Debunking The Myths of PT with Dr. Jamey Schrier, PT

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths

 

Dr. Jamey Schrier is back, and this time he’s on a tear! He is the Founder and CEO of The Practice Freedom Method, a business training for physical therapists. Jamey is not one to hold back and he’s got a few things on his mind about some of the common refrains we hear in physical therapy – things regarding quality time and patient care, the need for continuing education, the PT down the street being our competition, and a lot more. Jamey talks into each myth, and proceeds to dismantle them one by one. It’s a great episode to compare his thoughts to yours on the same ideas that float around in our profession. Maybe you’ve spoken into some of the myths and believed them yourself. If so, check out the episode and see if Jamey can change your mind.

Listen to the podcast here:

Debunking The Myths of PT with Dr. Jamey Schrier, PT

I have a returning guest, Jamey Schrier of Practice Freedom U. He’s got a lot to say about some of the common refrains we hear in physical therapy. We talked about the myths that are commonly heard, whether it’s patient care, quality time, physical therapy market or continuing education myths and stuff like that. These affect us because a lot of us will have these fixed ideas about how things are and how things should be when sometimes someone gets a different perspective or someone challenges you on those thoughts. Maybe it isn’t quite as it seems that our realities and our perspectives can change when we get questioned. He talked about some of those things and the importance that we have as physical therapists to follow the mantra of the podcast and that is to ask physical therapy clinic owners to reach out, step out and network.

As people reach out to me via social media or email, I feel like I’m constantly hammering that issue or hammering my motto and that is step out of your clinic so you can be the leader and get some business aptitude. Reach out to a coach or a consultant to guide you along your paths and someone to hold your hand and more importantly, to hold you accountable. Network with other physical therapy owners or other small business owners. Somehow networking tends to help you along because the more brainpower you have on an issue in your own clinic, the easier it is to come up with solutions. Many times, people have already walked down that same path and they can provide the solutions for you when they’re not readily occurring. Jamey and I talked for a while about many of the things that we’ve heard in physical therapy or physical therapy school. We go out of our way to try to debunk those myths.

I’ve got a previous guest back on again and that is Jamey Schrier. You can check his bio on the previous episode so we won’t necessarily get into his story about where he came from and where he’s at. Just know that he’s been a successful physical therapist, a successful physical therapy practice owner and now coaches and consults successful physical therapy clinic owners all over the country. I’m excited to bring you back on, Jamey. Thanks for coming.

Thanks, Nathan. I’m excited to be back with you.

It was nice catching up with you here over at CSM. You’ve got some thoughts brewing and you’ve been brainstorming about the profession a little bit. What are you thinking about?

What’s been on my mind lately is I talk to a lot of people, a lot of business owners, a lot of PT practice owners and I hear things again and again. I started to think, “Is what they’re saying really the problem or is it something more?” What I mean by that is sometimes what we think is a problem in our business or even in our lives, it’s not necessarily what the problem is. It’s our perspective around it. For example, you thought something was going on in your life or in your business or whatever it was, then someone says, “Have you ever thought of looking at it this way? Have you ever thought of doing it like this?” All of a sudden you’re like, “I never thought of it that way.” Prior to that new information and that new perspective, you thought the problem was X but really the problem was Y.

As I talked to more and more people about different challenges in their business, whether the challenge was around what we all talk about, “I don’t have enough referrals, marketing, new patients, trouble hiring. There are no good people out there. I have trouble making money. You can’t make money in this business,” all these things, I started to dive in more into what are these beliefs. What do people believe and how is that affecting what problems they think they have and is it true? I got into this whole world of belief systems and belief patterns. Another way to say beliefs is myths. What are these myths out there that from my perspective and my experience are not true? I started diving into that and then you and I had our conversation at CSM. You were like, “We should hit record on this,” because we had 45 minutes over lunch and we’ve got on so many things. That’s what I’m here to talk about some of these myths that I see and have this conversation with you and with the group.

I’m excited to talk about it because I’m sure you see more of it. I hear about them but you hear some of the same talking points. You brought them all up but it’s almost like people are unwilling to look past or they use those talking points as an excuse to stop and not be creative or look from a different perspective and find a way around the problem to get to the solution. They’re talking about symptoms and equate it to physical therapy care. You can constantly try to work on the symptoms, but you’re not getting to the root of the problem. That’s why I’m excited to talk to you. I want to see where are some of these issues coming from and how can we address them instead of focusing on the symptoms over and over again.

