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Evidence, experience and expectation
Phil Calvert

Being a thought leader in the healthcare environment means you have to be bold. It means putting yourself forward in a public way, to influence an outcome or issue. Sometimes as a member organisation this happens with other partners, and sometimes you go it alone. But the intent is to make a public statement about an issue you see as being important to the public and your members.

In proactively embracing the ethos of the Choosing Wisely initiative, the APA has joined a growing number of medical colleges, to support consumers in being actively involved and participating in their healthcare journey. Our role as a participating group is to put forward recommendations to Choosing Wisely around what changes to tests, procedures and care would improve health outcomes.

Member engagement is vital in an initiative like this. To inform our position, the APA formed an expert panel from nominees from the Australian College of Physiotherapy, directors of the Physiotherapy Evidence Database, clinical specialist APA members and academic physiotherapists. We asked our members to provide evidence about interventions related to physiotherapy that should be questioned. We received nearly 2800 responses to our Choosing Wisely survey, with all comments put to the panel to further refine those recommendations.

The recommendations are not prescriptive—we know that every clinical situation is unique. But we hope to start a conversation about what is appropriate and necessary, to build increasing collaboration between physios and their patients, and to continue the process of supporting appropriate consumer expectation.

People often ask me, ’Why see a physio?’ The APA’s active role in Choosing Wisely shows we care about the evidence that underpins our practice, that we take collaboration with our patients seriously, and that continuing to strengthen the quality of care our patients receive is critical. Our Choosing Wisely involvement has led to significant national news, radio and web coverage. It shows we care about the sustainability of a health system under stress, and will advocate for appropriate care in a very public way. This is why we are thought leaders on a national stage, and this is why consumers should indeed see a physio.


Phil Calvert, APAM
APA National Vice President

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