Jenna: Okay Phil, so a lot of physical therapists are about to start their very first job as a physical therapist. And I want you to tell them one thing you wish you had known starting your very first job.
Phil: The one thing I wish I would have known is that you you aren't going to feel confident, and that's okay. And you will be able to help a lot of people. But even though you may not feel like you have the ability or skills or anything, you know so much to be able to help people, and you will get better. So use both that lack of confidence to drive yourself to be better, but don't disparage yourself, don't get down on yourself, and don't think that other people can do it better than you. Because actually what we find is that new graduates can impact people's lives more than seasoned clinicians because they care so much, they're so much more detailed, they don't go on previous biases nearly as much. How about you?
Jenna: I would say that it's going...
I was sitting in my office and I think my jaw actually may have hit the desk after I heard what she said. She told me she loved orthopedics, but didn’t think she was smart enough to do it. I was shocked. This was an extremely gifted student. She looked at us faculty as if we could do no wrong. She looked at us as if we had it all figured out. She looked at us in such a way that she had convinced herself she never could be like us.
This was such a punch in the gut for me. Rather than inspiring physical therapy students, we were somehow demotivating them or worse, intimidating them. We had taken the best and the brightest and made them feel like they couldn't do it. This is the opposite of what I had hoped and what I feel is my purpose. So, I want to set the record straight. I want to share this for all physical therapy students and graduates past, present, and future.
This is the real story about your faculty:
We don't know everything
What looks like brilliance is...