After reading Jay Samit’s book “Disrupt You” I began to think about the Physical Therapy profession and the role we, the next generation of DPT, will have to assume if we want to move the profession forward. Schools have now moved their PT program to a doctorate level, and yet it seems like our confidence has not reached such level. We possess an immense body of knowledge and superb clinical skills, and yet I would go to an APTA conference only to listen to topics of identity and low reimbursement. The Doctorate stamp is clearly not enough to increase our value in an ever so changing healthcare field. If we want to move PT forward, we have to start with ourselves, we have to disrupt ourselves!
You have heard of disruptors: companies like Napster, Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Amazon, and others I cannot bring to memory. They appear out of nowhere, challenge the status quo and put lots of companies out of business. Perhaps the greatest disruption was demonstrated in the movie: Raiders of the lost Ark. Indiana Jones was challenged to a duel by an Arab swordsman, who showboated his swordsmanship before he attacked. Jones calmly reached out to his holster, pulled out his Smith & Weston and shot the guy dead. That day, the value of the sword took a major hit. Now, how does that apply to you or Physical Therapy? Creating disruption in PT means we have to change the way things are being done. Relax, you don’t have to invent the next thing in order to make a huge impact, but you can certainly learn how to use the next thing and apply it to Physical Therapy. How many of you have trouble connecting with your patient? How many of you want to help your client with the 5K they wish to run, but cannot even bring it up because all of your focus is on his or her limited insurance? How many of you would like a decent amount of time to evaluate your patient but cannot because you are too restricted? Offering additional health and wellness services, using communication tools other than email: BlueJay Telehealth, Healigo etc, are a few ways we can change the way we practice, and in the process, differentiate ourselves from the status quo. I do not get paid to promote these applications. The point I want to make is that you absolutely cannot afford to stay stagnant, especially in today’s volatile business landscape. You can disrupt yourself by learning new skills and adapting. As explained in the summary of the book: “It is no longer possible-or even desirable-to learn one set of job skills and to work your way up the ladder.”
Being tech savvy and being able to offer services other than PT to your client is great, but it means nothing if you do not know how to market. If Physical Therapy schools would be willing to add another class to their busy and compact curriculum, I pray to God it’s marketing. You can have the greatest skill in the world but you won’t profit from it if people do not know about it. Leverage social media, start blogging, create and offer content of value to your community. Bring them so much value that they have to be curious about the work you do. How is it that we are still facing an identity crisis? It’s because we are not putting ourselves out there enough. While it is important to spend our energy lobbying, it is as equally important to give our energy to the people in our community; they are the ones who need it.
If you truly have the desire to win, to constantly evolve and become the best version of yourself, and bring this profession to the next level, then it would be best to learn under people that have been doing just that. Greg Todd, Aaron LeBauer, Paul Cough and Ben Fung are people with an infinite passion for the profession. They would be happy to mentor you as long as you are willing to invest in yourself. The true worth of a mentor lies in learning from their mistakes so that you don’t have to make them along your career. A mentor brings you to the promise land a lot sooner than you can anticipate. Greg Todd has been an amazing coach, his passion and energy has definitely rubbed off on me ever since I purchased his course, and he has helped me accomplish so much in 6 months than I did in 3 years. If you want to revolutionize your career, you better find a mentor.
Let’s start making changes, let’s learn how to bring value to our community because that is what is going to move PT forward. Complaining about insurance, chiropractors’ marketing tactics, and criticizing fellow DPTs on forums will not solve the problem. The best way to change your world is to create it, so let’s take action.
PS: For those who are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone in order to grow and move the profession forward, join the Smart Success PT family.