If you're a woman or man dealing with pelvic pain and/or chronic conditions affecting the pelvic area, pelvic floor physical therapy might help. At Greater Boston Urology, we currently offer pelvic floor PT in our Dedham and Hyannis Care Centers.
Recently, one of our wonderful pelvic floor physical therapists, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, completed a new certification in pelvic rehabilitation to expand her already deep knowledge and expertise in treating pelvic pain.
Tell us about your new certification.
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas: I now have my Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) from The Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Herman & Wallace provides continuing education courses for physical therapists seeking evidence-based training for treating pelvic floor dysfunction and related conditions of the pelvis, hip, and spine.
The PRPC certification covers both women's and men's pelvic health throughout the life cycle. The certification is valid for 10 years, which means I'll need to re-take the examination in 2030 if I want to renew my certification.
What made you decide to pursue this certification?
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas: The PRPC is one of the two pelvic health certifications recognized in the pelvic health rehabilitation community to signify expertise in pelvic floor physical therapy. This certification sets me apart from other practitioners who may have less experience treating pelvic floor disorders.
[Editor's note: the Herman & Wallace website notes: "Clinicians who earn this certification may amend their professional title and all accompanying documentation (CV, business cards, resume) with the letters 'PRPC' to distinguish themselves as an expert in the field of pelvic rehabilitation."]
What sort of work did this certification entail?
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas: I took a four-course series through Herman & Wallace. The courses focused on how to treat the whole spectrum of pelvic floor rehabilitation (e.g., incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain, bowel dysfunction) in addition to other supplemental continuing education.
I took the courses over three years. I completed the first one in November 2015 and the last one in May 2018. To sit for the certification exam, you also need to have 2000+ hours treating pelvic floor patients. Since I have 4+ years of experience treating patients, I have way more than that. I delayed taking the exam, however, because I was moving from Florida to Massachusetts and getting settled here at GBU back in 2018. Due to the pandemic, I had more time to dedicate to studying. I sat for the exam in the fall of 2020 and passed!
How will this additional training help patients?
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas: I believe it demonstrates to patients and other providers that I am dedicated to providing evidence-based care in pelvic rehabilitation. Pelvic floor rehab is slowly becoming better-known to the public. As providers, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard.
What's a surprising/interesting thing you learned during this certification process?
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas: I'm not sure there's any *one* thing I could name. All of the courses were taught by top pelvic rehab professionals, and I feel like I learned so many clinical pearls that I carry into my everyday practice.
Thank you, Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas!
Are you dealing with pelvic pain? Interested in learning how pelvic floor physical therapy might help? Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas. (Note: If you're a patient outside of GBU, you'll need a referral from your doctor.)