Medical Exercise Specialists (MES) did you know there are 8 habits that could predict your success? Over the last 26 years teaching the MES workshop and speaking with MES around the world, I have noticed the highly successful Medical Exercise Specialists demonstrate eight habits which I think, guarantee their success. We will discuss each of these 8 habits and explain the impact each has on a medical exercise practice. Successful MESs are able to develop safe and effective medical exercise programs for a wide range of medical conditions, establish long-term referral relationships with medical professionals, and build strong practices. If you embrace these habits, I guarantee you too will grow a profitable and successful practice.
- Medical Exercise Specialists DEFINE their scope of practice and role in a clear and concise manner in their brochures, marketing materials and presentations. Defining your scope of practice and clearly outlining your menu of services allows you to position yourself as the medical exercise expert, rather than relying on someone, who may lack a true understanding of your background and education, to accurately explain your function. The inaccurate definition might negatively impact the growth and standing of your practice. Providing a definition of medical exercise training will reinforce your scope of practice and prevent any misunderstanding or misconceptions regarding your role.
- Medical Exercise Specialists PRESENT to local medical clinics, professional organizations or support groups to inform of the services he or she offers. These presentations include information on the MES’ scope of practice, the role of the MES in the medical management team, the types of clients MES works with and the benefits of medical exercise training. A brief demonstration of a simple and easy to perform exercise may be included in the presentation to support groups. The exercise demonstration allows the MES to demonstrate the ease and simplicity of the exercise. Experiencing and feeling the exercise may convert members of the audience to clients. The successful MES’ goal is to make at least one presentation per month to a group or medical practice.
- Medical Exercise Specialists REPORT their assessment findings and client progress to the referring medical professional. This ability to clearly report findings and progress is an essential skill every MES must develop. Inability to report outcomes and progress in a clear concise manner may result in the loss of future referrals and relationships with medical professionals. Medical exercise training forms and reporting guidelines are outlined in the METI – Medical Exercise Specialist workshop.
- Successful Medical Exercise Specialists FOLLOW-UP verbally or in writing to all inquiries from medical professionals and clients within 48 hours. This ensures the medical professional and/or the client receives your input and is able to determine the next step in management of the condition. A text may sometimes lack the subtle details a medical professional or client may need to make a decision on the direction of the exercise program and/or management. Verbal communication or a written report is more professional appropriate than a text.
- Successful Medical Exercise Specialists ASSESS and re-assess the medical exercise client to establish a baseline for the program and to determine the client’s needs. The MES must determine the appropriate assessment procedures to use to gain a clear understanding of the client’s ROM/flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, functional capacity, etc. The assessment process should give the MES a clear understanding of the client’s ability without exacerbation of the client’s symptoms.
- The Medical Exercise Specialist must PROGRESS the client to reach the goals established at the outset of the program. The MES must progress the client without triggering an exacerbation. The ability to progress the client requires a combination of understanding the client’s condition, knowledge of the progression guidelines and the ability to apply medical exercise techniques.
- The Medical Exercise Specialist must MOTIVATE, encourage and support the medical exercise client to achieve the program goals. Knowing when and how to motivate the client without being too harsh is a trait every MES must develop. Pain and discomfort may cause the medical exercise client to become discouraged and depressed. Expertise in exercise prescription alone is not the key to medical exercise success. The medical exercise client, in most situations, needs more encouragement and support than the traditional fitness client.
- Medical Exercise Specialists EDUCATE their clients so they can better manage their own conditions in their home or with daily activiities. An educated client has a much greater chance of success than the client with no understanding of their condition. Successful MESs also constantly educate themselves and their staff members. MESs attend workshops and seminars, as well as conduct their own research on the conditions and topics encountered in their practices. MESs incorporate this new knowledge into their practices. Successful MESs are life-long learners.
Medical exercise training is the new frontier in fitness. The Medical Exercise Specialist with these eight habits will see increased referrals, gain credibility with medical professionals and have increased practice revenue. These 8 habits promote great success. For more tips on building a medical exercise training practice, please subscribe to our blog down below.