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Is that why you hold your arm that way?

Fearless

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xc-raceRunning is an activity that I always enjoyed… but going outside meant exposure to individuals who are not quite tolerant or accepting. The title is a loaded question born out of genuine curiosity for something that I generally do not think about, especially with the friends and family members that I have known all my life. As my first blog post, I want to keep this short, succinct, and focused on an introduction to myself on what truly matters most.

At the core, what I want for myself and everyone within my sphere of influence is the ability to do exactly what we want when we want and fulfill our wildest dreams. I know it is an optimistic view that has yet to be clashed with the practicalities of the real world. Most importantly, fitness is a key element of what I want to do and how to influence others in a practical manner. I do not need people to become cardio bunnies or pump iron but I would greatly appreciate the change in mindset as I take small steps towards addressing the major healthcare issues currently affecting my neighborhood.

As a side note, I would love to discuss the culture of disability (and being different) from a mature standpoint that is not bitter. I know this is a touchy topic and perhaps I will post a video about it on YouTube.

Heal any moment! How a job in a great community shaped my healthcare professional views

Mercy-Wars

Sharing a short Tumblr re-post (and caption) about how excited I was to have a fulfilling job. What is most exciting is that I am on the brink of entering the Physical Therapy profession and embarking on my career journey. I will explain more during this week’s vlog. Cheers!


I am blessed to have a full-time job with benefits and a retirement plan. Who knew a Skilled Nursing Facility could be so awesome? Yet Mercy Retirement & Care Center is heaven on earth, caring for priests, sisters, and brothers. How ironic that within 3 months, I went from unemployed to highly valued job material, providing help at Salem Lutheran Home (which was sold to another company). Despite upper-management not recognizing me, I have earned the respect of the entire staff. All the staff members and patients are extremely friendly. I have never been so excited to go to work. I hope my career workplace as a Doctor of Physical Therapy will be just as excellent.


Compare that to what I shared afterwards regarding the photo above…

I hope I have the opportunity to work with an awesome Rehab Team in the near future. Can’t say enough about how lucky I was to work at a healthcare facility with great staff (especially CNAs, housekeeping, life enrichment, maintenance, and the culinary team), great management, and, most of all, great residents. #TBT

Edit: Can’t forget the cute mascot, a small white shih tzu dog who I would end up chasing around the building. Never knew the job responsibilities included walking the dog.

Back pain? Neck pain? Rib pain? The Institute of Clinical Excellence Experience with the Total Spine Manipulation Course

Total-Spine

If PTs are “hammers”, then we definitely “nailed” the whole spine this past weekend with the Institute of Clinical Excellence (pun intended)! Dr. Justin Dunaway and Morgan Denny had this cool “mom and pop” vibe as a couple (yes, husband and wife) teaching a young, hungry group of up-and-coming clinicians and students like myself in the Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center in Summerlin (Las Vegas area). Before diving in, one of the unique philanthropic missions that Justin and Morgan are deeply involved in is STAND: the Haiti Project, which provides people living in Haiti with access to great clinicians, including Physical Therapists and Orthotists. For more information, check out the website linked above and be on the lookout for an upcoming episode of the Capable Body Podcast where we will discuss more on this topic (here is the Capable Body Community Facebook group for more updates where I will post the episode links once released). It’s inspiring and lovely hearing the stories of how people have been impacted by STAND. Justin and Morgan brought the same energy and hope into the clinic.

Back on course! After hearing from RJ Williams about another ICE offering in Vegas, I immediately signed up. I enjoyed having the opportunity to “get the reps in” with my classmate. In addition, the group was overall friendly and fostered a nice learning environment. It was humbling to be learning alongside someone who guest lectured at my school! I truly appreciated the constructive criticism and useful feedback from real PTs. It helped me feel much more comfortable and less “bitey” during palpation of the cervical spine. The experience certainly made me more anxious in anticipation of my graduation date next year in June 2018 from Touro University Nevada (TUN). I enjoyed reconnecting with TUN alumni and hearing more about their stories after graduating.

