DJ Wilson, President and CEO of State of Reform, a stakeholder-driven initiative that tries to bridge the gap between the worlds of health care and health policy, stopped by to talk about healthcare from the policy side of the table. In this episode we dive into:
In this episode, I sat down live on Facebook with a financial and media expert in the world of physical therapy, Dr. Ben Fung, PT, DPT, MBA. Dr. Fung breaks down how to approach getting the job that you want and how to leverage your skill sets in order to be compensated the highest you can be compensated. For more information about Dr. Fung, check out his website: http://drbenfung.com/
Follow Ben on social media as well at:
Building relationships is the key to success. Even now, if you have yet to apply to PT schools, you can start building relationships with people who might ultimately be in a position to admit you into a program. The time is now to start introducing yourself.
In this episode with guest, Joseph Reinke, the CEO of FitBUX, we discuss whether or not we are currently headed towards a student loan bubble. A few weeks ago I was watching The Big Short, which is a great movie that provides some insight into what led to the housing market crash a decade ago. Watching it, it all eerily reminded me of what is currently happening with how we use student loans when it comes to higher education. Immediately there was one person I thought of who could help enlighten me about whether there would be any connections. Enter Joe Reinke, the CEO of FitBUX. Are we headed for a student loan bubble? Find out tomorrow morning.
To learn more about FitBUX and Joe Reinke, check out their website by clicking here.
Want to hear more from Joe? He has been a regular guest on The Knowbodies Podcast where he has discussed budgeting and also broke down my own student loan situation with a case study. Check them out by clicking the links below.
Joe Reinke discusses budgeting on The Knowbodies Podcast
Joe Reinke takes my student loan situation and provides a case study
It was a huge honor to record this episode with Financial Rockstar Scott Alan Turner of the Scott Alan Turner Show, a podcast dedicated to educating every day people about personal finance. He is also the author of the 99 Minute Millionaire: The Simplest and Easiest Book Ever on Getting Started Investing and Becoming Rock Star Rich.
Scott breaks down so much about hacking his way out of student loan debt in this episode.
For more about Scott and his podcast, check out his website: https://scottalanturner.com/
To get a copy of Scott's Book, The 99 Minute Millionaire: The Simplest and Easiest Book Ever on Getting Started Investing and Becoming Rock Star Rich, you can purchase it here:
Will Boyd, PT, DPT
As students are flocking to campuses all over the country this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and reflect on what has stood out during my time in PT school. Winding down in my third year, I’m just a few months away from being done with graduate school (fingers crossed). I have learned a lot over the last three years and it seemed like a good idea to share that with all those about to begin their DPT and graduate school journeys.
You are Going to Freak the F#%$ out
At some point during your graduate studies, you will probably lose your cool for a minute. It will likely come during your Anatomy course or your first practical exam. If it doesn’t happen, you are awesome and you might as well replace the unicorn as the metaphor we use for something so elusive that it doesn’t exist.
The good news is, you will survive. A part of any significant challenge in life is how we deal with the pressure we put on ourselves. Remind yourself that you have made it this far and ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember that one test or practical exam has no reflection on your intelligence or capacity to be a great physical therapist.
Be Kind to Yourself
Every school is different, but for the most part, you will be seeing the same people ALL THE TIME and will naturally compare yourself to everyone else and judge yourself according to how you score on tests. YOU ARE NOT A TEST SCORE. I’ve met plenty of straight A students who struggle with interacting one-on-one with people.
Conversely, I have seen students barely float above passing who are amazing when they work one-on-one with people (you’re reading from one). When you start to feel awful that you aren’t doing as well as some of your peers (or if you’re always getting straight A’s and think you’re the most awesome PT student), take a breath and be kind to yourself. You are a person. You are doing your best. And EVERYONE, EVERYONE has things they can improve on.
Get Comfortable With Challenging Beliefs
I don’t mean just other peoples’ beliefs, I’m including your own as well. Part of being a scientist (yes, we are scientists) is constantly scrutinizing and questioning what we read and think. If we all started assuming that everything we have ever been told was fact (permanent), we would live in an ignorant and unchanging world. Or at least we wouldn’t be accepting of the changes around us! You will start to come across systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials with large sample sizes that conclude one treatment is better than another. Great! We are an evidence-based field and those types of studies are wonderful.
