← Back to All Articles

What is Gestalt . . . An Introduction to the "Functional Triage"


Functional Triage

The “Functional Triage” is something we have been tossing around for quite a while but never really developed into a tangible idea until recently. This unnamed ability to classify patients quickly and apply the associated treatment was something I recognized very quickly the first time I shadowed Dr. Winchester at Winchester Spine and Sport in Troy, MO. This “ability” kept me coming back for more (more seminars, more shadowing, more reading, more sleepless nights). It wasn’t until I started my internship at Winchester Spine and Sport that I really started to grasp this triage, but not before several late nights at the office quizzing the doctors at Winchester Spine and Sport and shadowing other high performing clinicians.

The Problem

For those that do not have the fortune to shadow and work with clinicians that have this figured out, practice can be daunting and honestly scary! We have all been there, you get home from “XYZ” seminar and feel so pumped about the information you just learned from a teacher that made it look wayyyyy too easy up on stage, and yet you have no clue where or how it fits into the 15 minute time slot of your next patient. This leaves us with two choices, throw “XYZ” treatment into this 15 minutes and see what happens, or say screw it and keep doing what you have always done. The first option usually leads to an extra 15, 20, sometimes 30 minutes spent with this patient without much progress made. The second option leads to frustration (why the F*** did I just spend $*Insert large sum of money here* on this junk), burnout, and sometimes resentment. More than likely that technique wasn’t bad, you just didn’t have the direction or the encouragement to figure out where it fits!

The Solution

Let me preface this by saying this isn’t an easy solution. Constantly striving for integration is the key. Integration of multiple schools of thoughts, techniques, and ideas into an amazing 15 minute appointment that is PATIENT centered isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes practice, more importantly it takes guidance. It is our goal at Gestalt Education to be your portal and resource of this integration. We know we don’t have it all figured out, but we are committed to getting to that point. We are going to continue bringing the best in the world to Troy for in person seminars, but we are even more committed to providing these experts a platform to share their expertise followed immediately by how we think it fits into our model and how to properly utilize the information. Our hope is to make this all mean something and to provide an opportunity for all of us to grow together. We are far more powerful together than in isolation, but we need a community that is focused on the education and integration aspect to become powerful enough to make ripples in our own practices and across the manual therapy world.

So buckle up, it may be a little bumpy, maybe even a little frustrating, but we are here to push you forward with the help of the experts in the musculoskeletal world and a little elbow grease.

Don't miss a beat!

New courses, articles, and exclusive content delivered to your inbox!