So this is my first post of 2013… for which I do apologise to those that do follow my blog, its just been a very busy time with work and wedding plans etc, but thats enough excuses back on subject.
So my first post of 2013 is bit off the 'norm' for me, instead of my usual informative physio blogs that I usually like to do, this is more a personal view / opinion and a rant on a matter I have had rather rudely thrust onto me regarding professional titles and web page addresses, so if you would rather wait for a more normal blog then the final part of my 'Sporting Groin' series will be following soon after this little 'rant'.
So lets begin and let's start from the beginning. I have been a physio for over 10 years now and before that have worked as a 'IIST' qualified personal trainer, and then a 'NSCA' qualified Strength and Conditioning coach. I have been personally involved in some form of sport for as long as I can remember and have worked closely with hundreds (if not more) athletes, sports men and women, at various levels, across multiple sports and disciplines. This includes three years working in professional first team championship level football and still involves me consulting and working with top level clubs including premiership football and rugby clubs, I lecture on injury prevention and have been published in national press on injury prevention strategies in sports which are a passion of mine, finally I work on a day to day basis in a sports rehab environment treating a wide variety of both sports and general musculoskeletal problems.
With this background and history combined with a gamete of post graduate qualifications and memberships of associated professional bodies I feel I can class myself as a 'Sports Physio' although in the UK, unlike in Australia, there is no formal classification or qualification that you need to obtain to call yourself one, which I think is wrong, but that's another story.
So about 10 months ago, as I found myself with some unusual and rare spare time on my hands due to no longer working in professional football full time as well as private practice and with no courses, essays, or other commitments constantly going on 24/7, that I would try Twitter and Blogging as a experiment to see what all the fuss was about regarding this social media gumpf.
So I found a free blog site called WordPress (excellent platform by the way) and went through the registration process, including deciding what to call my blog, for which I had a few suggestions rejected as already taken and some that just didn't sound right, eventually the title of 'The Sports Physio' came to mind, it was available, I liked the sound of it and so the http://www.thesportsphysio.wordpress.com was launched, together with the twitter account @adammeakins 'The Sports Physio'
I started with a few silly little blogs on this and that and then decided that I wanted to use my blog as a resource of information for the general public and physios alike. It wasn't going to be groundbreaking stuff, I wasn't planning on writing high level meta analysis or in depth jargon busting pieces, but what I hoped for was some simple, down to earth, straight forward, clear and evidence based, correct advice and information on various topics around physiotherapy treatments and sporting injuries. This was all done in my own time, not as a business venture, not to make money, just for my own curiosity and enjoyment with maybe just a touch of self promotion and publicity in it for me. I also found it a very useful way for me to go over my own understanding and knowledge on areas, as well as keep myself abreast of the current evidence and research out there, as all who work in this industry know, it is constantly changing.
However, to be honest I didn't think my commitment or attention span would last too long for it, nor did i think many people wold be interested in hearing what I had to say. But to my surprise people did and more importantly I really, really enjoyed blogging and tweeting, and I still do.
Now some that know me may not be that surprised to hear this at all, as they will tell you that I do like the sound of my own voice from time to time, and I am partial to a good ol' controversial and heated debate, and I do love trying to get my point across and convert people away from the nonsense and gimmicks in the physio world. So blogging is a perfect platform for just that.
But what I have also really enjoyed and what has surprised me the most is the interaction with so many wonderful and great people all over the world in all walks of life, from the general population and sporting world as well as 'meeting' (if you can class talking on Twitter as meeting?) a wide and vast spectrum of people in the diverse therapy and rehab world, and I mean world, from USA to Australia to the Far East even countries I never heard of (I was always poor at geography).
Honestly, where could you get this level of interaction with some of the worlds top doctors, scientists and therapists without having to pay to go on some far flung conference somewhere and suffer death by PowerPoint together with good awful coffee and sitting in cramped lecture halls trying not to fall asleep only to get 2 minutes with the presenter after the conference has finished, Nowhere, so I think Twitter and blogs are an invaluable resource and one that I am wholeheartedly going to continue to use and contribute too for the foreseeable future, and its a resource that I fully recommend to all therapists I meet and work with, and believe that its the future for learning and sharing.
