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Cultivating a culture of opportunity
Marcus Dripps

‘Physiotherapy is a fundamentally conservative profession’. These words have been shared with me a number of times by external stakeholders in the broader health industry in the last few years. I'm not sure that they are true, but the perception exists.

‘You are risk averse’, ‘you need to be bold and take opportunities’, ‘you don't see the broader environment’ and even ‘you're stuck in your ways’ are other claims that have also been stated.

It is likely that these statements may have some truth in them; however, in a broad profession like ours, clearly they are not universally the case.

My experience of physiotherapists has been different to the sentiments expressed in these comments. I've seen great examples of physiotherapists leading change within models of care, collaboration with healthcare teams, research paradigms, commercial models and ways of supporting and educating our upcoming professionals.

But how deeply does the ‘culture of opportunity’ exist in the DNA of the profession?

It's certainly true that some people have a tendency to see risk everywhere they look. Many even put in place (often appropriately) sophisticated systems to mitigate or reduce that risk. But many physiotherapists are well familiar with the mantra that ‘the flipside of risk is opportunity’, and live their professional lives accordingly.

I encourage you all to seek out the opportunities in our professional lives, to consider the best ways to share information with and develop out colleagues, to strengthen the role of physiotherapists in our communities, and perhaps most importantly of all, to treat patients.

MARCUS DRIPPS, APAM
APA National President

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