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You know how you always think that you’ll be able to work while on a plane or a trip and then you just never do? Well, that’s me this week. I just got back from CSM and while it was a great experience where I met a few of you in real life, went to some great talks, ate my first puffy taco in many many years, and finally had actual Texas barbecue since I left there six years ago, I didn’t finish this week’s PT Crab. Getting in at one in the morning on Sunday didn’t help. But never fear. Solutions abound. You see, I’ve now written 80 of these and research is always gold, so this edition contains a brand new piece and a great one from the archives.
If want more archives, it’s all waiting for you and the search function is very effective (promise!) so see them all at PTCrab.org. The full archive is for supporters only though, so become a supporter for all 320+ summaries.
Also this week, I welcome in two new supporters by name. Hi William and Brenda! Welcome to PT Crab. I’ll be calling out subscribers occasionally from here on out, so don’t be surprised to see your name soon.
With that, let’s dive in!
Chad Cook on Face Book
The Gist - Never heard of Chad E. Cook? Well this silver fox at Duke has published 165 papers and at least 3 textbooks. Great hair and a great mind. swoon. One of those papers, published with a bunch of buddies in 2018, is about the benefits and threats of social media for presenting and implementing evidence. This Viewpoint piece (AKA not peer reviewed) takes what I would call a balanced but nervous view of social media’s use for researchers and practitioners.
They point out that social media widens the scope of readers of new information, can help with public policy, and can speed information implementation (the average timeline of which is 17 years from lab to practice. What?!). This is amongst other good things.
The threats, well, most of us won’t be surprised. The buzz a paper gets is not associated with its quality, the people pushing papers often aren’t qualified to comment on them, there are echo chambers, and more.
They also reference the K-index, or Kardashian index. That’s the difference between a scientist’s social media stats and paper stats. You’ll have to check out the actual paper to learn all about it.
How do they recommend we fix this? If I told you, you wouldn’t read the whole paper, would you? It’s open access and available here.
Paper? Didn’t you see it right above? Whatever, here it is here too.
New grad? Feel Poor? It’s Okay, Everyone Is.
The Gist - This piece comes from a survey in PTJ. The author wanted to figure out how much debt new grad PTs have and how that changes their employment decisions. The answers? A lot and a lot. The survey was completed by about 100 new PTs (0-5yrs in practice) in Florida. A limited pool, but still interesting results. According to the paper, average salary for a new grad PT in the whole country is about $67,000 while the average cost of schooling is $59,000 for public institutions and $106,000 for privates.
Amongst those surveyed, mean salary was $69,000 and it ranged from $55,000 in a school setting to $83,000 in home health. The four in a residency program were making about $50,000. Debt? High. Most reported between $100,000 and $125,000 in student debt. On average, those not on income-based repayment plans were paying 22% of their monthly salary toward their student loans. Assuming these people were getting paid the average salary above, they were paying about $1300 per month in loans (depending on how they calculate, i.e. net or gross).
Tell Me More - Now we’re into the more complex portion, how this debt affected practice choice. The study found that 57% of participants reported their debt impacted their practice setting choice and 28% reported it as a barrier to going into their desired setting. In general, those with more debt were more likely to say the debt affected their choices. This should be unsurprising.
Two more notes: this was a limited sample and the first known study of its kind. Take its data with a grain of salt (and also replicate it in a new population if you want a publication credit. I may even do that myself…).
Secondly, steps on soapboax if you’re a student or new grad, don’t let this get you down. You went in with your eyes open and are not only getting paid in money for your work but also in getting to do something you love and are an expert in. That’s pretty cool and few people get to do that. PT school is very expensive (too expensive I’d say) and has doubled in cost in the last 15 years, but you knew that up front and have time to plan your way through this too. If all this stresses you out too much, consider finding a financial advisor to be your guide. Your school’s Fin Aid office may have some leads for that. And don’t forget the income-based repayment plans. They’ll keep monthly costs way down compared to traditional ones. Steps off soapbox
If you’re interested in more data, the paper contains tons of it.
Where is that paper? Over at PTJ. Access is free with an APTA account.
Thanks for reading! As always, please share. Thanks! :D
Here’s this week’s bibliography:
- Cook, C. E., O’Connell, N. E., Hall, T., George, S. Z., Jull, G., Wright, A. A., Girbés, E. L., Lewis, J., & Hancock, M. (2018). Benefits and Threats to Using Social Media for Presenting and Implementing Evidence. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 48(1), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2018.0601