Total-Spine-TUN

Having previously taken the Institute of Clinical Excellence’s Cervical Spine Manipulation Course with Dr. Jeff Moore at the same location, I felt more comfortable interacting with the group, deliberately practicing how to fine-tune my setups as a novice, and, most of all, having fun. I probably got my money’s worth alone from being the patient and feeling the solid technique of various manipulations, especially from Dr. Justin Dunaway himself. The most fun and humbling experience is the Round Robin, which is a nice free-for-all anything goes intense bout of practicing where “patients” lie down while “PTs” rotate around the different tables to perform the various techniques we just learned. The music in the background was definitely a plus!

Overall, I enjoyed this course! Perhaps I was biased having asked around for feedback from previous ICE students but… they were right! The focus of this particular course was on techniques, though we did cover interesting topics.

Making the best of what you got: growing up with rehab

Santa

Pediatric Rehab. Therapy with kids. As someone who was born with ROBPI (right obstetric brachial plexus injury), which is a tear within the bundle of nerves by the shoulder blade and collar bone, I spent my first days of life in a hospital, not a home. Today, part of me wants to push my career path full-circle back into the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) but we shall see. The purpose of this blog post is to shed a very brief glimpse of my patient experience (to be elaborated in a future blog post series).

First and foremost, I do not remember everything but what has “stuck” is important. I would do everything asked of me because I was a good kid. Yet the challenge for the therapists (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy) was that I was smart and high-functioning, meaning that I could do just about everything they wanted me to do… and continued to be stubborn about how I wanted to do things.

Putting everything in context, I was the youngest of three kids and my mom decided to switch over to night shift so we could all go to school on time. Where I went to rehab was in Oakland. If not Children’s Hospital Oakland (CHO), then it was a school-based clinic. Either way, my mom would have to drive me at least half an hour both ways. The only thing I can really remember about CHO was the gift shop. Therapy was just something I did so I could play with the toys downstairs after an elevator trip and maybe get that stringed lion or giraffe push button toy. Somehow those managed to nab my attention.

It’s probably better that I grew up in that 90’s era rather than nowadays with kids playing on iPads. They have no idea what the dark ages were like before wireless Internet! By the same token, I gained so much appreciation for that value of what we had, especially the SNES with Zelda, Mario, Street Fighter, and Super Buster Bros. Those were good times when I could play with my older brother if we weren’t messing around with Legos. Or if I didn’t want to dance to New Kids on the Block or “Under the Sea”. As you can see, there was definitely a dichotomy between the clinic and my home/school. Nothing was really explained to me even though I knew my letters, numbers, and colors. Shout outs to growing up on the street… Sesame Street!

Let’s be honest! Feeling the pangs of burnout? Do you still have that passion for your career? Is something amiss?

Burnout

Burnout? It’s a real thing! Why? Well, “why” is the most important thing. If your “why” isn’t strong, then you are susceptible to burnout. Sometimes, there are situations that you did not expect once you jumped into a workplace, which can include school as well. My advice to you is… “Don’t doubt yourself!” Who cares if other people doubt you? Don’t focus on proving other people wrong! Focus on proving what you inherently know to be true! What do I mean? Whatever vision it is that you have… believe in that and do what it takes to get there. Be relentless!

So… for me, Physical Therapy school was by far the most grueling and tough run through education that I have ever experienced. Why? Anyone can preach about the terrors of test week. Being in a routine of eat, sleep, study while going to class from 8 am to 5 pm is no bueno, especially when some of the exams are lab practicals where you have to physically demonstrate a technique. However, it’s not just how you use your hands. You also have to clarify when this intervention would be contraindicated, the parameters (settings), and how to document. Safety is the biggest concern. It’s doable but… geez. Going through it felt robotic at times because information was rushing in much faster than I was able to process it. I am so grateful to have made it past the difficult points. The only thing that stands in my way (at the time of writing this post) is the NPTE, which is the board examination for Physical Therapy students. One major critique is that the NPTE has no lab practical component and emphasizes safety more than anything. Also, the concepts of questions are derived from textbooks, which can include outdated information. Despite the challenge of wanting to be a solid clinician out of the gates and having to put in the necessary struggle to pass the boards, I am confident that my cohort (yay class of 2018) will rock it!

