For Educators

Make ProHealth Titles Required Reading 

Teaching resources

ProHealth resources evolve as learning levels increase

  • Muscle Manual (work book, flash cards & App = anatomy, palpation, muscle testing & massage) –>
  • Physical Assessment (charting, physical exam, ROM ortho neuro, radiology, blood tests) —>
  • Orthopedic Conditions (pathology DDx & management) —>
  • Spinal Manual (integrated assessment, muscle testing, orthopedics, treatment & rehab.)
  • Extremity Manual ((integrated assessment, muscle testing, orthopedics, treatment & rehab.)
  • Physical Medicine (massage, electro therapies, mobes, manip, acupuncture, rehab) –>
  • Result = quality instruction, efficient class time, better board exam scores & competent practitioners
  • On request we can also provide power points and course syllabi

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Dr. Vizniak’s Top 10 instructor tips

  • Have fun & enthusiasm.  Learning should be easy if you enjoy what you do. Love what you do to engage others. Any task, including teaching, is easier with a positive attitude – the importance of a positive mind-set can never be over stated. Enthusiasm is infectious and results in a positive, nurturing, learning environment that will improve performance and give your classes rave reviews. When learning to pronounce a new term, I will repeat the word & ask the class to “say it with me, with a smile” – a fun & effective way to improve retention – enforced fun.
    1. Be silly – when palpating consider saying silly phrases – e.g. “what a beautiful sternoclavicular joint you have” or “I love my wenis” – make it fun!
    2. Laugh at yourself or own injuries – I have personal injuries of a high kick hamstring tear, shoulder dislocation, rib fractures, low back/disc injuries, pneumonia and radial nerve laceration (all of which bring real life examples to the classroom, there are hundreds more from patients; unless you have never hurt yourself you also have many examples). Incorporate the use of many fun pneumonics, songs, nursery rhymes and ‘anatomy gang signs’ in the class to help reinforce learning
    3. A presentation should be long enough to cover vital parts but short enough to maintain interest (more presentation tips here)
  • Ask & Answer questions. Make your classroom a safe place to make mistakes and ask questions – it is OK to say “I don’t know.”  While keeping a positive and respectful interaction in mind – challenge your students by gently putting them on the spot to answer a question or demonstrate a skill – development of confidence to perform in front of others in a safe environment will serve them in all aspects of personal and professional life. The classroom is a safe place to make mistakes, and no one should feel persecuted for not knowing something – that is the entire purpose of the exercise. Help your students grow beyond the material covered in the class.
    1. Learn from your students. If your student has a personal experience, ask them to share their expertise with the class.  If they are asking questions or discuss topics in a way you have not thought of – figure out why – I am constantly amazed by the students’ thought processes and questions which help me improve delivery or explain concepts. If you don’t know something, it is OK, give your best educated guess and look it up for to share for the next class.
    2. “Is this going to be on the test?” – Yes, is always the correct answer – LIFE IS CUMULATIVE

 

  • Good sleep & exercise habits. Trying to teach information when you are tired is an exercise in futility. A regular exercise schedule and sleep patterns are statistically proven to increase educational ability, reduce stress and result in a longer, healthier life. Be the model of what you want your students to be.
    • Feats of Strength. To reinforce learning and have fun, challenge the class to voluntarily participate in athletic challenges as a way to review practical anatomy. The instructor participates with the students (trust me it will be good for you too). It is OK if students beat you (although I do try to minimize this), the practical review and material delivery change is what counts. Talk about muscles activated, actions at joints, eccentric & concentric contraction and the importance of proper form. Some of my favourites include push-ups, planking, wall sits and chin-ups.

 

  • Organization. Your job is to make class time efficient, productive & fun. Our books and resources help do this for you. Start basic, how do you tell anterior from posterior & left from right
    1. Review. Start each class by asking “are there any questions from last days material” then, give a 5 minute review– ask student to answer questions directly – gently put them on the spot – you don’t really know something until you try and teach it, teach the student to teach and self analyze. (Silence does not imply understanding – if there is silence I will usually state “So, I can pick any student, to review any topic from last days material?” this results in laughter, awkward looks and ultimately student questions to clarify points) – make it fun.
    2. Less is more. Less desk time and more physical hands on time will result in increased student performance and real world application. One of my favorite methods is to use washable markers and draw on a classmate, the class gets covered in ‘war paint’ having fun and applying the topic 3 dimensionally on a
      Gray909681-300x235 person (real world application). “Get up, stand up” – another active option is to have the class stand to review actions of the body, palpation of structures, stretching or review of a clinical skill – all of which are state changes relevant to the material & improve the quality of the class.
    3. Be Present with No distractions. Whenever possible no computers or phones to distract with Facebook, YouTube or texting during the lecture/lab.  – this is huge – when I see a student doing this I will ask them a question about the material just covered to give a gentle reminder to be present.

 

  • Regular review. Research shows if students re-read your notes for 5-10 minutes a day, they will perform better on exams. Repetition works! Where there is a will there’s an A. Encourage students to place class notes or book near their bed so they can look at them prior to sleep and upon waking.
    1. Weekly regular quizzes help motivate students to stay focused and give a real-time assessment of their progress. Mark the quizzes together and give a break when done – this offer another learning opportunity and some processing time during the break (improved performance)
    2. Encourage attendance of all classes. Statistics show that ‘A’ students almost never miss class or lab and sit closer to the front of the room. Tell students this.
    3. Progress form basic terminology, to drawing structure on blank drawings, to drawing and palpitating on each other, baby steps to incrementally increase knowledge, confidence and skill. – Our workbook/lab manual is a great resource – repetition works!