But don’t fall in love with them and don’t assume everything is done with the best intentions. Check the methods and see if there are flaws or holes in the research. If you are like me you will be frustrated by the amount of low level research you will come across for certain physical therapy interventions. That doesn’t mean what we do isn’t backed by science or that what we do isn’t helpful. We know it is helpful. We just often don’t truly know why or how it is. So keep challenging everything and our field will be better off because of it!
Mentorship is More Valuable than Your GPA
More than likely the first few semesters you will be very cognizant of your grades. Grades can matter depending on what school you go to. But Will, I won’t get a residency or fellowship if I don’t have a stellar GPA. I hate to break it to you, but welcome to the real world.
Your GPA doesn’t mean much if you are competing against people who have built relationships with the professors and academics who will be selecting the residency or fellowship recipients. What does this mean for you? Study. Get good grades. BUT, if you really want to move forward in the profession, network and make connections with the people in our field that you admire or hope to learn from. I promise you that they are more open to talking with you than you think. They remember that not too long ago, they were in your shoes. Seek guidance and mentorship over a 4.0 GPA. It will be the best thing you do.
Enjoy Where You Are
You are about to embark on a wonderfully stressful time in your life. You will most likely ride a roller coaster the next few years that goes from overwhelmed before a practical (I think I’m going to throw up!) to let’s get weird! (after you pass your practical) to when the f*$# is this ever going to end? Remind yourself that where you are is a place of growth. You wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t have a desire to push yourself and become more educated than you are now. Success isn’t what you have. Success is progress. You are progressing by just being where you are. There will be days you will feel like you aren’t smart enough. I want to remind you that you are more than smart enough. You are exactly where you should be. Enjoy it.
I think Nick and Eric would agree with me when I say we believe that healthcare is much more than treating specific diagnoses. We believe that healthcare is about building and maintaining healthy individuals, regardless of diagnosis. Something that I have not come across too often in the healthcare world is the importance of your own life experiences as a healthcare provider (please send great articles if you have seen people write on this before!). Before I dig into why I think your life matters when it comes to serving patients, I want to say that I obviously am no authority on this subject and do not intend to claim to be one. These are merely observations and reflections I have taken in over my graduate studies and time in clinical rotations.
Here are 3 reasons why what you have already done and what you will do in the future will serve you in helping to connect with your patients and clients:
Pain and Being Functionally Limited are Not Comfortable. Start Getting Uncomfortable Yourself.
When I was living in Spain, I had volunteered to teach a Spanish for Beginners class to a group of Senegalese immigrants. I remember initially thinking, this will be great, I will get to meet a lot of interesting people and help them communicate in this new country they would now be calling home. That optimism and naivety lasted all of 30 seconds into my first class. “What the hell am I doing here? I speak English. I hardly even know Spanish. Why would they let me do this?” Those thoughts were flooding over me as I stared at my students, none of whom spoke Spanish or English. Why is this story important? I had been in plenty of uncomfortable situations before, but I had never been in a situation where I could not communicate with the people around me, especially when everyone was depending on me to effectively communicate to them and I was not able to do so. What I learned from that experience was the value of patience, how to respect silence, and how reading body language is the most effective communication skill. Pain is often uncomfortable. Not being able to do things that you were once able to do with ease is uncomfortable. Many times it is incredibly difficult to communicate our pain or what the source of our limitation is. It wasn’t until years later that teaching that class in Spain, a situation that was very uncomfortable for several months, made me aware of the power of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. The act of challenging and stretching yourself to try and be willing to fail at new things is an exercise in relating to the patients in front of you. Doing things when you are not at your best is a constant reminder of what many people feel when looking at you from across the table. Stretch yourself. Push yourself. Be willing to fail. If not for you, for the people you are serving.
Taking Action Gets Results. Thinking About Acting Does Not.
