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Several years ago, I was sitting in my office mid to late one afternoon working on something that at this moment I cannot remember. But what I do recall is a phone call I received. “Hello Jim, this is Sue Michlovitz.” While I do not recall my exact words of reply, I am pretty confident my thoughts were something along the line of “Sure it is.” Why in the world would Sue Michlovitz be calling me? We had never met nor crossed paths, at least that I was aware. Then Sue told me, as if I didn’t already recognize her name, that she had a textbook on therapeutic modalities. She then asked if I had ever heard of the book. I quickly responded that not only had I heard of the text, but I used it in my undergraduate studies and still had my first edition copy on my bookshelf. After a chuckle and thanking me for making her feel old, Sue told me she was looking for someone to help her edit a pending fifth edition. Sue told me that she had become familiar with me and my work in therapeutic modalities. She said she liked the way I explained and taught electrotherapy and wanted to see if I was interested in working with her on the next edition of her text. Little did Sue know that I had been contemplating the idea of writing a textbook on electrotherapy but had not gotten far. After further consideration I decided that rather than write my own textbook on electrotherapy I would accept Sue’s offer, take her mentorship and guidance, and do my part to continue the legacy of her title into a fifth edition.

The next several months were filled with conversations, logistics planning, and dreaming. Sue envisioned a fifth edition with expanded content on electrotherapy during which she would teach me the ins and outs of writing, editing, and producing a textbook. With luck and a positive outcome, Sue indicated that future leadership of the title might be mine. The excitement of creating the fifth edition was matched only by its publication and my pride in contributing to a text that has long been recognized as a staple resource in the rehabilitation sciences since 1986. Well, the fifth edition was a success. A few years later and time for a sixth edition, Sue told me it was time for me to take over as lead editor. Encouraged by her support and energized by ideas and confidence stemming from the fifth edition, the sixth edition came to fruition under my direction and that of long-standing co-editor, Thomas Nolan.

With the change in lead editorship came the realization that for the first time in 30 years, the first name on the text would not be Susan L. Michlovitz. It was obvious that Sue’s accomplishments with this text needed to be memorialized. Thus, the title was modified to Michlovitz’s Modalities for Therapeutic Intervention so that Sue’s name would live on at the forefront of an iconic text in physical therapy. For the seventh edition, Tom Nolan and I have assumed full editorial responsibilities and for the first time, Sue is no longer listed as an editor. Regardless, her influence, guidance, and support live on in this title. Thank you, Sue.

Therapeutic modalities, biophysical agents, electrophysical agents, or whatever name you prefer, these interventions have remained a part of the rehabilitation sciences for decades. This seventh edition continues to address these therapies and their role in patient care. Every chapter in this edition includes updated references, new case studies, and considerations for whom and when a specific modality may be indicated. Instructors and students are encouraged to use this text as a guide to discussion and application in consideration for how therapeutic modalities may play a complementary role in the complete patient care management model. Often there is not a one-way-fits-all approach to rehabilitation, and so this text provides information to help guide clinical decision-making and application of these supportive co-therapies. Through enhanced knowledge and understanding, clinical outcomes can be improved. This is the overarching goal of this text.

Jim Bellew, PT, EdD, MS

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