The course is designed to be a competency, rather than a typical CEU course. The "recorded time" for the course does not accurately reflect the amount of time the learner will spend. It will take the average learner about 10 hours to complete given the nature of the content, and interaction anticipated by the participant. This course will be useful for a therapist working in a state that allows them to order imaging, but does not have any evidence of being "competent" beyond graduating from an accredited program.

Course Description

This course illustrates peer-reviewed musculoskeletal imaging cases from the archives of the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT). These cases demonstrate excellent clinical decision skills and appropriate referral to imaging by physical therapists resulting in optimal patient care. The design of the course is interactive. The student is asked to make clinical decisions throughout each case. A valuable feature of this course is the opportunity for the student to make a wrong clinical decision and see how it can lead to adverse consequences. The student is provided rationales to understand why a decision is wrong. The course then returns the student to the critical decision point and allows them to choose a correct action. The cases then proceeds as in actuality, with optimal patient outcomes.

Prior to the cases, an overview of imaging modalities and evidence-based imaging guidelines are presented. The student is tasked with utilizing the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria throughout the cases to emphasize correct choice of patient condition and variant when accessing this standard resource.

Meet our Instructors

Lynn N. McKinnis, DPT, PT, OCS Lynn is currently a Physical Therapist at Concordia Lutheran Ministries in Cabot, PA. She has authored several text books and articles all in the topic area she presents in this course.

Michael E. Mulligan, M.D. Michael is currently a professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Course Code:




cert_CA approval


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cert_PA Gen hours


Completion Instructions

Review recorded content, complete assessment with at least a 70% score, download and save certificate, provide feedback

Course level


Date published


Delivery method



Lynn McKinnis, DPT, PT, OCS; Michael Mulligan, M.D.

Learning objectives

  1. Analyze clinical cases to recognize how information obtained from medical imaging advanced the physical therapy evaluation and treatment intervention of the patient
  2. Distinguish, in a given clinical scenario, whether medical imaging is needed to advance the diagnostic investigation
  3. Decide if it is safe to proceed with physical therapy intervention in the absence of medical imaging
  4. Compare the capacities and limitations of radiographs, CT, MRI, US, and bone scan, to define pathology
  5. Choose the correct evidence-based guideline to use in a given clinical scenario
  6. Access the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria© and deduce the correct clinical condition recommendation to use in a given clinical scenario
  7. Justify use of Clinical Decision Rules (NEXUS, Canadian Cervical Spine Rule, Ottawa Knee Rules, Ottawa Ankle Rules)
  8. Decide when and why the physical therapist communicated with the physician to optimize the management of patient care


Rehab Essentials

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1Competency for Imaging Referral
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Learning Time:4h  
Domains:Michael Mulligan, Imaging, Lynn McKinnis
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar