Interview With the Creator of Physio Connection | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Interview With the Creator of Physio Connection

I recently had the opportunity to interview Michael Philip, PT regarding his new site Physio Connection! I have the same problem with linkedin that he and many other professionals do. It's mainly an online resume holder. While there are good discussions going on, many of the groups I belong to are spammed by products and links that have little to do with physical therapy. Read on for the interview and join Physio Connection!

Tell us about your PT background, where did you go to school, and what type of business or practice are you in?

I started my PT career at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where I obtained my Masters in Physical Therapy degree. Upon graduation, I joined a small company that was started by a NSU graduate in the same area. That experience was both- a mistake and a blessing. It was a shady practice and I was given a below average salary with promises of a significant raise after 3 months of tenure. At three months, I got a raise alright. A whopping $0.30! I quit the following week and accepted a new position as a manager for a group of orthopedic surgeons who were starting to develop their PT practice. So, this was the blessing. Without that $0.30 raise I wouldn't have quite and begin to challenge myself early on as a manager of growing a large PT facility. I am aware of all the stereotypes about working in a physician owned clinic and becoming a manager so early in my career. However, I had nothing but a positive experience with both. I had complete autonomy and was able to learn from some of the top surgeons in southern Florida. I knew early on that I always wanted to get into something beyond just treating patients and this was a great first step. I opened their clinic doors with only a few patients a day and by the time I left to move back to Chicago two years later, we were seeing 300 patients per month. I moved to Chicago in 2007 to be closer to my family and be in a city that I loved. After working for a large PT company for a couple of years, I got the itch to again do something more in my industry. The obvious step was to become a manager, but in my opinion, the pay wasn't enough for the amount of responsibility and bureaucracy involved in dealing with patient numbers and hitting unreasonable goals. Ugh.... no thanks! Instead, I accepted the position of a float which allows me to work with dozens of therapists, see various treatment techniques, and gave me the flexibility to pursue other ventures. After a year of that I opened up a staffing firm, Physio 4 Hire, with a good friend of mine and fellow PT, Sanjoy Roy. That was my first business venture. The recruitment industry seems to continuously be a hard uphill battle especially with no experience or true competitive advantage. However this was my first business venture and such a great learning experience. Then near the end of 2012 I started researching the idea of a social network for physical therapists and at the end of January 2012 I launched Physio Connection. I still practice for the large outpatient center in Chicago, but I'm putting my entrepreneurial spirit to work with Physio Connection.

What makes Physio Connection different from a professional social network like LinkedIn?

Physio Connection is a special interest social network with a primary purpose to connect professionals in the allied health fields for professional development. I have spoken with a ton of therapists whether they are on linkedIn or other professional networks, and if so, what do they use it for and received the same responses. Most were not on LinkedIn or any other network (besides Facebook, of course). And if they were on LinkedIn, they perceive it as a resume placeholder site and have less than 50 connections. There were a very few professionals who actually joined any groups on LinkedIn either or found any intrinsic value to it. So I joined quite a few groups myself, posted and commented on discussions, and got connected to professionals in the industry. What did I find? Little intrinsic value to my growth as a professional. First off, there were about 50 different PT groups to join. Most groups and conversations were from recruiters about job postings. While there is value in having access to job openings, as a PT in the U.S., I believe I know the job market well enough. I want a space or a platform where I can engage with my peers or professionals in the industry. So I created Physio Connection to make a central source that professionals in the allied health professions can access to connect with others in the profession. All without having to have someone in common and to create a place that posts useful information that will actually benefit those who join. LinkedIn also doesn't highlight all the great resources that are out there in the field. There are some awesome websites and blogs but it can be almost impossible to find them by just searching Google. I hope that as Physio Connection grows, we can put together a site that will become the source that feeds to all other sites, connects all therapists, and organizes all the information to be the leading resource for those in the allied health professions.

What do you envision for the network?

I envision Physio Connection to become the leading network for those in the allied healthcare fields to join to connect, share information, discuss topics, and help improve patient outcomes. I would love to have Physio Connection be the central place to go to, that will direct you to the best courses, blogs, websites, research and even jobs. Over half the therapists in the U.S. are not APTA members for one reason or the other. I hope to be able to reach out to those therapists and get them further involved in their profession and provide an avenue where they have no barriers to join. If you don't join your professional organization then where do those therapists go for news, research, and to have a connection with therapists outside of their clinic? I think most would not have a clue. I not only want to get them involved, but I want to provide them with a place to connect on a more personal and immediate level. If I'm having a difficult time progressing a patient and want some feedback or advice on my treatment approach, where do I go? I want this to be that place. I hope to create the largest network of allied health professionals globally in order to advance the individual professional as well as the actual professions into the 21st century.

Do you plan integration with other social networks like twitter, facebook, google+, etc?

Yes. I don't have exact plans on the extent of integration with other social networks but I want a seamless way for users to syndicate content and activity across other platforms they engage with. I am working with some great technical people and we will be rolling out some new and exciting features in phases, with social integration being one of them.

Good luck Michael! Let's all try to spread the word in our practices and social media to make this a great central hub for PTs all over the world!

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