I love that analogy. It’s such a perfect analogy especially for your audience, us as physical therapists, practice owners, whether we’re managers, clinicians or we own practices. You’re right. We know that the best therapists do not treat symptoms. It’s just part of information. What we treat are the root causes of problems. Although when someone comes into our practice and someone wants to come into physical therapy, the primary reason why they’re there is because of the symptom. They’re talking about the symptom and we’re trying to change the conversation, change their belief and their perspective that your back pain symptom is not the problem. The problem is because of whatever distortions somewhere else. This is no different when we talk about some of these symptoms versus what the root cause of the problems are when it comes to building and growing a successful practice or whatever the different areas are within the practice.

What are some of those myths that these physical therapy owners are throwing at you on a routine basis that we need to talk about?

Great technical skills are not a guarantee of clinical success. Click To Tweet

The one myth that I discovered over years, I discovered this when I first started treating and people would tell me this. I just combined all this stuff that people told me. The more time I spend with a patient, the better the care that is provided. The short way of saying that is quality care equals time. That’s the myth.

The more time you spend, the better care that you’re going to provide.

The more time you spend, the better care you deliver.

Thirty minutes isn’t as good as an hour. If you follow that principle, two hours is better than one hour.

Treating one patient a day conceivably with that mindset is better than treating twelve people a day or eight people a day. The attitude or the idea around this is where did that come from? We are not born with that idea. Where does it come from? It may start in school. I did some research. I started asking people and a lot of our clients. I ask deep powerful questions to them around this and some other people that I’ve talked to at different places that I’ve met them. I’m like, “Where do you think this started?” We came to the conclusion that this idea starts somewhere in our training, in our education, in our school. That the more time you spend with someone doing treatment, the better the care is going to be, the better the result is going to be.

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths
Debunking PT Myths: The best therapists do not treat symptoms; they treat the root causes of problems.

 

If you ask a seasoned physical therapist, a seasoned clinician, a senior PT versus someone with one or two years, and I have asked many of them, I’ve never met somebody that agreed with that amongst the experienced and seasoned PTs. The younger PTs, and I mean younger not in age but as clinicians, seem to believe it. Where would that come from? It would come from the younger PTs are more into school and they have the belief that, “It’s going to take me longer to work with someone, but that’s a good thing because that means it’s quality.” The other thing is if that was true, then the more courses I take, the more clinical expertise I got, the more wisdom I gained by being a physical therapist, that would all be a waste of time.

If you have clinical expertise, the idea behind that, if you can arrive at a solution faster than someone without the clinical expertise. If you can arrive faster, you’re actually shortening the time. As a therapist, I’ve been a therapist now twenty something years, I know when I see somebody with a back problem. I have my assessment and I can go through that assessment in minutes. I can come to a conclusion, not with every little thing going on, but with my experience I can come to a conclusion fairly quickly of where to start and then provide treatment to get this person a result quickly. All of that can happen inside of fifteen minutes. If that’s the case, which would make sense because of my training and everything I’ve invested in to become better plus my experience and learning from my experience, that would completely blow up this idea that the more time I spent, the better care that’s provided.

Part of it also is you’ve got to think of the financial. Unfortunately, we’re positively reinforced to treat the patient longer because we get paid more if we keep them around more. If they do only treat for fifteen to twenty minutes, their bosses are probably going to come down on them and say, “You’ve got to build more than two units.”

There is the paradox, the challenge, the paradigm, whatever the word is. There’s the problem we have. The problem is our current system was born out of time. Our system was designed and entrepreneurs did not create the system. There’s no way entrepreneurs would ever create time equals money, which again is another myth. In our world of physical therapy, if you accept insurances and third parties, that actually is true. Time literally equals money. The more time you spend with someone, the more codes you bill, the more money you make. That’s the problem because we know as clinicians that it’s not true, but the system is set up like that. The system is the problem. They’re trying to address it and Medicare is trying to address a pay for performance and all of that. Who knows what’s going to come of that? That’s the way the system is designed, but just because the system is designed like that for us to get paid from a third party, it doesn’t make it true.

When the flat rate contract started coming across my desk, I was upset about them because they were lowering reimbursement per visit than the other contracts that I had. I started coming around to, “If I’m going to get this flat rate whether I treat him for an hour and a half versus 45 minutes or even 30 minutes, that frees me up.” I can get that same amount of money and make more per hour if I actually become efficient with my care. I find that as I’m treating my family and friends, I don’t spend an hour with them when they come in with their kids with some back pain. I’ll do some mobilizations, even some manipulations and show them some stretches and were done in 20 or 30 minutes. I’ll follow up with them on the exercises that I told them to do and see how it went. I don’t need to spend an hour with them.