Beyond the board examination and after obtaining licensure, things can be… rough. I do not know personally but I hear the tone of overworked individuals pretty often, especially with the bickering in online groups. Burnout is definitely a real thing with the challenges of insurance reimbursement and providing quality care for the patient… but you (PTs) should check out my level up page! Why? There actually are PTs (turned business owners) who understand your frustration and how to help you learn the necessary skills to get back on track in this 24/7 digital era. Things truly don’t have to be the way they are. Let’s be a part of that change!

Physical Therapy Business Growth School: the Secret Weapon of the Top PTs in the World

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Entrepreneurship? Systems? Automation? Scaling up and working on your business rather than in your business? Why? Spend more time doing the things you love rather than stressing out over trying to get new patients! Most importantly, be a leader and empower your staff! For the younglings like me, why do we need to bother with this?!? Well, insurance reimbursement is going down and co-pays are going up ($50?!? Authorization required?!? It used to be only $5 back in the day!). Naturally, patients have become hesitant about what we do as Physical Therapists so it’s time for us to wake up and shake up! Like it or not… marketing matters and we need to communicate better! Stop fighting over scraps and get out of the rat race! Escape the red pond of sharks and venture out into the blue ocean! Buying lunches for physicians is NOT the answer! Even then, one lunch wouldn’t get you in the door and definitely wouldn’t guarantee you a flow of patient referrals. So… if you want to be the best, learn from the best! Paul Gough’s Business Growth School is an extremely high caliber course for driven individuals. In addition to the amazing content, there is an amazing group. As a DPT student, I am nowhere near the situations that private practice owners face but I greatly appreciated the recognition and acknowledgement of my curiosity & the types of questions I asked.

Quick disclaimer: I personally do not judge people differently based on whether or not you are pursuing interests similar to mine. You do not have to do any of the online courses that I have done, go to the conferences I have been to, or participate in any services that I will (or already do) provide. I am simply sharing my experiences for free and hoping that you obtain some concrete value out of it. Most of all, I am showing the doors for various things that may interest you but that type of decision is ultimately yours. Hopefully something resonates with you. You are more than welcome to explore all the content that I put out because that’s exactly why I put stuff out there! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! That being said… don’t hesitate to level up!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the key to success is understanding your ideal client and how to communicate with her/him. Paul is a beast (and this is an understatement) in the marketing aspect for building the funnels and appropriately using tools to fine-tune with laser-sharp vision how many new patients he needs for his practice. He has such a solid grasp of business and THIS was the key to his success. In contrast, being a Physical Therapist for world-class soccer players was not enough for Paul and his family to live their dream life. Although I learned in another online course why addressing the business aspect of healthcare is essential, I still wanted more. Listen to Paul Gough (see podcast link down below) if you really want to understand why he is like a Jedi master when it comes to communicating with confidence, being strategic, understanding every aspect of his business, and taking the appropriate measures when risk is involved. I cannot say enough good things about Paul. Since the key to success is to start early and not be afraid of making mistakes, I will end on this note. Go listen to him! Link is down below at the bottom.

Paul-Gough-and-Me

To finish up, below is my “why” video about pursuing a career in PT. This was one of the most uncomfortable things for me to share BUT I was extremely happy with how my message was well-received by Paul’s group and the fact that they cheered me on rather than stifled my growth.

Lastly, Paul has great content that you are free to listen to at anytime (because it is free). Judge for yourself! Here is his podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/physical%E2%80%A6d1137950319?mt=2

I will give you a heads up when the course goes live again! As always, feel free to ask me any questions about my experience!

Pathfinders: the Journey of Navigating your Career Path within Physical Therapy (the most fulfilling yet least known doctoral profession)

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Finding your career path? Not sure where to turn? Connect with the PT connector, Dr. Ben Fung! Start strong. Move up. Grow wealth. Kill debt. Give back! To showcase what I genuinely mean about “connecting”, check out this video of Ben hanging out with me out at False Point in Pacific Beach (San Diego, CA). This post is intended to be more of a reflection on my experience and sharing where you can look for more information if the Pathfinders online course appeals to you. Quick side story before diving into the topic…

Before I joined #socialPT and #PTFam, I had blinders on so that I could focus exclusively on school… only to be disappointed (saving for a later topic in August).

Ben has discussed how the school system in general lied to us.

He has also explained why being successful does not require permission.

