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MDT Courses Encourage Continuous Learning

If you think you know it all, you’ve got a lot to learn. The phrase shared by a professor has stuck with Rick Kinser, PT, DPT, Dip. MDT, since his undergrad days. His involvement with the McKenzie Institute USA affirms the mantra.

Kinser is a frequent host of the Institute’s postgraduate courses at the Cleveland Clinic, where he is Clinical Rehabilitation Manager of Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy in Twinsburg, Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic itself has a long history of hosting McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) courses that reaches back to the late 1980s. Rick and his wife, Linda Kinser, PT, Cert. MDT, picked up the torch in 2018.

“Linda and I would frequently go to courses co-sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic and help out with labs,” Kinser said. “We were very familiar with the process of co-sponsoring courses long before we took over the responsibility.”

“Every time you co-sponsor a course, it’s an opportunity to learn. So, I took advantage of every opportunity to learn from the institute faculty,” he said.

The MDT system begins with a thorough mechanical evaluation to establish a “cause-and-effect” relationship between historical pain behavior as well as the response to repeated test movements, positions and activities.

A systematic progression of applied mechanical forces utilizes pain responses and mechanical responses to classify the disorder. Clinicians then develop a specific plan of care based on those examination results that empowers patients to treat themselves when possible.

Introduced to MDT in 1992, Kinser is just as excited about the method today as he was more than 25 years ago thanks in part to the courses. They are taught by Institute faculty who lead the field.

“The educational aspect goes far beyond what they’re presenting in the course,” he said. “As long as you have someone of that caliber treating patients right in front of you, you’re going to learn something.

“For me, the relationships I build and the networking – it’s an endless opportunity,” he said.

There are plenty of other perks too. Free or reduced course tuition is offered to the co-sponsor’s staff. It saved the Cleveland Clinic $7,810 in 2019 alone. Kinser also negotiated reduced course tuition for graduate students at Cleveland State University, where he teaches an introduction to MDT.

“Co-sponsoring courses and teaching introduction to MDT at Cleveland State University gives me the unique opportunity to see who is enthusiastic about MDT and wo gets it.  It also serves as a venue for recruiting future employees.  I have hired former students and therapists that have attended courses.”

The courses even provide added value for his existing patients, some of whom are assessed and treated live as part of the courses. “You can get a second opinion from an unbelievably talented instructor,” Kinser said.

Despite all those benefits, though, it always comes back to the unique continuing education for Kinser.

“Every instructor that comes to our clinic does an amazing job,” Kinser said. “They’re all excellent clinicians and I’ve learned from every one of them.”

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