The Future of the Physical Therapy Profession: A message I wrote to current PT students

There is a Facebook group of Physical Therapy students that I am in. I decided to give them my take on the PT profession. I think the future is very bright right now. Here is what I told them.

All of you graduates and soon-to-be graduate should be so excited right now about the profession.

When I came out of school 15 years ago, I did have a goal of owning my own practice, but I knew that I would have to probably get a few MD’s to agree to send me patients so that I could have a solid referral base.

physical therapy

Now, that is totally not the case anymore…
There are a few things that have changed the game entirely.

What Can Be Expected from Physical Therapy?

Insurance (or the lack there of). People are having so much financial responsibility with their insurance, and the no co-pay or $5 co-pay is nonexistent. So now, if patients are going to have to pay $50-$80 to come to a therapy visit… They are going to be very selective about who they go to for physical therapy. If a doctor makes a recommendation, and they go for a visit or two and are totally unimpressed with the therapist, they’re gone. It’s too much money for people to waste on that care.
Do you guys want to know who’s my biggest referral source is? Bad physical therapists… and I’m not talking about your skill set.

I’m talking about physical therapists that are more excited about talking about where they’re going to go for happy hour versus striking up a conversation with a patient.

Physical therapists that are more excited about someone bringing them in donuts then they are about the progress that a patient is making.

Physical therapist that look at the time clock more than they look at their patients.

Those therapists (and there are plenty of them) have kept my clinics busting out the seams.

Once you get comfortable within your skill set… You could basically open up a practice with very very low overhead, take self pay patients… And can make a really good living off of it by just marketing on social media and the Internet.

And you know what the crazy part is? The APTA has finally figured it out… Just look at who the keynote speaker is. This guy (Gary Vanyerchuk has nothing to do with physical therapy, but what he has done is create two multimillion dollar businesses based off of incredible customer service and great social media skills.

Crap… They even asked me to speak at PPS this year. 😜