I believe that part of what makes our clinic great is our core values. This month I’d like to highlight one in particular that I think plays the most important role, and that is “Always Row Together.” When it comes to delivering healthcare that goes above and beyond the status quo, a one-man-band will simply never out-do a team dedicated to bettering themselves. One of the qualities that each team-member at The Doctors of Physical Therapy must possess is a desire to grow and learn. We look for people who put aside ego, who would rather give credit than take it, and who look at obstacles as opportunities to learn. You might be surprised to learn that there are THREE teams that are important at our clinic.
Team #1: The Clinic-Client Team
The first team is between our clinic and our clients. Many times our clients thank us for “getting them better,” but the reality is that we provide the analysis and coaching, and our clients do the work. One of the reasons we are so successful in our outcomes is that we practice true ‘evidence-based practice.’ It might come as a surprise to you that “research” is only 1/3rd of evidence-based practice. There are three pillars in total. The other two pillars are “client preference” and “clinician experience.” To have a successful outcome, we are continuously balancing these three pillars and adapting our treatment around each client’s preferences.
Our job as a clinic is to understand who each person is and why their outcomes are important to them. Then, we help construct a plan to achieve that outcome. This is a big team effort that’s not only carried out by our doctors. Our entire clinic is devoted to it. From Sami in our marketing department helping people who have those big goals find us, to Lesa at the front making everyone feel welcome (and keeping them accountable to their schedule when they need it), and the clinical staff making certain we’re designing plans that get our clients better in a way that fits into their life, to our manager, Judy, ensuring quality across the board, every aspect is important and centered around helping each client have the best possible chance of success.
Team #2: The Physical Therapy Team
The second team is our team of PTs. For context, when I worked in an in-network physical therapy clinic, it was nothing but a volume game. Many clinics say they’ll offer coaching to new grads, but they don’t often make good on that promise because they’re trying to fill the books with 3-4 patients an hour. The sad truth is that most new grads are thrust into high-volume situations without any mentorship and very little time to reflect on what’s working (and what’s not) and why. So a lot of clinics have some really good PTs and some that never got the training they needed to become good, making it a “luck-of-the-draw” type situation for patients looking to get better. Our goal with The Doctors of Physical Therapy is to have consistent results across the team. Each therapist here is top-of-class and all of us are on the same page at all times because we dedicate the time to make it that way.
For us to be the absolute best we can be, we meet and train weekly and discuss client cases daily. This time is protected on our schedules so that growing and collaborating are never things that slip through the cracks. We go to courses and learn about different thought processes and techniques and discuss how what we’re learning might help our clients. If a client isn’t making the progress we expect, their ears are likely burning on Thursdays at 10am when we’re having these meetings.
Team #3: Our Extended Network
I believe that one of the biggest challenges that faces healthcare is what to do about specialization. It’s a double-edged sword. While specialization has helped us make leaps and bounds in many areas of medicine, over-specialization has caused us to be looking through a microscope at people, instead of treating the whole person. This is why I’ve made it a point to constantly learn from other professionals outside of physical therapy, and why our therapists will also talk to our clients about stress, sleep, and nutrition.
When someone is referred to us, or we refer a client to someone else, we take the time to communicate with that provider about the case. We want to learn what they think has helped so far and what might help them going forward. We believe that collaborating with other professionals is essential to great medicine. The only way to put our specialist knowledge to good use is to combine it with other specialist knowledge. Like any good sports team, we have to work together to win. We score some points, they score some points, both of us block some incoming assaults, but at the end of the day, the game isn’t won–and the patient doesn’t get better–if we’re not working together toward winning the whole game. As part of our contribution to this, we try to introduce our network to each other so they may do the same. Check out the picture this month of our ‘provider night’ where we hosted 20 different providers from all different health and wellness backgrounds and introduced them to each other so that they may be resources for you and for their other patients.