One of the benefits of a blog and podcast is that I have the pleasure of interacting with therapy students and new grads from across the country. I’m continually amazed at how much I learn from these conversations. It’s no surprise that the concern of those soon to graduate eventually turns to their plans after graduation.
Some of the “soon-to-be graduates” plan to get further training in a residency program. Others, although the minority, have private practice opportunities. Then there’s the majority who plan to practice in what they call “hospital practice.”
Therapy Students put a lot of sweat and tears into earning a professional degree. Many students invest tens of thousands if not a hundread thousand dollars for diploma. And that’s just the entry fee to purse their dream of a rewarding career of helping peopls.
One would hope after all the investment of time, money and the prime years of their life they would have the freedom to pursue their dream practice. Not necessarily so.
It’s sad to think that the majority of graduating therapists will practice in a setting that wasn’t their first choice, but the reality of the marketplace is that “corporate therapy” has made room for new graduates whereas private practice or small business ownership, for the most part, has not.
Today my guest, James Buenaventura is going to share with us his story and how the American Physical Therapy Association’s, Private Practice Section is trying to help new grads transition into private practice. Dr. Buenaventura delivered “Own Your Future: Is an Opportunity in Private Practice for You?” at this year’s APTA National Student Conclave 2015.
Dr. Buenaventura launched his own private practice only five months after graduation despite $150,000 in school loans. Through the help of his family he slowly grew his one room clinic with an exercise mat to a thriving practice that quickly paid off his school loans. He now has diversified his career by being a full-time teacher, director of the California State faculty practice and working at In Motion Physical Therapy, his outpatient practice. James has maintained involvement with the APTA on multiple levels. He encourages physical therapy students to take advantage of the Private Practice Section’s resources and mentorship programs before starting your own practice.
During the interview Dr. Buenaventura explains:
- His personal experience of private practice startup
- The importance of not going it alone by developing a strong support network
- Researching your competition before choosing a practice location
- The business tools, resources and mentorships offered by the APTA’s Private Practice Secion
I know there are many recent grads that listen to this podcast and read this blog. I hope you were encouraged by Dr. Buenaventura’s story. I would like to emphasize the importance of having a support network. Dr. Buenaventura went solo and escaped the therapy factory with the sukpport of his wife and family. I have said many times on this show how much I appreciate the support of my wife Anne. She has been a rock for me throughout my therapy career and has allowed me to pursue my dreams even at a personal sacrifice.
I encourage you not to underestimate the importance of developing an accountability partner, a mastermind group and/or a mentor to help you minimize costly mistakes when you first get started.
Action Steps to Take:
- Checkout the PPS resources for students. The student membership is a steal.
- Connect with new grads and seasoned private practice owners on Twitter.
- Discuss your practice idea with your family and friends
- Take a private practice owner out for coffee or lunch to discuss your practice pilot
I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s topic and your feedback on ways I can help you in your own practice. You can contact me by going to my website PaulPotterPT.com and click on the Voicemail Paul button on the sidebar. Leave me your feedback or question and I’ll get back to you or you can email me at email@example.com
I have several free resources on my website to help you create your dream practice or make your work more productive and enjoyable.
I’d love to help you to fulfill your calling and create a practice that you love. Please contact me at my website and we can work out a way to help you achieve the personal and professional freedom that your desire. I have several coaching options to help you get organized and design our your own dream practice road map.
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