A problem in our business or even in our lives may not necessarily be what the problem is; it's usually our perspective around it. Click To Tweet

I learned it the same way. It was interesting when I started working with people in my practice that were your typical cash people. I noticed how I would treat them, how would I work with them. I started to recognize that I would naturally work with them differently than if they had a particular type of insurance. I became very self-aware of what I was doing and why I was doing it. I started to realize that the first thing I see when a patient came in the door, and I’m just being transparent. I’m just honest in how I speak. If people want to judge me, go ahead and judge. I’m just speaking the truth. The first thing I would look at when I saw their name or their file was not their diagnosis, was not their complaint. The first thing I look at is their insurance because their insurance would dictate how I would approach them. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, I’m just saying that’s what I naturally did.

I would put people into categories because I knew the rules of Medicare were different from the rules of Blue Cross, which were different than the rules of a personal injury case or an accident case or a TRICARE. The rules were different with the insurance companies. I had to make sure I was playing within the rules. I also then had this other feeling, this idea of, “I’m also a professional physical therapist. I have a responsibility, a moral and ethical duty to take care of the person in front of me.” I was always trying to find the balance of making sure I’m working within the insurance so I can get paid and also making sure I’m providing what this person needs. It’s exhausting because I’m playing a different balance game.

The only time I ever felt totally free to be myself is when someone says, “Jamey, I just want to pay you to help me.” I went, “You don’t care how long you’re here? You don’t care what we do?” “No, all I care about is you helping me get what I want,” and go back to whatever the activity or the sport or whatever. I went, “Let me remove all of these weights, these anchors, all of these issues that were preventing me from just being myself and taking care of somebody.” What I realize, which sounds like you realized the same thing, is I worked with them for fifteen to twenty minutes. We get a phenomenal result. We didn’t do all the modalities, all the exercises and all that stuff and they were happy with the treatment. They were like, “This is great.” I go, “Really? You weren’t here for an hour.” “Better, I don’t want to be here for an hour. If this is what you feel I need, I’m good.” I’m like, “Everything else I don’t know if you really need it but I think this is what it takes to get you better.”

That started to challenge my thinking, challenge my own belief system and question the motivations of what drives insurance companies, what drives all of this? That was the first time, this was probably over twenty years ago, that my own beliefs, my own myths were blown up. I started to question all of these things and I realized that quality has nothing to do with time. Time only has to do with money when you’re delivering a third party because unfortunately, that’s how we get paid. If quality equals time and time equals money, that means quality, according to this myth, equals money. There lies the biggest problem I see with our profession right now. We are saying that the more time we do, the more quality we achieve and the more money we make. Every single person I’ve ever talked to that is interested in growing their practice, creating this ideal of practice freedom, creating this practice that they love, having the time and money, building a team, having systems and all this stuff, that is simply not true. If you believe that, you will be stuck in a very bad place in your practice. That’s why this is a dangerous belief. It’s a dangerous myth.

All these students are coming out the gates. I can’t tell you how many of them I have interviewed. When I asked them about where they’re going to be in five to ten years, they tell me about the board certifications that they’re going to obtain. They tell me about all the continuing education that they’re going to do. They’re going to become specialists in this and of the other techniques. I just looked at them and I’m like, “Those are great and I don’t want to discourage that, but you’re not going to get paid any more than what we’re already getting paid.” Rarely do you see incredible technical skill equate to success or becoming a great business owner.

 

Debunking PT Myths: Time equals money. It does not say clinical resume equals money.

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths
Debunking PT Myths: Time equals money. It does not say clinical resume equals money.

 

That’s myth number two. If I acquire more clinical skills, I will become more successful. Clinical excellence equals success/money, if you equal success with money. That’s a myth. It’s coming from our academic leaders. We pushed for this idea of we want to be doctors. Frankly, the reason we wanted to be doctors is because we’re pissed off that chiropractors were doctors and we never became doctors and we’re on the same par as chiropractors. It’s like, “So and so is a doctor, why am I not a doctor?” We feel we’d be more respected by people, which again is another false belief, if we became DPTs. I’m all for education and all of that but the problem is we didn’t realize what that was going to do.

We pushed to DPTs and everyone now is becoming a DPT and becoming a doctor, which is fine, but here’s the thing. We’re now saying, “That’s not good enough. You got to become a residency. You got to go to residency.” In other words, when you get out of school, you’re not good enough with a doctorate. I came out with a Master’s initially. Now you come out with a doctorate and even that’s not good enough. You’ve got to go back and get your clinical residency. Here’s the challenge with that. These people coming out of school are coming out with more debt than you and I could ever fathom. Their belief is if I acquire these skills, I will make more money. Somebody will pay me more money.

That’s a terrible belief because if you’re getting paid by a third party, time equals money. It does not say clinical resume equals money. Knowing more stuff, having more factual knowledge is not necessarily going to give you a dime more. What you’re thinking is if I know more, I will differentiate myself with the other person and someone will say, “You’ve got more initials after your name. You’re better. I’ll come and see you.” You’re making a mistake because now you’re getting into this idea of branding and marketing. Branding and marketing is how you position yourself. Your resume, let’s face it, nobody cares how much you know. They assume if you have a license then you know a lot more than them. If they trust you, if they feel they can connect with you and they can engage with you, they’re going to come to you.

You better know what you’re doing because they’re not going to come to you that often if they’re not getting results. Are you telling me you can’t get results with a person with your DPT? Do you really need all of this other knowledge? Knowing that if you get people better faster, you’re actually going to get paid less. There are a lot of alignment issues that we have with people, with seasoned PTs, with younger PTs, with business owners. This idea that the more we know, the more clinical excellence we have, the more successful we’ll be, I don’t know who’s telling them that. I don’t know if their professors were telling them that, whether their mentors are telling them that, but you and I know it’s not true. It’s never going to be true. It never has been true.

I think it comes maybe from years and years of our school system. If you want to get ahead, it’s always been known that you’re going to get at least a high school diploma. If you want to make more money, you’re going to get a bachelor’s degree. If you want to make more money, then typically you would want to get your Master’s or post professional degree. I think it might be just ingrained as part of the system. I’m just throwing out theories out there.

Nobody cares how much you know. Branding and marketing is how you position yourself. Click To Tweet

I agree with you, I think that is the reason.

It doesn’t help that professors and the way physical therapy schools are set up is just the continuation of that. They’re going to drill that into the students for two to three years in their physical therapy programs. When you come along as an experienced PT and say, “They’re full of crap,” if you’re going to be that honest, they’re going to look at you like you’re unethical and you’re just out for the money. You’re driven by profits. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the APTA really supports small business owners because their focus is on many other things that we’ve talked about. When it comes down to it, the success of our physical therapy profession comes from the outpatient practitioners that come up with new theories, techniques, what they try and what’s been successful. They can’t do that if they’re not making a profit.

I’d love to get into that myth. We have a lot of deep-seated issues around money. We have a lot of negative energy around money and it’s not surprising because we’re helpers and healers by nature. We didn’t necessarily get into the field. I didn’t get into this field and I doubt you did either. Our purpose and passion is first and foremost, I want to make a lot of money. That’s not what prompted me to get in to this field. It doesn’t prompt me to stay in the field. However, when we’re talking about having a life, having a great lifestyle or if you’re a business owner, having a successful business that you love, it takes money to do that. Money comes from successfully taking care of patients. If you’re getting paid by a third party, you’re now being challenged because that third party has its own rules that you’ve got to play by.

It’s like this idea that if I want financial freedom or what we like to call in our world, practice freedom, like choice. We want to have a successful practice and we want to have a successful lifestyle. “I devoted myself to providing quality care. I want to provide quality care to my patients and I want to spend time with my family and friends. Money is not the most important thing to me.” You’ve heard that and I’ve heard that. There’s more to life than just money. When people say that, what they’re doing is saying that you can’t have both. There were more important things in life than money. That’s 100% true. There’s family, there are friends, there’s the pursuit of things that we feel passionate about that lead to our happiness and a fulfilling life.

Who said that we have to sacrifice the things we love to have the things we want? Who said it was an either/or? Of all the things I’ve said, that’s the biggest myth that we have. It gets us into a lot of trouble. It makes us have unfortunately very challenging lives. We go to school and we get out of school nowadays with six figures of debt and we realized that, “I might start off making more than some of my friends at $70,000 to $80,000 but it caps off at $90,000. No matter how many years I work unless I get into another aspect of this work like owning a business or something like that.” It’s a very small window of how much money you make. You talk about investing in your education. It’s going to take you years upon years to pay off this investment you made in school and to then live a lifestyle.

Doctors have been dealing with this for a long time. They might make ultimately more money than we do. They also had this idea of social status. They also have tons of bills and they live in nice houses and drive nice cars. Nobody wants to see a doctor driving on a Yugo. They’ve been dealing with this and now we’re entering into that world because school has become so expensive but the amount of money we make is not there. When these clinicians move into being a practice owner and said, “I’m going to make a ton of money being a practice owner,” they realized that it’s a lot harder than they think because it isn’t about how good of a clinician you are. You have to learn about business. This is another myth.

