Are we experts? Or Masters of anything?

Social media is amazing for so many things – staying up to date with research, reconnecting with people from high school, and forming amazing, international collaborations with people from all over the world.  It’s no longer weird or creepy to say ‘I met them online’.

With the good, comes the not so good.  There are obviously people selling things, which is fine.  I’ve never been a fan of the hard sell, or the oversell.  Just have a good product or service, tell me about it, and let me make my decision.  

As a physical therapist, it makes sense that my social media feeds are overflowing with physical therapy related podcasts, continuing education courses, products, and conferences.  I can generally scroll by quickly and still find the things that may be of interest to me. (Though to be honest, I usually email them to myself so that I can check them out later….  And then don’t.)

A growing trend in my feed are the terms and titles people are using to sell their services, courses and such.  These are self-proclaimed experts selling master classes or products.  This has always rubbed me a bit wrong.  so I sat down to have a think about why.

There are a few layers here, so stick with me…
First of all, I don’t know that you get to call yourself an expert.  I’ve been called an expert by others, but I can’t seem to say those words about myself.  Why? First of all, I don’t know that I am.  Every single paper I read has the potential to shed a little more light on a topic for me.  But it has equal potential to give me 30 other papers to read, because I now have more questions.  I have a sneaking suspicion that I will never know enough for me to call myself an expert.  I do call other people experts – but that’s my opinion of them and a sign of respect that I have for them, and really nothing more.



Now, on to the Masterminds and Master Classes that are now available….  These seem to be popping up everywhere!  While I’ve been told ‘this is how you market and get people to buy in’, it feels a bit like overselling or appealing to the insecurities of others.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be a ‘mastermind’?

I am in 100% support of evidence-based courses that are endeavoring to get clinicians thinking and asking more/better questions in order to better help their patients.  That being said, I don’t believe ANY of us are ‘masters’ of anything, and one course isn’t going to change that.   Lots of people are trying to do great things every day, but if we were ‘masters’, would our stats look like this?

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There are many in the physical therapy community that I like and respect very much who are now promoting  ‘masterminds’ or ‘master classes’.  I firmly believe that they are trying to do good work.  However, I have a few questions for you….  Do you truly think you are ‘masters’?  Or did you choose that name as a marketing ploy?

Either way, I’d love to chat.  It’s very possible that I just don’t understand the meaning or your intention. 

Thanks for reading (& thanks in advance for the discussion),

P.S.  Some more food for thought- instead of being a mastermind, what about having a 'beginner's mind'?  This sounds much more like what I'm aiming for!