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In the past year, I have seen a dramatic increase in the number and variety of international submissions to the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. Authors in Malaysia, India, Portugal, Brazil, Greece, Canada, and Australia have submitted their work to our journal. I find this trend to be very exciting and reflective of at least two important factors.
Clearly the Journal has reached a new level of visibility in the scholarly world. I cannot take credit for much of this factor— the work of editors before me and the improving quality of the Journal over the past few years clearly makes it an attractive option to a much wider audience. Getting to that level of visibility took years of building, grooming authors and reviewers, developing a vision and commitment to electronic media, and becoming a member of many different scholarly databases. I feel fortunate to have been handed the reins of the Journal at a time when this global visibility is being realized.
I am also excited about what these international scholars can bring to American cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists. Anyone who has been fortunate to travel to other countries and observe physical therapy practice can attest that “cardiorespiratory physiotherapy” is a core element of every entry-level physical (physio) therapist's practice. In addition, there are clear career ladders to develop expertise in this content area. It could be argued that the presence or absence of respiratory therapy as a career field influences the centrality of pulmonary physical therapy in different countries. However, in any profession where a majority of members consider this area of practice to be central, there will be a greater number and diversity of talented practitioners, educators, and researchers adding to the body of literature. We in the United States can clearly benefit from this.
I encourage each of you to examine the international flavor of this issue. I think you will find great diversity of practice and thought, but yet a common thread when it comes to how we approach patients with cardiovascular & pulmonary issues. From India, we learn about the functional implications of tuberculosis, certainly a global health issue. From Greece, we have the perspective of a very active research group regarding exercise prescription for persons with COPD. From Australia, we gain direction in critiquing and interpreting systematic reviews. And finally, from the US, we gain an appreciation of our own diversity, as we see how women in rural Nebraska approach risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
I hope that we, the members of the American cardiovascular & pulmonary physical therapy community, value and pursue greater collaborations throughout the world. By forming collaborations with our international colleagues, we can mutually advance education, practice, and research.