Everything we do in life is a result of either taking an action or deciding not to act (an act in itself). At some point, we have all reaped the benefits of taking action. You have to make an active decision to sign up for a class or to seek out mentorship. Rarely do things fall in your lap. The results of those actions, whether positive or negative, push you in a different direction on your path because you have had that new experience. Your experiences in life when it comes to taking action are essential to building patient trust. If you are unwilling to take action, what would make a patient want to take action? We tend to feed off of the energy of those around us. If you are reading this, you are most definitely a person of action. Being that way will set you apart from other people. Not just in work, but in life.
Your Failures Will Serve You
I certainly could have been a better teacher for my students in that Spanish class. The organization I was volunteering with could have found someone more qualified to teach the basics of Spanish grammar and conjugating verbs. I just happened to be available and willing. They let me go for it and in all honesty, it was sort of a bust. I’m not sure how those students are doing today, but my guess is that if they are speaking Spanish, it was not because of my teaching methods. What I learned though is that we are all going to fail at times. It’s the biggest fear of all action takers. It’s also how we grow and how we can relate to patients and their fear to push themselves to reach their potential. Personal anecdotes of failure can create an environment that will allow patients to feel on a more level playing field with their care provider. Your experiences and your ability to communicate those experiences to patients can build trust and break down the authority/subservient relationship between practitioner and patient. Don’t be afraid to be you. Who you are and how you got to where you are will be vital to creating the relationships with patients that you want.
Stay Positive. Stay Healthy. Be Well.
-Will Boyd, PT, DPT
By: Will Boyd, PT, DPT
Physical Therapy Student Advice #1 – Start Engaging with those You Admire
There is a lot of fear that is attached to putting yourself out there, extending your hand, and waiting to see if another hand comes back to meet yours. What are you talking about, Will? I am talking about connecting, engaging, and building relationships with those you want to emulate in your profession. As DPT students, that might be a professor, it might be a current practitioner with a social media presence, or it might be a business owner in a vastly different field that is having success using ethically and morally sound principles. Whomever it is that you wish to emulate, start tracking them (and not in a weird hunter-after-a-deer kind of way). Read all of the content they put out (odds are you are doing this already) and start putting their content into practice.
How do I connect with the people I want to emulate? USE YOUR THUMBS. What I mean is, start following the people you look up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and any other social media platforms they are on. Rather than asking them directly to mentor, answer a question for you, or ask for business advice, keep in mind that if they are in a position of leadership or expertise, they likely get those requests weekly, if not daily. It can yield incredible dividends if you engage with them using a different approach. The best way to start is to be an active member of their following.
Simply start by liking and re-tweeting their content. Tag them and let them know what about their content or personality that you admire and respect. Bring positivity to an area where controversy and negativity tend to be the trend. Do everything you can to convey your message in a way that does not expect anything in return. Just give. You will be amazed at the level of engagement that will come out of being an active supporter and encourager to those you admire.
They Were Once Us In Our Shoes
They, like you and I, are people who have doubts and feel empowered by our communities providing encouragement and constructive feedback. There is no guarantee that you will have people reach back out to you, but I think you will be amazed by the opportunities and further engagement that will come out of these powerful methods.
If you do connect with someone and a relationship is established, that’s amazing! Give even more. By that I mean, if someone you look up to takes time to provide you with customized information, guidance, or time, give them the gratitude they deserve. Write them a thank you note. Yes, writing with your hands is still a powerful tool.
Odds are they have some type of public work address, which is absolutely appropriate to use to send someone a thank you note. It’s old school, but it conveys that you valued their information and time so much that you are willing to value your own time enough to write them a thoughtful message.
Why would they interact with a lowly student?
They were once a student! Try not to forget that they understand your position and more than likely once felt the exact same way you do now. Also, if you are following them via social media, email, or whatever means, you are a MEMBER of a COMMUNITY. Communities only thrive if their members are actively engaged and express what the community needs to grow. Your voice is powerful. Don’t ever doubt that it is.
I met someone I had looked up to for a long time, Dr. Jeff Moore, through becoming a fan of his work, sharing it, and sending positive feedback What that eventually led to was an invitation to see if he would have an interest in being on our podcast. One key thing is that I never asked directly if he would be a guest on the show. I always try use language that is not demanding, but rather creates an environment that promotes friendship with or without expectations.
