How do you find your passion or "your thing" in PT?


How do you find your area of passion and expertise in physical therapy? When you're a new PT or trying to find your place, is there anything that can help you figure it out?

Jenna: Okay, Phil so how do you find your biggest passion or area of passion within physical therapy? So when I think of you, I automatically think of injury reduction. I think of movement. I think of a lot of different things that you're very well known for and that you're super passionate about. And I struggled with this early on of like, how do you find your thing, I guess you could say. And I feel like a lot of PT students ask like, how do you find your thing? So I guess my question is, how do you find that area that you're most passionate about?

Phil: Yeah, I think that this took me a while to fully understand. I think we have it backwards.
I think we have it such that find your passion and then follow it. I think the advice actually should be
go do a bunch of stuff and you will find your passion. Because I think being good at something makes you more passionate about it. And then when you're more passionate about it, you work on it harder.  And then when you work on it harder, you become better at it. And then you get this good feedback that you know, gosh, you know this well, and you become known for these things and then you always then want to stay up to date because of the base that you've built. You always will be a leader in that, if you will, or better at that because you have this base of knowledge that you keep building on. So I'm curious what you think.

Jenna: No, I think I think that's good. Like I like that. You know, you don't need to necessarily know. I think I would echo what you said just from my own experience of like when I first came out of school, I felt like I was, like, searching for the thing. But that caused me to try a bunch of different things. And, all of a sudden I get to this point where I'm like, I love the hypermobile, active individual. I mean, coming out of PT school, I don't even know if I truly knew the difference between someone that was hypermobile and that kind of thing.  So I do think to some extent you just do a bunch of stuff and you almost stumble on it. And then the more you do it, the more you love it.

Phil: Yeah, that's the key thing and it's a hard advice to give and so I want to make it, somewhat a two pronged and tangible there because it is do a lot of different things and see what you really enjoy.  But then there's also the thought process of it is like, what do you enjoy doing otherwise? Like you love watching football and sports and, the Olympics and all this. You know, that's something you know, I love I love doing, too, which then kind of narrows down that hey, maybe I like physical activity, maybe I like sports, maybe I like competitiveness,  that type of thing. So doing a lot of stuff in that area, maybe gives you some direction to that try everything type of thing.  Yeah, go after the things that you know you like and then you start to almost like split off at certain things and then the more you do . . . And just don't turn down things that don't appear to be directly in that I think would be the follow on advice to that.



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