Instructor Spotlight: Chad Cook

Spotlight - Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAAOMPT

Dr. Chad Cook is an internationally acclaimed expert in differential diagnosis. He has published well over 190 peer reviewed papers, has three textbooks in their 2nd edition, and has presented internationally at over 145 presentations/conferences. Dr. Cook has won numerous research and teaching awards, and was one of MedBridge’s first instructors.

What inspired you to become an instructor?

I’ve always been fascinated by new knowledge. In the 1990’s, when I attended continuing education courses, I learned best from instructors that:

  1. Lived the content they taught
  2. Dug deeper into the knowledge and learned from research of the content
  3. Tried to synthesize that information for all new learners.

As a clinician who had the opportunity to build novel experiences at the clinic in which I was employed, I felt compelled to share the information. The love of learning and sharing knowledge transferred to academic roles. Small opportunities expanded to those I have today. Ironically, the most rewarding piece of being an instructor is the preparation phase. I love creating the information and deciding the best way to present it.

Tell us about a memorable moment in your career.

My teaching mentor was Phil Sizer, PhD, PT, a professor at Texas Tech University where I earned my doctorate. Dr. Sizer is a gifted speaker and one of the most passionate educators I’ve had the opportunity to meet. Texas Tech had three campuses, so my exposure to Dr. Sizer as a teacher was usually at a distance – watching him present over a wall monitor. He was a consummate professional: well prepared, scripted, and deliberate. One day he gave a lecture immediately after a complex dental procedure, in which he received fairly robust pain medication, and provided one of the most uninhibited and entertaining lectures I’ve ever encountered. He let his guard down and presented as a regular person (most of us were under the impression that Dr. Sizer was actually a computer).  I knew then that when one provides knowledge, entertainment, and approachability, one has reached the triple whammy in teaching success. This is the style that I try to engender.

What is the most rewarding part of being a therapist?

To me, the most rewarding thing about being a physical therapist is that the essence of what we do in research, either indirectly or directly, influences the patient. Our research matters.

What excites you the most about working with MedBridge?

I love the sophistication that MedBridge brings to my presentations. I love that they have opened doors to learners from all over the world and that these learners can contact me directly to discuss topics. I love that MedBridge is never satisfied with the status quo and that they are always innovating to make the therapy experience better, for clinicians and patients. I also dig the Northwestern vibe that the business has. It’s a company that is cool, mellow, and always ahead of the curve.

In the past two years, I’ve been invited to speak in multiple countries at many different venues. There are a myriad of reasons I was invited, but a common thread among my trips is the percentage of individuals who have taken my MedBridge courses. Even non-English speaking learners have flocked to the Medbridge courses because these provide a global access that is not normally reachable. MedBridge has been my connector and it’s changed the way I think about learning.