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What is the McKenzie Method?

  1. Can any health professional elect to take the courses from The McKenzie Institute?

A: No. The McKenzie Institute courses are primarily open to those healthcare providers who have the appropriate degree and/or licensure experienced in orthopedic or musculoskeletal conditions who can independently and legally evaluate patients including physiotherapists, physicians, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physician assistants.

Q: Do all providers get certified in the McKenzie Method?

A: No. The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy is a post-graduate training program that many healthcare providers voluntarily elect to study after they have received a degree in their field of study. The McKenzie Institute post-graduate curriculum is a series of basic and advanced courses followed by a competency exam. Approved providers who have completed the full course program and have successfully passed the Credentialing Examination will attain primary certified status. Providers that pass the certification exam have proven that they have a satisfactory level of competency in the method. Other providers may opt to further their training with the MII MDT Education Program to attain excellence in the method by achieving the Diploma in MDT.

As with any skill, providers become more proficient with time and experience utilizing the method. Once certified, providers are required to continue attendance at training events once every three (3) years to keep current with changes in the field and upgrade their clinical reasoning and technique skills.

Those included on the McKenzie Provider List are all certified and in good standing with the Institute. If a provider is NOT listed, this generally means that they are either retired, or working in an environment that does not provide private patient care, or they are not continuing to upgrade their clinical skills as required by the Institute, or they are not certified.

Q: How do I know if I am dealing with a qualified McKenzie provider?

A: There are two primary ways to recognize if you are dealing with a qualified McKenzie provider. 1) You will find their name included on our McKenzie Provider List, and 2) the provider will have a certification document from The McKenzie Institute stating the month and year they became certified and signed by a branch official. Many display the certificate in their office. You can always verify their active certification status with the local McKenzie Institute branch office.

Q: What if the clinic website says they provide McKenzie Method services?

A: Unfortunately, there are many websites for clinics that claim to provide the McKenzie Method or have qualified McKenzie personnel on staff that do not. Simply be aware, ask questions and ensure you are dealing with a qualified, certified McKenzie provider. Remember to always check the McKenzie Provider Locator on our website. If the provider at the clinic is not listed, there is a reason for it. If you are in doubt, contact our branch office.

MDT Certification: Why It Is Important for Practitioners

  • With the increasingly favorable research supporting the McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) and growing number of referring physicians, insurance groups and consumers across the country seeking certified McKenzie practitioners, The McKenzie Institute® International, holding all rights of the intellectual property of Robin McKenzie’s work and methodology, has taken an active role in quality control and verification of this information to the public. Currently, 28 branches worldwide have been sanctioned as sole providers of this post-graduate training and certification. Read the MII position paper on the importance of MDT Professional Development.

  • The core Program of Certification in the McKenzie Method has long been established as a comprehensive curriculum and process of learning the MDT system, not as individual courses separate unto themselves. Currently, the only measurement and standard to recognize basic clinical competency of a practitioner’s knowledge and skill using the McKenzie Method is having completed four courses and passed the Institute’s written and practical Credentialing Examination. Once Credentialed in MDT, attainment of the Diploma indicates that the practitioner has met additional requirements established by The McKenzie Institute International, including attending a 360-hour clinical residency training program, and passing advanced written and practical examinations. Attainment of the Diploma in MDT is recognition of achievement to the highest level in The McKenzie Institute post-graduate educational program and excellence in the practical application of the McKenzie Method. Additionally, The McKenzie Institute USA furthers the knowledge and skill of orthopedic manual physical therapy for those elite clinicians who pursue the Fellowship Program.

  • Thus, with these high standards for education, it is imperative that only those who have successfully passed the Credentialing Exam, at minimum, promote themselves as qualified practitioners of the McKenzie Method. Unless Credentialed or Diplomaed in MDT (Cert. MDT or Dip. MDT) promoting themselves publicly or to fulfill a physician prescription for MDT or the McKenzie Method is considered highly inappropriate and misleading to the public.

  • While it still remains impossible for the Institute to determine whether the practitioner uses MDT as the foundation for patient evaluation and maintains commitment to the integrity of the MDT system in the clinic, assuring they have passed an examination is prudent. Moreover, MIUSA established the MDT Certification Continuing Education Standards (CCES) Policyin 2006.

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