“I guess I need to start my own practice,” Matt told me. He sounded completely defeated. He had just finished telling me how frustrated and bored he was at work. He wasn’t getting paid enough, his loans were growing rather than shrinking, and worst of all he felt like he was going through the motions at work.
I’ve had this same conversation with so many people over the years and I’ve said the same thing as Matt before.
Here’s the thing, you’re not alone if you’ve ever thought that starting your own practice is the only way out.
Maybe you’re bored and don’t want to keep doing the same thing day in and day out. Maybe you want more money, but the gradual incremental (and small) raises aren’t enough. Maybe you want more freedom in your schedule and you want to control your schedule rather than your schedule controlling every aspect of your life. Or maybe you dream of...
It is 8 am and my day is about to start. I’m well rested, I went for a run this morning and I just leisurely finished my cup of coffee. Life is good or it should be…
No matter how great of a morning I’m having, I still don’t want to start my day of patients. There’s nothing out of the ordinary on the schedule, no double bookings, no shortened appointments. But, while I’m well rested, I just don’t feel like I have the emotional energy.
I don’t feel like making small talk today. I’m not in the mood to listen to patient reports.
But, I go grab my 8 am from the waiting room and before she is even out of her chair she is telling me how much worse she is. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I don’t want to talk about symptoms until we are back at a table. Yet, she spends every single one of the 200 steps toward the treatment area telling me how bad she hurts. I...
Steve contacted the human resources director of a company because they had outpatient and inpatient PT jobs in multiple states. Unfortunately, after a few conversations, it was clear they didn’t have any opportunities in the areas he was interested. But the HR director referred him to the manager of an outpatient clinic for a different company in a different city and he was able to land his dream job.
Sarah interviewed with a hospital for an acute care position. Over the course of several conversations, she mentioned that she was also interested in women’s health. Rather than getting the inpatient job, the manager recommended her for a position that wasn’t even posted yet -- director of the new women’s health initiative at the hospital.
After talking with his mentors, Blaine secured an interview with an NFL team. He prepped extremely well but in the end didn’t get the job. Interestingly, several months later one of the strength...
Dear PT Students,
As a new grad, I was struggling with a patient and voiced my frustrations to a co-worker. She listened to me and then asked me the following three questions:
1. Are you using all the resources you have to help this patient?
2. Are you trying your absolute best?
3. Will you keep trying?
My answer to all three questions was “yes”, but this did nothing to calm the frustrations. And then she looked at me and gave me the one piece of advice that I still carry today:
“You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep getting better.”
Perfection is unrealistic. While we all want to be perfect, chasing perfection is bound to leave us feeling like we aren’t good enough, as it did for me with my patient.
Chasing improvement is where growth replaces the fear of failure. So, whether a difficult course, a tough patient case, or an experience that scares you, focus on getting better. And ask yourself:
Am I using all my resources, am I trying my...
At my work, a texting system is the main communication between the front desk and the therapists. When a patient arrives, we get a text or if there is a walk-in evaluation we will get a text. Sometimes a text will simply be an update or a question, but for the most part, it alerts us that a patient has arrived.
So, at 7:56 am my phone vibrates. I take it out and my 8 am patient is here. This continues one after another after another. Your patient is here. Your patient is here. Your patient is here. At 11:27 am, I feel the vibration and instead of “your patient is here” it reads “we need more clipboards if anyone has any.” I’m met with a sigh of relief. It isn’t my 11:30 patient. I have a minute to myself. The relief I feel is significant. I shouldn’t be this excited that the front desk needs clipboards, but I am. It is a break in the monotony.
The morning, the day, actually the...
We saw a lot of patients, worked long hours, and had lots of documentation. The patients were a garden variety of outpatient orthopaedic patients -- not necessarily my ideal patient type. But I LOVED my job. It was fun to go to work. I remember saying “I could dig a ditch with these people and enjoy it.”
Thinking of memories like this got me considering, “Is it possible to love your job and not like the people you work with?” I think the answer certainly depends on the person. I would say in general, if you don’t like the people you are working with, you will have an uphill battle enjoying your job. If you don’t like the people you are working with, every other aspect of the job must be perfect. Even then, I don’t really think you can LOVE your job.
I believe for most people that what you are doing as a job pales in comparison to who you are working with.
Does your work family have the following?
1) You Develop Meaningful Friendships...
One of my best friends is a computer programmer. We have worked on several projects together and have designed some really useful software (if I do say so myself). I would always ask him, “Can you program it to____________ (fill in the blank)?” His response was, “Sure! Given enough time and money.”
That is when he introduced me to the Good, Fast, Cheap triangle. With any project it can be high quality (good), done quickly (fast), or not very expensive (cheap).
You can only have two exist at a time. It can either be done really fast and cheap, but the quality won’t be very good. Or it can be done well and quickly, but that is going to be expensive.
You get the point. That is why his answer to “Can you program it to ____?” was always "Yes, given enough time and money."
Many of us dream about the perfect job... great hours, incredible pay, doing exactly what we want. While I am a believer that you can strike professional gold, many...