Hi. My name is Ryan. I'm a business intern. I'm a physical therapy student... Wait, what?
"There is no business being taught in DPT programs." This has been shouted from the rooftops since I arrived in PT school. Let me first state say, that is not entirely correct. From the Mentoring Millennials session at CSM it was apparent that almost every student had a business class in PT school...however it was a business class that had almost all those same students "create their own clinic."
For every student that just rolled there eyes at that, I'm right there with you. It is a bit of an archaic exercise... even for those students who are interested in the business aspects of physical therapy.
This leads to this large disconnect. On one side you have all the #bizPT people shouting that schools aren't preparing the students right. On the other side you have schools that are just trying to squeeze in everything CAPTE requires in order to make sure students will get licensed. Who is left in the middle of these two sides? The students. So where in the hell do you go?
This is called a lead in. Unfortunately I just used way too many words to lead in to the point behind this article so I hope I don't lose you. My point is this... take control of your own future in business. Entropy Physiotherapy and Ohio State have been gracious enough to allow me to integrate business into my clinical experience (which I set up last summer through the proper channels) with them for 8 weeks and from this I want to share what I am learning about being a BUSINESS INTERN in a physical therapy-cash based-private practice.
It has been two weeks and here is a quick run-down.
- Even if you don't want to get into business for yourself, understanding your economic role in healthcare is vital to help patients with their questions and problems.
- Business is defined in a multitude of ways. Mine is this... "Business is helping people understand what problems they are having, solving those problems and then getting paid for being part of that process." This will change. It's the best I got so far.
- As a business intern I'm also a: Website Designer, Photographer, Apps-to-make-things-simpler-guru, Social Media Marketer, Blogger, Accountant, Scape-goat-to-call-the-insurance-compnay-and-be-on-hold-for-1-hour-guy. (The PT's here said it was 35 minutes... it felt like an eternity.)
- Business classes in PT school trained us how to bill but you don't truly understand the impact of that on the patient until they bring it up. "What do you mean you can't afford it?" **Looks at out-of-network costs** "Holy shit, how can anyone afford this?"
- Business classes in PT school teach us how to best comply with the current system... But maybe the current system isn't ideal for physical therapists.
- Time has a monetary value to it when running your own business. Time spent here versus time spent there creates either a net gain or a net loss. Your time is vital.
This will be divided into multiple parts... The next installment will go into more details of what I actually do on a daily basis (I know, stop being so excited), how I am incorporating business lessons learned here into my own business and who serves up the best pizza in Chicago.
Thanks for reading.