Why becoming a PT was the best decision I've ever made.
Becoming a PT was not an easy road. 4 years of undergraduate school plus 3 years of PT school would be the hardest years of my life to date (but also some of the most rewarding). It took discipline, stamina and a vision to work toward completing something that seemed impossible at times. There were many, many days during school when I asked myself why I even put myself through it. But after countless hours in the library, thousands of chapters and slides read, and dozens of papers written for my various classes, and passing the boards, I finally received my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I finally reached the goal that I had been dreaming about since my junior year of high school; almost a decade in the making.
I can say with absolute certainty that I would go through the same hell that I put myself through for those 7 years, if I had to do it again. I went to school to work with athletes. I am not currently working with athletes. I do enjoy working with seniors. I love being involved in their lives for several days per week and seeing them interact with one another. I love seeing them in their "activities" classes and passing them in the hallway, giving a wave and asking them about their day. They each have stories to tell. I love hearing about where they used to work and about their families. Working in a skilled-nursing facility is like working in a small community. You leave at the end of the day, but in the back of your mind you know that the community is still there.
Yes, someday I would like to open my own outpatient physical therapy center, equipped with all the bells and whistles. But I have to say, with all the frustrations that come alongside working as a PT including paperwork, paperwork and (you guessed it) more paperwork; thinking about how many lives we change for the better on a daily basis makes it all worth it.
Its easy to get overwhelmed and side-tracked with the distractions at our jobs, but remember what it really comes down to in the end. Physical (as well as occupational, speech and respiratory) therapists have the best jobs in the world. Helping people learn to walk, talk, dress themselves, etc...nobody else in the world gets to help people in this capacity. Don't forget about what really matters in your lives and at your jobs, regardless of where you work.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
Dr. Cameron Dennis, PT, DPT