What Sets ACE Courses Apart

ACE Continuing Education Courses Stand Apart From The Rest Of the Pack

At Applied Continuing Education (ACE), we understand that some physical therapists may be flummoxed when it comes to deciding which continuing education courses to take. With a plethora of options available, it can be a tall task to sift through them to gauge which ones are worth the time and will provide an added value to one’s profession. Many courses also look the same and make similar claims, which may further complicate matters.

Justin Pezick, PT, DPT and Mike Stare, PT, DPT know these troubles all too well, and frustration with the continuing education offerings is what motivated them to initially found ACE. Justin and Mike both felt that the physical therapy continuing education landscape wasn’t quite cutting it, with too many courses failing to adequately achieve what they believed continuing education should be providing to therapists. They grew tired of participating in non-personalized, uninspiring, and often irrelevant courses, and decided to start their own instead.

Courses are current and predicated on communication
According to Justin, at ACE, this starts with an unwavering commitment to always keep the courses current and evidence based.

“One of the reasons our courses are different is that they are consistently updated, as Mike and I are continually adding new research and changing the education based on the best and most current research available,”  he said.

The structure of the two physical therapy continuing education courses currently offered by ACE (“Weight Management for Rehab Patients” and “Shoulder Pain and Dysfunction”) is somewhat unconventional as well. While most other courses tend to focus primarily on which interventions are most effective and how to implement the latest and best techniques, they often fail to provide guidance on how to communicate with patients about their condition and their treatment plan. But Justin and Mike believe that effective patient communication should be a top priority for physical therapists, and as a result, their courses are imbued with instructions on this front.

Weight management and shoulder pain/dysfunction are both challenging—and sometimes sensitive—issues for patients to deal with. That’s why the ACE courses give therapists the tools to remove any barriers or discomfort that might interfere with a successful treatment experience. In doing so, physical therapists become better able to improve patients’ critical thinking skills and communication skills, which will allow them to connect the treatment methods used to their individual goals and restrictions.

“It’s easy to learn how to perform certain interventions or techniques, but what’s not easy is connecting the treatment methodologies that you’ve chosen for that patient to their goals or barriers and explain why,” Justin says. But this is exactly what the ACE courses teach participants to do. “As a physical therapist, your level of understanding is much different than a patient’s understanding, and you should aim to remove that gap.”

The ACE courses were carefully constructed by Justin, Mike, and a team with more than 250 years of combined experience in the field, and every element has been based on numerous hours of feedback, as well as their personal experiences within the clinic. Instead of just presenting PDFs and FAQs, the courses involve real-world examples of patients and conversations that occurred with these patients, including the original diagnosis and the treatment path that was taken. The goal in each of these examples is to demonstrate what the best course of care is for each patient, even if that means referring the patient out to another type of healthcare provider.

When these pieces all come together, Justin and Mike are confident that it will lead to a better treatment experience with more successful long-term outcomes. Going above and beyond for each patient to teach them how to improve their critical thinking and communication skills will certainly take more time up front, but from a business perspective, Justin sees this as a long-term strategy that will pay off over time.

“You’re helping more people long term because you teach the patient to think criticially and understand how their bodies work, which may allow them to be back-pain free for eight years, and they may refer several other people to that practice for care,”  he says.

Contact ACE to learn more
If you’re interested in learning more about our courses, review the ACE website to see if the courses align with your needs and values. You can also contact ACE at 781-229-8011 or info@physicaltherapyceus.com, as Mike and Justin are both more than happy to discuss their courses and answer any questions you might have.