If You Cannot get Buy In Then Knowledge and Skill Is Lost

Dear PT Students,

No one told me that it could be more effective to have multiple personalities when working with patients than it would be to have multiple treatment options. 

I do not mean that in a dysfunctional way, but rather in terms of relatability and communication.

When you finish PT school you want to know everything, take tons of continuing education, and have a million skills when it comes to treatment.  But all of that takes time, experience, and constant refinement.

There are an endless number of ways to get patients moving better and feeling better.  Yet if you cannot get buy in, then much of that knowledge and skill is lost.

Patient education is more than how you talk to patients and more than avoiding medical jargon.  It requires you to be the person your patient needs you to be.  Some patients will need to joke around, some will want to talk the entire session, some will need encouragement, some will need to be reigned in, some will want...

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What Is The One Thing Students Need to Hear?


Being a student isn't easy.  You're constantly trying to prove yourself and are often surrounded by PTs that have a lot more experience.  No one has it all figured out and students, you don't need to either.

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You Won't Wake Up and Suddenly Have All The Answers


Dear PT Students,


“I feel like a fraud,” she said. She wasn’t my student, but she was in the middle of completing her final clinical.  


I think most of us can relate to this on some level.  One minute you’re taking a test and answering questions in class and the next you realize that hardly any patient presents like the textbook said they would.


But, you’re not a fraud, you’re not an imposter, and you are good enough.


You just don’t have the experience or the reps to feel confident.  That will come with practice.  In the mean-time, here are 3 ways to deal with the feeling.


  1. Test/retest:  No one knows what they are doing when they start.  So, choose your best guess, try it and then see if you made a change. Use a system to figure out your next step. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask:  The best clinicians I know always ask questions when they reach a point where they...
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How Do You Know When It' s Time to Leave Your PT Job?


In this video, we discuss the difficult question of how do you know if it is time to leave your physical therapy job. While the answers to this question are certainly complex, thinking about it as we discuss in the video might help to bring some clarity.

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You May Not Know the Possibilities to Your Future PT Self

Dear PT Students,


You may not know what is possible for your future.  


We had residency interviews this past week and I was asked a question that really made me think.  “Did what you wanted for your career change from before residency vs. post residency?”


The question resonated with me because residency changed me quite a bit.  However, this isn’t a post about doing a residency.  This is a post about recognizing that your ideas and your dreams about your career may be unfinished.


I wanted to be a professor directly after residency because I knew I wanted to teach.  But it never occurred to me that I could teach continuing education and I never knew that could be even more appealing.


Think of your future career with the possibility that you haven’t been exposed to what you’re truly passionate about lately.  If you don’t know anyone in pro sports, you might not think it is...

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One tip you need to know to get the job you want


In this video  we discuss our best tip to get the job you want. Jenna says it's about relationships and Phil thinks it's about the first thing you do after the interview, see what you think...

If you are looking for more tips on getting your ideal job, check out our free Master Class -- The Ideal PT Candidate


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Being uncomfortable is the fastest way to grow

Dear PT Students,
Oh, treatment Tuesdays. I haven’t thought about them in a long time, but they came up on my timeline.
While I was in school, every Tuesday Rutgers had a student and faculty run community clinic where patients could be seen on a pro bono basis.
We were required to do a few hours a semester. As a first year student, I dreaded going. I felt uncomfortable, not confident, and I didn’t stay a second more than necessary.
Then clinicals came around and I wished I had spent more time there and gotten more experience. I vowed I would go every Tuesday of my second year regardless of requirement. And I did.
The beginning still sucked. I felt out of place and was nervous I would do something wrong. But the more I showed up, the more I liked it. I started feeling more confident and could see my growth week to week. Practicals got easier. I got better and when my second clinical came around, I was a different student...
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One way to get unstuck in your career

“I would have contacted you, but I didn’t have any concrete action steps or questions, so I didn’t want to waste your time,” She replied to me reaching out to see if she wanted a mentor meeting.


I asked if she was stuck. She said, “Yes, I don’t know my next step.” We met and it turned out to be one of our most productive mentoring sessions.


I learned a lot through this interaction. Part of being on a journey toward your ideal career is that you frequently don’t know what’s next. And that is when you need high quality people who are on the same journey around you. That means that some are ahead of you, some are behind you, and some are right with you on the path.


That group, along with your guide, can see things that you can’t. I used to think that answering questions was one of the most important parts of mentoring. Actually it's not. It is being there and being understanding when the person is stuck,...

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You shouldn’t go into PT

“You shouldn’t go into PT,” I overheard a physical therapist telling a college student.  


I had been eavesdropping since I heard the student say that she loved observing and was almost certain that she wanted to go into the profession.

The PT went into detail about there not being enough money, that there is no longer job security, that there is no flexibility, and that you don’t have as much freedom as you’d want. It was for over five minutes that he continued trying to convince her not to go into physical therapy.

I took a quick glance in her direction and immediately saw the disappointment on her face.  She told him she’d think about it and I don’t think she spoke again the rest of the day.

I don’t want to argue about whether or not what he said is true.  And I’m not saying that there isn’t any truth to it.

But, if you hate the profession so much that you would destroy the dreams of a college...

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New Semester, New You

Dear PT Students,
During PT school, “New year, new me” wasn’t my go to saying. However, “New semester, new me,” was. At the beginning of each semester, I swore it would be different. I would study ahead, read more, keep track of deadlines better, get up earlier, and not constantly wish I started things earlier.
Those first two weeks of those semesters were always glorious. I was prepared and organized. And then after that first test or the first assignment the wheels would fall off and the semester would never be the same. Everything would go back to procrastination and “that’s due WHEN?!”
It wasn’t that I lacked motivation or that the novelty wore off. It is that I never put any systems in place. I swore things would be different, got organized, but then repeated the same pattern as the before. I had a plan for how to start the semester, but I didn’t have a plan for how I’d continue...
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