Through our conversation, Jeff helped guide me towards a Masterminds group, which eventually ended in a verbal job offer from another person connected in the field of physical therapy. That was a pretty amazing moment for me. Just through reaching out, being supportive, and wanting to give more than receive, I actually ended up receiving far more than I could offer to give. Over this winter break, make an effort to engage with those you admire and hope to emulate. They may just be more reachable than you imagine.
Physical Therapy Student Advice #2 -Develop A Few Basic Skills That Will Set You Apart
Here’s an interesting thought I had while working on building The Knowbodies Podcast and website from scratch. What percent of PT clinics, hospitals, or rehab facilities have websites? I don’t have a statistic, but I bet it is VERY, VERY high. Here’s another thought I had: how many hours do we spend in PT school learning the basics of running a website? In our program it was 0 hours. My suggestion (and I have personally seen this pay off via the amount of job offers I have received prior to graduating) is to sign up for a free WordPress site and start learning the basics of building and running a website.
The amount of private practice clinics that are struggling to keep up with the changing landscape of the Internet and social media is greater than I had imagined. Who can blame them? Very few, if any of us, had any desire to run websites when we signed up for PT school. That’s probably WHY WE SIGNED UP FOR PT SCHOOL! That being said, there is a need in many practices to lower costs and be more effective at running effective and attractive websites. Teaching yourself the basics of WordPress (WordPress has a fairly large stranglehold on the website creating world) or Weebly (another website creating program) may just increase your marketability when applying for jobs and will more than likely raise the interest level on the part of the people interviewing you because you are thinking beyond yourself, you are thinking of how you can help the team.
“I’m Terrible At Computer Stuff”
Try to keep this in mind: It’s not about being good or being the best at anything. It is about improving your own knowledge and increasing your personal skill set. Create a free blog and make a game of it. No one but you ever has to see it. The goal is to simply be familiar with the basics of how to organize and structure a functioning website. If you feel overwhelmed, using YouTube tutorials can help tremendously.
I was able to build and maintain our website through educating myself via YouTube videos. Take advantage of all the tools available to you. It might surprise you how far even the simplest of knowledge about creating a blog or website can separate you from other people interviewing for a job. Many private practices are interested in starting a blog, but haven’t started one out of fear of not knowing how to start one. You could be that person and that might be the reason someone hires you over another person.
Student Physical Therapy Advice #3 – Start Thinking About Getting “The Job You Want” and Avoid Thinking About Getting “A Job”
So much of life comes down to mindset and that is definitely the case when it comes to approaching interviews and potential job opportunities. The more you can start to seek out the jobs you want instead of hoping that you will get “a job”, the more you will attract what you seek.
Think of it like dating. You likely would not ask out every single person you see, but rather, you have an idea of the type of person you would like to date and you seek out those people. The same applies to finding a career. Are you interested in working with the geriatric population? Rather than applying to a blanket of positions, seek out resources that will help you grow as a practitioner in the area you want to work in.
Expand Your Knowledge
Seek out the Senior Rehab Podcast hosted by Dr. Dustin Jones and become familiar with the people he surrounds himself with. Want to work in Women’s Health or be an entrepreneur? Seek out Dr. Karen Litzy or Dr. Lisette Holland and study the paths that they have led to become successful. The same applies to outpatient orthopedics where people like Dr. Jeff Moore, Dr. Kelly Starrett, and Dr. Justin Dunaway, along with so many others are providing incredible content that can help you get a better sense of the job you will WANT and not a job you have to TAKE. If there is one very underrated aspect of personal and career growth, it is creating and nurturing a mindset of believing in your own value.
These are just a few strategies that can help you become more attractive as a potential future applicant for your first PT job. Here at The Knowbodies, we strive to better our own personal growth and love to share the lessons we have learned with others. A part of a healthy body is having a healthy mind and we have found that continual progress leads to permanent growth. Enjoy your holidays and if you get a chance, start putting in the work to separate yourself from those around you. It’s not a competition with them, but a competition with yourself to be your best. As always, it’s your body, know it.