In the past couple of days, I have started to hear from more of the Doctor of Physical Therapy programs I applied to in regards to interviewing. Most schools will interview you and the first question they ask is “Why PT?” I think the real question they should be asking is why not all of the other sought after areas in healthcare? Many times, physical therapy is overlooked as a profession, and so are our patients.
To answer these questions in terms of my own story, I need to take you back in time. Let me set the scene. It was freshman year of college. I had just received my first Chem II exam back. A big fat F, a 47% to be exact, haunting me. I cried and cried until my roommate came in and said “You were destined to be in STEM don’t give up hope”. My boyfriend would constantly need to lift me up off the floor before an exam or after a grade came back as I exclaim “I am a total failure”. However, what I did not realize then was I am not a failure, but rather, I was not resourceful enough to realize it was becoming a medical doctor that was not for me.
As a child, the adults in your life see you are interested in lab coats and stethoscopes to play with and they say you are a little doctor. You will never hear them say you are a mini Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist, Nurse Practitioner, the list goes on and on. It is a real shame that we close off options for children at such a young age that it takes an individual like me two full decades to realize there’s more out there.
However, I could not handle the cut throat atmosphere I was living in. Students cheating on exams, others falsely accusing cheating, people explaining how all that matters to graduate is beating the curve. For me though there were things that did matter more, and this did not sit right with me. I began shadowing doctors and I knew it was something I was inspired by, but would never personally want to do.
I am very holistic in my approach to medicine. I believe in preventative measures, diet changes, exercise and mobility to cure ailments. I believe that when your body and mind are on the same page and both are being continually fed health you will find healing. Physical therapy is the only profession that focuses on mobility of the patient, prevention of future injury or illness and advocacy out in society. Physical therapy allows us as practitioners to be creative in the way we approach the movements, exercises, diet plans, injections, and treatment plans we see fit for our patients.
Physical therapy is also one of the only health professions that will allow practitioners to specialize in a niche and not need to work directly under a doctor. This is extremely important to me. I decided that medicine would be vertical growth for me and I was looking for horizontal growth. As a doctor, after 12 years of rigorous school, I would only want to do what I went to school for. This is in no way representative of other people out there applying, but this is just me. Physical therapy, specifically pelvic floor therapy, will allow me to grow horizontally into a business model. I can hire yoga instructors, pilates instructors, barre instructors, therapists to lead support groups, dulas, midwives, a PA and RN to do med spa services and so much more. I am not saying this is not possible as a doctor, but for me the burn out would be real.
I want to end this blog post by stating that if you are skeptical of physical therapy and the services practitioners can provide you, please reach out to me. I would love to help you find a DPT that can best suit your needs. Pelvic floor physical therapists are specifically hard to pin down. I am going to share a link with a pelvic floor PT directory which I think could be of great use to some women on here. I urge you to at least take a look. You deserve to feel great whether you are young, older, have children, have given birth, have been through trauma, etc. You can check it out below:
Thanks for sticking with me until the end. I hope you have learned a little bit about why physical therapy can be incredible for your physical and mental wellness. Please reach out with any concerns or questions. Best!