Allan Besselink PT, Dip.MDT

Show Notes

Greatest Challenges

  Allan feels we’re limited by our own perceptions in general. One of them is the mentality that patients need to be fixed, another, that abnormal is a problem.  There are problems with evidence based practice because it is affected by emotions and our own beliefs. A system or model that pays for mediocrity in that it pays more to those that are less efficient is also another challenge.

  He believes that paying for quality and paying more when it is clear that patients behavior is changed is part of the answer.  Allan has built his own practice delivering care for a flat fee paid by the patient, not reimbursed by insurance.

Greatest Strength

  Our strength truly lies in our ability to change patients behavior especially in the chronic pain patient.  And the benefit in changing the behavior will far outweigh the benefit of reduce the cost of care during that episode or in doing so in fewer visits. Those things help but not as much as changing a patient’s behavior.

A Memorable Story

  Allan shares lessons he learned of a patient with heel/foot pain.  He highlights that the lesson of this patient was that the resolution of the problem was counterintuitive to prior and commonly accepted beliefs but he was successful because he listened to the patients description of what was an aggravator and what was a symptom reliever.

A Patient Analogy

He explains to the patient the idea that, “We are in a 24 hour, 7 day a week, battle against gravity.”

Best Advice

Allan remembers being told, “If not you then who, and if not now then when.”  He heard this from his Diploma instructor and the longer it’s been since he was told that the more it’s meant to him regarding conservative care for musculoskeletal disorder patients.

What He’s Doing Differently Now

A lot less “stuff”.  Listening more.  Using his hands less.  He also is focusing on how adults learn best.  He also has fun doing this even now, after all these years.  Finding out what is meaningful to the patient and what their motivations are or what drives them.

Valuable Resources

Allan finds more interesting the non-physical therapy-type content lately that he feels sheds light on the fundamentals that relate to conservative care of orthopedic/musculoskeletal patients.  A book in particular is The Innovator’s Prescription by Clayton Christiensen.

Impactful Studies

Many studies that are more interesting to Allan are those studying asymptomatic patients and the prevalence of abnormalities found on imaging.

To see just a few click on these:




A Personal Habit

Being no nonsense and straight forward.  Having a sense of humor within the patient encounter also contributes to his success.

Where You Can Find Allan

Find his blog at www.allanbesselink.com

His book RunSmart is available on his website and on amazon.