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Consultant sees six years of study pay off with doctorate

10 November 2014 @TeesUniNews


Six years of study have paid off for a Consultant Physiotherapist after he achieved a professional doctorate.

Dr Atle Karstad, who is the only consultant physiotherapist at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, was part of the first cohort to complete the professional doctorate at Teesside University. The intensive part-time course took six years, but was something Dr Karstad was determined to complete.

He said: 'In addition to being the musculoskeletal professional lead, a big part of my role is also to lead on research and education, which made me decide to do the professional doctorate.'

Dr Karstad has been an honorary lecturer at Teesside University since 2003 as part of his consultant role.

On top of that, he has also been the musculoskeletal lead in his consultant role since he was appointed in 2003.

He added: 'My thesis was about developing a better understanding of the meaning of inter-professional learning and how professionals work together.'

Inter-professional learning happens when two or more people get together and learn from each other, and with each other. Their joint goal is to improve the way they work together as well as the quality of care that is provided.

The latest way that it is used is by using fourth generation evaluation. That is where the examples of previous evaluations are used to decide where they can be improved upon.

Dr Karstad said: 'In spite of being a key element of government policy, exploring interprofessional learning using fourth generation evaluation has not been done before and I wanted to explore this for musculoskeletal services, which are provided both in hospital and in the community.'

A new national framework has been developed based on the research findings.

The work, which will be published, may also be transferable to other specialities.

Dr Karstad said: 'It was hard work. It takes over your life and I couldn’t have done it without the support from colleagues in the trust and my family.'

Health care professionals interested in starting a doctorate can email Dr Josette Bettany-Saltikov or