Own Your Identity


Mindset is everything! This is a phrase that I heard repeatedly at this years CSM 2015 national APTA conference. Several cash-based practice owners led off their presentations with raising the importance of therapists owning a primary care mindset.

For therapists to survive and thrive in the every changing healthcare landscape they should keep abreast of industry trends. Here are 3 reasons I gleaned from listening to experts on the value of a primary care mindset.

1. Own Your Identity as an Expert

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is..” says the biblical proverb. Psychologists have known for a long time that self-worth is the foundation of personal happiness and success. A vibrant self-esteem makes you a more confident and capable to serve others.

The same is true of the healthcare industry. Have you ever wondered what makes a therapist successful? Or what does it take to significantly impact the lives of people you care for?

If you don’t value who you are, your expertise and what you have to say then you’ll never become a confident primary care expert.   Aaron LeBauer of LeBauerconsulting.com asked us to answer these questions. Who are you? How do you introduce yourself to your patients? He encouraged us to describe ourselves with carefully chosen words.

  • I am Doctor LeBauer & I am your physical therapist

  • I am a primary care physical therapist

  • I am a musculoskeletal expert

  • I am a “doctor”

This is not to say that expert therapists have bloated egos. Heavens we already have enough of that in healthcare. It’s not to say that they are always self-confident. In fact, many expert clinicians are always out of their comfort zone. Because they are growing and stretching their capabilities they often struggle with the same insecurities as you and I.

What makes them different? They own their professional identity and they have a passion to serve their patients and have a hunger for excellence.

Do you own your professional identity by the language you use to describe yourself?

2. Bring Your Value to the Table

Therapists across the country are having to defend the value of their services. Firmly establishing your self-worth will go a long way in defending the worth of your professional services. However, the value of your services are not determined by mindset alone.

Ann Wendel of Parana Physical Therapy described value with a quote from Warren Buffet.

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get”

Ann says that value is a part of the successful cash based therapist’s mindset. She encouraged us to identify and develop our unique value proposition. We were to ask ourselves a couple of questions.

“What service can I provide that is unique?

“Why should your ideal customer purchase from you rather than anyone else?

For a cash based physical therapists having a stand out service that is unique is key to success. But having that unique clinical skill is not enough. Therapists must bring it to the table along side with physicians, massage therapists, chiropractors etc. Therapists must effectively communicate and defend the value of their unique service.

Do you effectively communicate what your services are worth?

3. Focus on Your Ideal Patient

Successful therapists effectively communicate their unique value to their ideal clients. They believe and embody their unique value proposition. Instead of worrying about offending referral sources they are locked in on the needs of their ideal patients. They have cut out middle men and gate keepers by connecting directly to potential patients.

As you believe in your abilities to be a primary care therapy provider you move yourself up the health care food chain. You are now communicating the value of your services directly to the people who benefit the most from your care.

“Your ideal patients already understand your value, you don’t need to convince them. Their values align with yours.”    – Anne Wendel

 As deductibles rise patients will seek value in exchange for their dollars. Many therapists are finding its easier to explain their worth directly to patients rather than a physician or insurance company. Sometimes it is just practicing saying, “I charge $X per hour or That will be $X for todays session, thank you”.

In this scenario you are focused on exceeding your patients expectations with outstanding results and customer experience. Most therapists are eager to work with ideal patients that align with their unique skills and services.

What are the needs of your ideal patient?

How about you do you own your identity as a therapist?