Medical Exercise Specialists are found on six continents around the globe. They have made a major impact on health care systems and the fitness industry around the world. The need for medical exercise training (MET) is growing and will continue to do so over the next 20 years. But with that growth we also see a proliferation of medical exercise/medical fitness certifications. The concern with this proliferation is the “read a book…take an exam” approach to MET education.
You would run if a physician or therapist remarked he or she simply read the book and took their licensure exam. The same should hold true for the medical exercise professional. Managing medical conditions with exercise isn’t simply knowing a few exercises for a condition….its understanding the related anatomy and pathology of the condition and how exercise is applied. We now see the medical exercise/medical fitness certificate becoming another “merit badge” for the fitness professional.
Before we go too far down this road, let’s stop and ensure our education is detailed, within the scope of practice and is progressive and not “one course teaches all”. Other professions do not have a "one class teaches all" concept. It’s a progressive learning process beginning with a foundation and moving to more advanced courses to manage more involved clients and/or situations.
Let’s step back for a moment and look at our medical exercise education, NOT THE ACCREDITATION, and ask ourselves are the students learning how to manage medical conditions with exercise or simply how to provide exercise for the condition. The two are totally different. One is a "professional" and the other a "technician". Where does your education leave you?
To all best wishes building your MET practive and growing our new profession!!
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