You’ve had someone you look up to, haven’t you? For some of us, the first person to be in those shoes was an older sibling.
Our profession, as a nation, needs a mentor. We do. Collectively, across the nation, we are truly missing the mark in being in the spotlight as the first choice for musculoskeletal problems. Many states have some level of direct access. Have physical therapists in those states pushed the envelope, pushed their comfort zone or changed anything from what the business side of practice looked like in the 80’s? I’m asking with regard to all physical therapists, no matter the setting. If business processes aren’t any different; if the behavioral patterns of those in the community are no different; and if other businesses in the local community aren’t banging on physical therapist’s doors to help contain costs in the musculoskeletal area, honestly, nothing has changed. Opportunities haven’t been created or taken by physical therapists. I’m definitely not knocking word of mouth or the loyalty of previous treated patients in your community and how they convert their circle of friends into your fan base. That’s all good, but it isn’t enough. This passive rippling effect is but a drip compared to what truly could be.
As a profession, the lizard brain rules. Why would the lizard brain rule? Very simply because we don’t have a mentor. We know the possible, we believe the possible and then we collectively fail at causing waves in our communities.
Might I suggest something that might help reduce the fear associated with changing a traditional business process so the new process is in line with what we envision for direct access? It’s time to find a mentor. Okay, I don’t mean mentor in the sense of what we experience as humans – a mentor who interacts or cares. What I do mean is we need to find those within our profession who are living the vision every day. I honestly don’t believe we have enough of those examples in our nation.
Maybe it’s time for a systematic review of global physical therapy services. Maybe it’s time to query for countries that have direct access with the bulk of the population willing to pay for services combined with any information on the quality of those services. Maybe it’s time to analyze the countries that we’d like to emulate. At the same time, it’d also be great to learn qualitative information like the risks and threats to business/physical therapy profession those countries constantly face. I think it’d be interesting to learn their strategies and to “see” if their processes look different than what we have here. See what I mean, we need a mentor.
Do you think you might see value in learning how physical therapists in other countries have successfully entrenched their expertise into their nation?
And, by the way… have a Happy Thanksgiving. May you have safe travels and enjoy family and friends tomorrow!
Until next time,