 

  • Fill in the blank NOT multiple choice – physical medicine students are tactile learners; physically writing out answers & coloring images results in an increase of neural stimulation compared to the repetitive, generic circling of multiple choice answers or the typing/clicking action of a keyboard or mouse. Neural pathways are better established to recognize the shapes & contours of letters written and muscles colored.  When writing multiple choice tests, students who have been trained by writing out the answers perform better because they look for the correct answer, rather than eliminating wrong answers.
    1. Beyond test writing, in clinical practice and professional communication, fill in the blank learners often find it easier to be more articulate, avoid spelling errors & develop a more professional demeanor. Patients do not come to you and say “What is wrong with me today? Is it ‘A’ my shoulder, ‘B’ my elbow, or ‘C’ my wrist?” 🙂 You need to be able to fill in the blanks.
    2. My favorite introductory testing method is to use blank skeletal drawing and ask students to draw the muscles, blood vessels, nerves etc. (blank skeletal drawing for your use are available here). This starts the process of body organization in their mind towards a real life 3D application.
    3. After basic paper testing has established a solid foundation we move to practical demonstration of skill – palpation, muscle testing, ROM assessment, physical exam, orthopaedic & neurologic testing – eventually progressing to charting records, differential diagnosis and treatment options)

 

  • Actively Teach.  After you have covered basic terminology, in the following class cover the list and give a quick fun review without labels. When possible have the class quickly palpate the structures you are learning on themselves & encourage this process to continue with friends and family.
    1. Ask students to palpate themselves as you introduce new term.  Even if you do not have the TA staff to ensure their palpation is 100% correct they will start setting up the neural pathways to move in the right direction, that can be further refined in lab or with specific one on one time.
    2. Use a 3D atlas. Excellent resources are the FREEzygotebody.com (must use on Google chrome) or Acland’s Video Atlas (http://aclandanatomy.com/)
    3. Cadaver Dissection. There is no better anatomy learning opportunity than actual dedicated cadaver dissection or surgery.  If you are an anatomy instructor who has never seen a real dissection, it is well worth your time to understand how no anatomy book can ever be 100% correct given the number & variety of anatomical variations. If you are a practitioner who has not been in the dissection lab for many years – you NEED to go back with an experienced clinical eye and see how your under standing has changed (unfortunately, many doctors & therapist only see the anatomy at the start of their learning process and forget to go back… if you do you will be amazed)

 

  • Break the material into manageable sections. There is a huge volume of material to learn in any class (anatomy, biomedicine, physiology, clinical assessment), try and keep it simple & engaging. Learning anatomy is like learning a new language, you do not just see or hear words once and become fluent, it takes time and practice. As much of anatomy nomenclature is based in Latin, it is useful to learn the root meaning (see inside the back cover of Muscle Manual for a list of common meanings).
    1. Do not lecture for more than ~20 minutes without a state change. Show a funny video or get students up out of their seats to review motions of the body, perform group stretching or some type of clinical assessment or other activity.
    2. Tell real life stories. Prior to the age of technology, information was spread by word of mouth or demonstration of skill.  We are hard wired by thousands of years of evolution, to see what others do and copy it. “Monkey see, monkey do” 🙂 – if you doubt this at all watch how a kids learn – ultimately we are all kids.
    3. Don’t just teach anatomy or your topic. Make the learning relevant. If you are teaching about cranial nerves, give a little time to perform a cranial nerve exam.  If you are talking about ligaments of the ankle, give discussion around ankle sprains & assessment, if you are talking about the sciatic nerve mention a straight leg raise test – this real world application improves learning and gives the topic real purpose.
    4. Don’t just teach assessment, pathology or treatment. Go back and review basic anatomy and integrate the prior learned information and how it applies to real life – students often ask “Is this going to be on the test?” – “Yes” is always the correct answer; life is cumulative.
    5. Use the ProHealth Resources (books, Apps, power points, quizzes etc.) to help improve student information retention – these resources are designed to grow with the students and are still usable in practice and real life.SAMSUNG DIGIMAX 360

 

  • Real life application.  Consider how the information providing currently relates to your students and how it will be applied in the future. Once you make the transition from “why do I need to know this” to “how can I use this information” you have taken a giant step toward becoming a phenomenally competent healthcare provider.
  1. Give real life examples. Nothing makes information more relevant to the learner then showing them how you have used the information to solve your own problem or those of patients – student thrive on real world examples.
  2. Have fun. Know your anatomy and try not to take yourself or the material you are teaching too seriously – HAVE FUN WITH IT!

See what instructors are saying

“Vizinak’s Physical Assessment book is an exceptional resource for my Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Naturopathic students. Using PowerPoint lectures in conjunction with this textbook have made my classes easy to teach and fun.”

Daniel DeLapp, DC, DABCO, LAc, ND

 

“The Physical Assessment book is great for anyone who is serious about physical examinations and wants to learn the how and the whys rather than just going through the process. The level of detail and description is amazing especially for the joint exams. We used it to great effect in an OSCE training course this weekend for Emergency Medicine Physicians and were able to untangle some of the wilder joint examinations that the candidates were performing.”

Dr. Nick Smith, Head of Clinical Skills, Undergraduate Medical Education, CMFT Manchester, UK

 

“By using the Professional Health Systems Anatomy & Assessment series we have saved our students over $300 in textbook cost and hundreds of hours.”

Rob Thomas, Professional Institute of Massage Therapy

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