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: The physical therapy profession has long recognized the importance of physical therapists determining whether a need for a patient referral to another healthcare practitioner exists. 5-8 More specifically, during each initial patient evaluation and subsequent reevaluation, physical therapists must decide whether to treat the patient, refer the patient, or initiate both treatment and referral. 1,4 This clinical decision is based on physical therapists recognizing patient history and physical examination red flag findings consistent with pathology that requires physician consultation and examination. 4

(C) Copyright 2010 Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy