The interview


Merve Damla Korkmaz, Turkey


What is your profession:

I’m a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Doctor


How is the rehabilitation treatment of spine diseases managed in your country?

In my country, there are four types of health centres: University hospitals, State hospitals, private hospitals, and private clinics.

According to these types of health centres, there are some approaches. In the university hospitals, there are educated professors and doctors, and also in some of them, there are Schroth therapists. And they work with interaction. There are so many patients in the state hospitals, and the time is very restrictive for evaluating a patient thoroughly. So it can be difficult to examine a scoliosis patient for hours. But, there are special teams for scoliosis treatment in other hospitals and clinics, and they interact with each other. So, generally, after surgery or if the patient needs very closed evaluations, they refer to these centres. If there is a specialist interested in scoliosis in the state hospitals, it will be helpful for treating the patients also there. 

Scoliosis: how is it treated?

As I mentioned before, very few centres work with a team ( physician, PT, orthotics, etc.). I see the patients in my clinic; I examine them, and I want to see an X-ray. According to these results, I decide on a treatment method. If I want to treat with a brace, I recipe the brace by writing the features of the patient's spine to the orthotics. After preparing the brace, I wish to evaluate the patient’s spinal deformity for convenience.

On the other hand, if the patient needs surgery, I send the patient to the orthopaedic surgeon in my hospital or another hospital with a special note for the patient again. If the patient needs the exercise, I send them PTs in my clinic for basic exercises, but they don’t educate for specific exercises for scoliosis. There are Schroth therapists in some centres in Turkey, so if I think it will be beneficial for patients, I refer them to these centres.
Actually, it isn't easy to work with a team in the state hospital. However, it is easier in private hospitals or clinics because there are fewer patients and more time...


What would you like to improve on your country's clinical practice currently followed? 

I want to reduce the number of X-rays. And firstly, I will do it in my clinical practice. Additionally, I warn radiologists to protect the patients' gonads while taking the X-rays.
Secondly, I want to work with educated PTs and orthotics. Because there are lots of PTs or orthotics which do not know anything about scoliosis, but they claim to treat it.


What can the Scoliosis Online Master Course PPSCT give you, and how do you think you can apply this knowledge in your daily clinical practice?

This course helps me to examine and evaluate the patients as a whole. And I will treat the patients more confidently. On the other hand, I will assess the efficacy of the treatment more correctly.  






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