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Diagnosapalooza! Diagnostic Reasoning and Skills for Physical Therapy
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Sponsored by San Joaquin Valley District, CPTA

 Export to Your Calendar 6/2/2018 to 6/3/2018
When: June 2 - 3, 2018
Where: Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
Dignity Health Founders Hall
420 34th Street
Bakersfield, CA  93301
United States
Presenter: Todd E. Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS
Contact: San Joaquin Valley District

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One of the first decisions a physical therapist must make in patient care is to determine whether physical therapy is the appropriate course of action. This judgment requires a set of clinical decision making processes that must be both thorough and efficient. A physical therapist’s ability to base this decision-making on the patient’s/client’s presenting symptoms provides an individualized and convenient way to proceed.

This 2-day lecture and demonstration course will provide an overview of symptom-based clinical reasoning and skills necessary to decide whether a patient is appropriate for physical therapy, requires referral to another health care provider, or can be treated and referred concurrently. Real case examples and tests that can be used in patient care on the next clinic day will be emphasized.

A portion of course proceeds benefit the San Joaquin District of the California Physical Therapy Association, which will support physical therapy advocacy, marketing, and professional development efforts in your area!

Space is limited. Register today!

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Complete a hypothesis-oriented algorithm for symptom-based diagnosis for use by physical therapists
  • Compare and contrast medical screening and diagnostic reasoning processes
  • Analyze a patient’s/client’s case for psychosocial factors that may confound the process of collecting clinical data
  • Integrate the use and results of selected clinical skills into clinical reasoning at the level of pathology
  • Demonstrate selected clinical skills necessary to engage in active reasoning at the level of pathology, including examination of the thorax, abdomen, and nervous system.
  • Discuss how findings related to symptom-based diagnosis can be used to guide referrals and design physical therapy treatment plans


Todd E. Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS serves as a tenured Associate Professor & Program Director in the Department of Physical Therapy in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Todd is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s DPT and Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency programs. He is a past clinical research fellow at the Warren G. Magnusson Clinical Center at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Todd is a graduate of the Master of Public Health program at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. He has been continuously recognized as a Board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties since 2005. Todd is an International Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a reviewer for several journals in the fields of rehabilitation and rheumatology. In addition to his teaching, scholarship, and service work, Todd practices clinically at the Kaiser Permanente offices in Stockton, California. Todd's clinical and research interests include health services research, clinical reasoning, and skills associated to consumer direct access to physical therapy.

Course Schedule (Tentative)

June 2, 2018

8:00-8:30 AM Registration

8:30-8:45 AM Welcome and Orientation to Facility

8:45-9:30 AM Course Overview

Rationale for Symptom-Based Diagnosis

Introduction to a Process for Symptom-Based Diagnosis

9:30-9:45 AM Morning Break

9:45-10:45 AM Anatomy Review: Abdominal Viscera and Referral Patterns

Demonstration: Abdominal Examination

10:45 AM-11:45 AM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: My Back Hurts

11:45 AM-12:00 PM Morning Summary

12:00-1:00 PM Lunch On Your Own

1:00-1:45 PM Anatomy Review: Thorax

Demonstration: Examination of the Thorax

1:45-2:15 PM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: My Jaw Hurts

2:15-3:00 PM Anatomy Review: Neurologic and Vascular Structures

Examination of the nervous system and peripheral vascular distribution

3:00-3:15 PM Afternoon Break

3:15-3:45 PM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: I’m Weak

3:45-4:00 PM Questions and Answers; Afternoon Summary

June 3, 2018

8:30-8:45 AM Welcome Back and Day #1 Discussion

8:45-9:30 AM Interviewing Techniques

9:30-9:45AM Morning Break

9:45-10:45 AM Pathophysiology Review: Focus on Aseptic Inflammatory Conditions

10:45 AM-11:45AM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: My Knee Hurts

11:45 AM-12:00 PM Morning Summary

12:00-1:00 PM Lunch On Your Own

1:00-1:45 PM Pathophysiology Review: Focus on Metabolic Conditions

1:45-2:15 PM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: My Knee Hurts Again

2:15-3:00 PM Diagnosis in Children: Special Considerations

3:00-3:15 PM Afternoon Break

3:15-3:45 PM Discussion and Reasoning Lab: My Child Limps

3:45-4:00 PM Questions and Answers; Afternoon Summary


Course FAQs

Is this course approved for California PT CEUs?

Approval is pending for 12 contact hours (1.2 CEUs).


Who can attend this course?

This course is oriented to physical therapists and student physical therapists, because it involves a substantial amount of information about assessment in physical therapy settings. However, physical therapy assistants and student physical therapy assistants are welcome if they attend along with their supervising physical therapists. Other health care providers who are interested in attending this course should contact Dr. Davenport at before registering. All attendees are responsible for using the course information in accordance with the provisions of their licensure and/or certification.

How will my learning be assessed?
Lecture and demonstration will be frequently broken up by case discussions. Your performance in small group and large group discussions will be observed.


How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Feel free to reach Dr. Davenport at


What's the refund policy?

Full course refunds are available for cancellations received one week before the course. No refunds will be processed after that time.


I worked with a very talented team of physical therapists to write this book. My purpose for teaching this course is not to market or sell the book, but I will use material from the book during the course.


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