I asked Theresa Richard to tell me her story and motivation for starting the “Swallow your pride” podcast. Also, I was very fortunate to sit down with Theresa at ASHA 2017 as her guest on episode 14 of the podcast. So enjoy her story below and make sure “Swallow your pride” is part of your morning commute!

My desire to create this podcast started as every great story does… with a glass of wine on a Friday night while scrolling through Facebook. I had this epiphany that even if we just knew a little bit more about a colleague’s background, or training, we may be a little more empathetic in helping a sister (or brother) out. We have these incredible communities of 20,000 SLPs strong, and most of the time everyone ends up getting angry and frustrated at the state of our profession.

I decided I didn’t want to play the blame game anymore, but rather play the devil’s advocate, and provide solutions to our pressing issues. The reality is that we graduate from grad school as entry level clinicians. Some of us had very strong school-based courses, some had incredible aphasia professors, and others were taught by Dr. Jeri Logemman herself! And then we have everyone else that graduated with a basic foundation of dysphagia, but still requiring an extensive education and on the job training of evidence-based practice which sometimes never comes.

Somewhere along the way we forgot that we live, work, and breathe in an ever-evolving medical profession, where we have incredible researchers that are constantly confirming or disproving our assessments and treatment strategies. Combined with that we have our ASHA Code of Ethics where every single December we check the box that says that we will abide by this document. We have a professional obligation to stay up to date on the latest and greatest research in order to treat our patients appropriately. And for some, the struggle is too real.

“But CEU courses are way too expensive and I can’t miss my sons soccer games!” I get it. We’ve all heard it. “I wrote that in a paper in the Dysphagia journal 10 years ago, why are we still using it?” I hear you sister. Fact of the matter is, we all have master’s degrees in Communication Disorders, and for some reason we’re just really struggling with spreading the new information. Let’s face it, we didn’t take courses in marketing in grad school either.

So with that, I decided I wanted to create a platform where everyone could share their side of the story. Where they aren’t limited to 500 words in a Facebook post with the firing squad ready to take aim full of evidence based practice, when in reality they know that, just the patient had different wishes. I wanted to create a place where researchers can share their incredible work with us, and we don’t have to pay $500 and travel across the country to hear it.  I wanted it to be quick, and painless, and something you could absorb while driving or at the gym. And so became the birth of the “Swallow Your Pride” Podcast. I hope you’ll listen with an open mind, and help to move our profession forward. We owe it to ourselves, and most importantly, our patients.

This is a FREE podcast and can be found on iTUNES, Android, Google Play, and Stitcher as well as at swallowyourpridepodcast.com


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Theresa Richard is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, and owner and founder of Mobile Dysphagia Diagnostics, which provides mobile swallow studies in skilled nursing facilities, and rural hospitals. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University at Buffalo, and has completed Advanced FEES training under Dr. Susan Langmore as well as SASS Swallowing Services. She has been a visiting guest lecturer at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Edinboro University, and Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center on the topic of FEES as well as a clinical instructor on the hands-on application and interpretation of the FEES as part of an ASHA approved CEU course with Dr. Eric Blicker. She has also peer reviewed several CEU courses for Northern Speech Services, CEU Customer Care, and Dysphagia Grand Rounds. She is a member of ASHA Special Interest Group 13 (Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders), the Dysphagia Research Society, former President of the Nevada Speech-Language Hearing Association, and 3-time ASHA ACE Award recipient for continuing education. Theresa also provides resources for treating dysphagia for fellow SLPs at mobiledysphagiadiagnostics.com/blog and has a weekly top 30 podcast in Science and Medicine on iTunes called "Swallow Your Pride."