Saturday, May 11, 2013

Diversity and Inclusion: Strategic Mindsets in Rehabilitation

As time progresses, experiences accumulate, and interactions expand, it becomes quite clear that within the seemingly "united" and coherent medical system there exists an inescapable sectarian undercurrent.  Although this may be an overly descriptive and harsh comment, it is none-the-less accurate.  This framework is established quite early in the development of any given professional...whether it be with respect to the school they attended, the specialty they have chosen, or the particular philosophy that has been adopted, it is typically portrayed as "the best option for success".  Further, the situation is sometimes taken to extremes where it is not only a case of lauding the benefits of a specific philosophy but actually discrediting any other approach that seemingly contradicts or competes with the other.  The notion of diversity and inclusion is inuitive and falls within the realm of "common sense" in almost every aspect of thought, existence, and survival.  But for some reason, this logic gets discarded once existence and survival are brought into the rehabilitation world.  "My philosophy is far better than his"..."this technique is much better than the other one"..."This approach is the only one that yields results."..."I tried this and it worked very well, so it will work with you.".

The fundamental focus should not lie within aswering the question / debate as to what philosophy is the best...rather what approach(es) will yield the most productive and beneficial response in the individual.  Simple, yes?  The typical result is cyclical...answering this question usually turns back into the argument as to which technique is best.  Therefore, a different critical question needs to be asked:  What does this person need?  In order to adequately address this issue, there needs to be what I call:

Neutrality of Overall Philosophy:
This does not mean any given professional be completely free of specific opinion....nor does it mean that you have to abandon any particular perspective or adherance to a given approach.  It simply means that the initial strategic rehabilitative plan needs to start with an overall neutral mindset.


Mindset is in reference to the over-riding "operating paradigm" from which all strategic planning takes form.  For example, a pathogenetic perspective asks the fundamental question of  "what is broken and how do we fix it."  This is the most inuitive rehabilitative approach, however when there is a broadening of perspective to include another fundamental question: "what is working and how do we make it work better", we form a more expanded and inclusive mindset that ultimately expands the available set strategic options.

Strategic options:

These options are ultimately defined by the specific mindset employed.  Therefore, if the mindset remains tightly bracketed within a specific approach or perspective, the resultant available strategic rehabilitative options will reflect essense, they will be limited to whatever "technique" falls within the particular operating paradigm.  Common sense dictates that a wider spectrum of thought and understanding (open and inclusive mindset) gives birth to more strategic options and rehabilitative tools.  With a larger "toolset", there is an inevitable need for an expanded skillset....therefore the inclusion and acceptance of a wide range of techniques is essential to the process.  Therefore...broader mindset with the resultant toolset and skillset will ultimately result in the primary objective of better response and more positive outcomes. 

In summary, neutrality of overall philosophy opens the doors to a perspective that will result in a more efficient methodology as well as create a more coherent rehabilitative "team" that revolves around any specific person / patient.  Inclusivity and diversity breeds more creative thought as well as more focused attention directed towards the rehabilitative goal as opposed to the specific rehabilitative tools or technique...which is neither efficient or productive.

Open mind, open toolbox, better outcomes!


No comments:

Post a Comment