Ethics and Professionalism

Here in Brazil the profession of Physiotherapy was created through a decree-law, in 1969. Before that there were physiotherapy technicians that today no longer exist. Today to become a physiotherapy professional the person needs a higher education degree, that is, to study at a university and have his / her registration at CREFITO (Regional Council of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy).

Despite this, not every person who graduates, leaves the university being a true professional, unfortunately. This means that here in Brazil physiotherapy is not always a valued profession, because the “professionals” trained do not act as such at some times. Hence the phrase that some people say: “physical therapy does not work”. But is it not the physiotherapist who has not acquired the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to adequately serve his patient? We have heard of cases in which the physician described the behavior of the physiotherapist, believing that he would not be able to do it himself, merely as a “technique executor.”

Here at UFMG, we are constantly reminded of how to try to be a good professional: use ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) as a theoretical reference to guide our clinical practice, evaluate the patient in a biopsychosocial way and based on this evaluate hypotheses through clinical reasoning and establish their behavior, have ethical attitudes towards the patient and their family; are some examples. We can also have contact with various teachers who inspire us to become professionals of excellence, but I believe that above all, we need to love what we do, because as the philosopher Confucius said: “Choose a job that you love and you will never have that work even one day in life.”

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