine. Dr. Dickey is particularly interested in Still Exaggeration, a series of osteopathic manipulative treatment techniques perfected in the 1880s by Dr. A.T. Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine.
By the early 20th century, those techniques, considered too difficult to teach to medical students, were mostly abandoned. But Dr. Dickey saw value in the maneuvers and made it his mission to keep them alive.
Dr. Dickey contacted a protégée, Turner Slicho, DO, a 2004 graduate of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine who practices in Portland, Ore. He proposed they host a hands-on workshop at the Health Science Center to teach the techniques to other physicians.“It seemed like a no-brainer to come back to campus and teach what originally put osteopathic medicine on the map,” Dr. Slicho said.
In June, about 30 providers from across the country – including an MD physician searching for alternatives to pain medications – spent two-and-a-half days learning Still Exaggeration. Among the attendees was Dr. Capobianco.
On his first day home after the workshop, Dr. Capobianco saw his patient with the bad hip. He performed the techniques he learned at the workshop, and within seconds, the tension in her leg released.
“My first day back after the PACE workshop,” Dr. Capobianco said, “and what I learned was already making a difference in my patients’ lives.”