Motivation and Reward - Physical Therapy Career

What motivates me to be a physical therapist is just that thank you note when somebody thanks you and gives you the big handshake, we helped them through a really difficult time in their life. That's why you wake up every morning and you rush to the office early and you work hard all day because you have a positive impact on a lot of people and that keeps me ticking.

Physical therapists have a great combination of salary and flexibility. We make a good, honest living; we’re not tied to our work 24 hours a day. We work hard when we're at the office and pretty much when you're done you rest up and get ready for the next day. We're not on email 24 hours a day and we have great flexibility so if you're an athlete you can run, if you're a reader you can read, there's a good balance between work and play.

Changes in the field of Physical Therapy

The world of physical therapy is changing as we speak. More and more states have direct access which means patients can come directly to a physical therapist for a certain amount of care prior to seeing a physician. And the level of education as moved from a master's degree to a doctorate degree. Formally graduates of a physical therapy programs were granted a master's in physical therapy degree. Presently almost every program in the country has now a doctorate in physical therapy degree and the changes two to six months of additional education as part of that graduate program and it also allows the physical therapy community to have higher educated entry-level physical therapists.

The combination of direct access which essentially means easier access for patients to get physical therapy treatment and higher educated entry-level physical therapists and higher educated entry-level physical therapists allows more opportunities for the physical therapist and allows more opportunities for physical therapist to be involved in the rehabilitation of patients. These changes are great for the profession and allow more immediate access to physical therapy services for the patients that need them and it allows the physical therapist to have a stronger relationship with the physicians that refer patients to us.

Measurement of Success

I measure my success in at least three ways, stability meaning I have a constant flow of patients. My business is busy enough that I'm not worried about the bank account. Flexibility, I'm able to have a certain amount of time with my family and my kids and enjoy myself outside of the practice and reputation. Within the referring community physicians are happy with my work and the success of their patients as well and just the number of referrals that I get from previous patients. That means that we're, myself and my staff we know we're doing the right thing we're doing good work.