callmecrazy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
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Physical Therapist
With many of the diseases out there having very similar symptoms and presentations, is there a resource available to quickly and accurately identify a direction of thought? I just feel all the material I am learning in differential Diagnosis is overwhelming and that I will screw up a diagnosis by chasing a zebra.
As a PT, it's not your place to diagnose a disease. It's your job to recognize signs and symptoms or red flags of diseases and know when and where to make the referrals. Then, when a patient comes to you for a musculoskeletal problem, you need to know what considerations should be taken into account during treatment based on any disease or disorder in their PMH.
 

MotionDoc

PT/PhD
Oct 29, 2009
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Rehab Sci Student
A physical therapy diagnosis should not be confused with a medical diagnosis. But realize, PTs do diagnosis...
 

callmecrazy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
461
93
171
Status
Physical Therapist
You are right, but I am expected to hypothesize a diagnosis on my exams for class. This is a student forum right?
It is a student forum, but it sounded like you may be worried about carrying over medical diagnosis into the clinic. As for studying the material for tests, I don't know that a concise guide is practical. Based on my own experience in a similar class, I would try grouping diseases that have similar signs and symptoms. From there, it will be easier to delineate what makes one unique from the other. So if you're presented with a cluster of symptoms you can narrow it to perhaps a system such as cardiovascular. Then from there, you can look at just the symptoms that differentiate one CV disease from another. The key is identifying what those differences are. Good luck.