Reflections, ramblings, and musing on 20 years as a PT…
June 4th, 1994, Bill Clinton was President, Monica was rockin’ the beret and I had just graduated from PT school, armed with an arsenal of manual therapy weapons, ready to be unleashed on unsuspecting patients. I hit the ground running with boundless energy and optimism. Then the reality of being a manual therapist in a world of ultrasounds quickly pulled the wind out of my sails. Being a manual therapist at that time was like being a beef eater in India: out of luck and definitely in the minority.
Without the safe confines of my mentors from PT school, I floundered. I was like the young kid at the mall who lost his mom, except I didn’t look nearly as cute sitting on the floor of the clinic crying for my teachers. Nonetheless, like any dedicated, well-educated manual therapist, I realized I had only one choice: I quit manual therapy and enjoyed a short lived romance with ultrasound and electrical stimulation. We made a great match and I was happy again….for about 2 days. Then a tidal wave of boredom swept over me and I hate to admit it, but my eyes wandered. I thought about changing professions, take up photography? How about the UPS guy, I wear brown all the time anyway? One year in to my profession and my passionate PT flame was burned out and only ashes remained.
At my darkest hour, when things looked the bleakest, (I put all this drama in here just to get my sister, Nina, to roll her eyes about now if she’s even read this far) the clouds cleared and I found another mentor, Dr. Rex “Bear” Loren, DO. Bear was like a beacon in a thick patch of fog, guiding us through dangerous waters with the knowledge, expertise, and most importantly, the confidence to do things just bit differently. For the next ten glorious years, Elizabeth and I took 3-4 classes per year, engaging in lively discussions about the complexity of the body and enjoying the company of liked minded individuals. Had I known then how lonely the road of manual therapy would be at times, I think I would have appreciated those weekend classes even more.
The 20 year journey and ramblings will continue soon……be safe, Ed.