So it was all going really well, up until last week. Imagine my shock, horror, confusion and dismay when I get an email via a WordPress administrator saying that they have had an 'Abuse' compliant logged against my blog….
“Whaaaaatttt….” was my initial reaction,
But then I read on, it seems that (and I will avoid naming names for obvious reasons) a 'Miss X' owner of 'XYZ Clinic' and website http://www.blahblah.com thinks that she is 'The Sports Physio' and my site is causing confusion and mistaken identity with her and her company and infringing on her trafemark The Sports Physio and demands that I change it!
Ok, so this is my reply to you 'Miss X' as I assume you are monitoring my site as it causes you so much angst and distress, and yes it's a public reply (maybe not the most professional way) but that's due to the fact I am unable to contact you directly as WordPress haven't and wont, despite me asking, pass on your contact email, and also due to your rather abrupt and frankly in my opinion unprofessional complaint of 'abuse' against my poor little blog.
Right, deep breath… Firstly as I see it no one has the right, ownership, trademark or whatever else you want to call it on the title 'Sports Physio' just like no-one owns the title of 'neuro physiotherapist', or 'respiratory physiotherapist' or 'orthopaedic physiotherapist' etc etc, yes they are a HPC protected titles and the appropriate qualifications have to be meet etc, but neither you nor I are the only Sports Physio's and to think you are is absurd. In fact I'm not even sure we both deserve the title of Sports Physio's especially as I have been on Twitter a while now and have read lots of other excellent blogs by much more qualified and experienced physios than us both that don't even class themselves as 'Sports Physio's' why should we?
Secondly, just because my blog has a similar sounding address as yours, is, as far as I'm aware, and I have checked this legally, basically TOUGH… The domain name was free to register when I did and so, if Miss X you were that concerned and wanted to 'corner' this area then you should have registered this address before me. In fact there are a whole host of other website addresses all with the title or derivative of Sports Physio or Sports Physiotherapist or Sporting Physio etc etc in their address (some of which are mine that Im planning to launch soon…) so to ask for my WordPress page to stop but not the others is again absurd, insulting and TOUGH….
Lastly the insecurity and audacity for one person or company to feel that they have the right to call themselves 'The Sports Physio' and ask that no one else can use the same title is sad, disappointing, pathetic, repugnant and a whole host of other emotions.
So I will round up and finish with my final thoughts to you Miss X, by saying categorically that I will NOT be changing my blog title or address in fact I have bigger and better plans than your pathetic, piddely little clinic website. It is something I really enjoy doing, granted its not a business like yours, but it is for my own personal enjoyment. It is not offensive or derogatory in anyway to you or anyone, i'm sorry that it has a similar address to your company, but its not the same, it has the word 'Wordpress' in the middle of it for god sake. There is clear division between both sites in layout and content and there is no chance of confusion for anyone, firstly as my bio is clearly visible for all to see that i'm not you, and secondly the content is completely different i.e. mines a blog, yours is a business advertising a clinic. So finally shame on you for trying to stop me doing something I love and passing on helpful information free to others, now please go and concentrate on something more important in life, like helping your clients.
And to all my other lovely readers, as I said at the beginning, normal posts will resume soon, with The Sporting Groin Part 3, and lots of other juicy tips and info and maybe a few more rants to two…. (I hope as long as this post doesn't get me into massive trouble and the site has to shut!)
Thanks for reading and as always…
IT GET WORSE!!!
So it has come to light after I posted this blog, that said Mrs X, and bugger it I'm gonna use her real name now Mrs Maureen Flett, isn't even a qualified physiotherapist, she is a Sports Therapist, who for reasons unknown has decided to call herself a physio.
Now the title of physiotherapist is protected by law and governed by the Health Profrssions Council and rest assured Mrs Flett, wheels have been set in motion. The fact you dare ask me not to call myself The Sports Physio and you aren't even one drives me crazy and hell hath no fury like a sports physio poked… Especially this one…
Also why there is this need for some professionals to call themselves by others titles is beyond me ( I have come across this before). Its not your title that earns your respect and admiration its your skills and results whether you're a physio, sports therapists, osteo, chiro, personal trainer, coach, soft tissue therapists etc etc