Despite being aware of Ben due to his continual efforts with reaching out to DPT students via live video streams in the Facebook group, I chose Disneyland over his “secret event” during CSM 2016 in Anaheim, CA. Let’s face it… who wouldn’t choose the happiest place on Earth over PT? Content is king and marketing is queen, right… especially when you clearly know what you are getting… because consistency is key? But if you want a legacy, then context is the damsel in distress. Ben knows I am teasing, though it is true 😛

Interested in learning more? Find out here.

Quick disclaimer: I personally do not judge people differently based on whether or not you are pursuing interests similar to mine. You do not have to do any of the online courses that I have done, go to the conferences I have been to, or participate in any services that I will (or already do) provide. I am simply sharing my experiences for free and hoping that you obtain some concrete value out of it. Most of all, I am showing the doors for various things that may interest you but that type of decision is ultimately yours. Hopefully something resonates with you. You are more than welcome to explore all the content that I put out because that’s exactly why I put stuff out there! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! That being said… don’t hesitate to level up!

Fast forward to today and I was the one DPT student who not only kept up the consistency on social media after Ben’s talk at CSM (with Richard Severin, Brett Kestenbaum, and Greg Todd) but I also took the “leap” into UpDoc’s initial cohort of Pathfinders. Granted, I already had a pleasant previous experience with a PT-related online course yet I was deeply intrigued in learning more about the inpatient setting from someone with experience who would be willing to take me under his wing. The pleasant surprise was that I probably got the most out of the course, especially having access to amazing individuals within the field of Physical Therapy who would answer my questions honestly and thoroughly. On top of that, the PT Pathfinders were very supportive and each came from different backgrounds with a different career focus. Each of us struggled with the real challenge of asking for a higher initial salary or asking later down the road for raise. Despite having access to helpful information, actually implementing the mindset and techniques into practice is another story. I notably had fond respect for the new grad PTs dealing with the situations that I foresee and dread, particularly tackling student loan debt. This is a topic covered extremely well in the course. Quick shoutout to Joe Reinke for being such a trooper giving Pathfinders great pearls of wisdom on finance while recovering from surgery for appendicitis. In fact, shoutout to all the community mentors who contributed to the group.

Like what you have heard thus far? Take a peek at the course outline (scroll down on the web page).

Without giving any secrets away, the one final thing I will mention is this, you get out what you put in. The commitment varies but did not extend beyond 3 hours per week. This concept of quality commitment applies to most things in life but definitely with this course that is geared towards a sense of community. I extremely enjoyed taking this course, witnessing the transformation amongst my peers, and valuing the level of engagement. Not once did I ever feel short-changed or “sold out”. Ben knows this with how many times I would reach out to him on Snapchat or how many minutes we would spend on the phone discussing topics that I cared about. I swear I wasn’t testing you! I just had a ton of questions!

Lastly, below is my personal “why” video about pursuing a career in PT.

If you are interested in learning more about the course, check out the website for more details. Also, as a heads up, I will have Dr. Ben Fung join me in a Belive.TV interview in September. Like my Facebook page here so you don’t miss out on that as well as my vlog discussions pertaining to life, PT, or business! Replay link will be added on my YouTube channel afterwards.

Personal Development

Personal-Development

Change is uncomfortable. Focus on yourself in a manner that is not selfish and then you can serve others better. Sometimes it helps to have support but the most crucial elements of change occur on your own with a sense of drive and purpose. Most of all, don’t be afraid to fail. We are all human. We are all people. To be better at what we do, we must not forget to grow individually as people so that we can come together as a community. What is the secret to becoming better holistically? Surround yourself with the right people. There are so many great resources available for what you need (and might not be aware of). Listen to podcasts. Watch YouTube videos. Join Facebook groups. Chat with people.

Some of the key metrics that you might not be able to clearly measure objectively are energy and momentum. You know it when you see it as clear as day. Like seeing a puppy going out for a walk filled with the excitement of new adventures with new friends along the way. The thing with personal development is that it needs to speak to you in order to achieve the maximum benefit. Most of all, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore because pleasant surprises await. However, if there is a glaring void to be filled, you may have to suck it up for a little bit in order to gather what you need from a successful mentor (perhaps with too much ego). Overall, this post is one of my unusually shorter reads. I hope you enjoyed it and feel at least some inclination to begin your journey towards becoming a better “you” for your sake.