This is the myth of, “I’m a good clinician. I’ll be a successful business owner and make money and have the life I want.” That’s completely not true. One has nothing to do with the other. The reason you’re a good clinician is because you spend time and money and effort doing it. That’s why I believe if you want to be a good business owner, then you want to put some time and effort and investment in being a good and successful business owner. It’s amazing how many people say to me, “Jamey, I love everything you said. I want this but right now, I’m just too busy. Right now, I can’t afford it.” It’s interesting, you didn’t say that when you went to school and the price tag was $60,000 a year.

You didn’t say you couldn’t afford it because it was accepted. Somebody sold you that ideal. Now we are getting hurt as a profession. From a business standpoint, we need more successful business people out there. Our industry is going to live and die from the small independent practice owner being financially successful. When you’re financially successful, you grow businesses, you hire people and you improve the economy. You also have money to invest in other things. You have money to invest in our PT packs, political action stuff. You have lots of things you can do. You have passion projects you can get involved in. When you’re struggling, you’re not successful. That doesn’t help anyone, including the patients you’re working with. This is a much bigger impact that I believe these myths are really hurting, which is what I’m passionate about in changing our mindsets of things and changing our success paths.

I like what you’re talking about how it’s the successful private practice owners that are going to help us maintain through all of these transitions that are coming in with healthcare. As we get bigger, as we grow, you hate to see some of the bigger companies out there grow even more than they are. However, what they bring is a voice. When you get big enough and strong financially and you have some influence, you can be in a seat at the table. When discussions are happening, we can have a voice when it comes to some of the changes that are coming not only in our community, but with some of the insurance companies. We have an opportunity to negotiate to our benefit. With some of the directions that healthcare organizations are going, we can have a voice as to where physical therapy is going to fit. It’s valuable that we’d be strong and financially successful business owners because we’re not going to get anywhere by simply improving our technique.

You bring up a great point. This point around a lot of people I speak to, your small business owners, one to five clinic locations. They have a dislike or a negative emotion towards bigger companies. Your AthletiCos, your ATIs, your Pivots, your Select Medicals. They have a negative thing towards them. I ask them, “Why do you have a negative thing?” It’s because they have a scarcity mindset. What I mean by that, scarcity versus abundance, is a scarcity mindset says there’s not enough to go around. There’s only one size pie. If three-fourths of the pie is taken, there’s only a quarter left to fight for. It’s an equal sum game versus an abundance mindset that says, “One plus one does not equal two.” There is plenty of pie for everyone because anytime we need more pie, we can just create a bigger pie. The bigger the pie, the bigger piece we all get. That’s an abundance mindset.

Money comes from successfully taking care of patients. Click To Tweet

You and I were talking about some of the facts and figures that are out there. There are 175 million people in the US that could benefit from physical therapy. Do you know how many people actually get physical therapy out of the 175 million? 8%. What does that tell me? Scarcity-minded people are going to fight for the 8% and try to carve out their little piece. If there are bigger companies coming in, they’re going to get a big share because they got more resources and all that stuff. However, your point was why do we talk smack about these bigger companies when they’re representing physical therapy on these grander scales?

They do have the resources, they have the money, they have the dollars. They can put it towards political action committee stuff. They can go after different insurances. They have the leverage that could benefit us because it gets more people knowing what physical therapy can do. Then all you have to do as a small business owner is differentiate yourself from the larger company so then the right people can come to you. They’re making the pot bigger, they’re making the pie bigger for you. By you having this negative feeling towards them is not doing anything for you. It’s actually hurting you. They don’t care. They don’t spend any time worrying about you. How many people are out there that we could help?

They’re not worried about the 8%. They recognize that there’s another 92% out there. They are playing in a different pool. That’s one of the reasons I got into my podcast. There’s a couple of the initial podcast that Paul Gough did where he talked about exactly this mindset. There’s a much bigger pool that we can be playing in if we recognize that we could and should attack the 92% that either don’t know or don’t know how to get to us for their musculoskeletal injuries. When an owner considers that the person down the street is the competition, we’re fighting for scraps at that point.

There are 92% of 175 million people out there that we should be looking to. The more that these bigger companies advertise in baseball parks and with commercials or whatnot, it’s only a benefit because it exposes people to physical therapy and what it is. Hopefully, if they do it the right way, that’s a bonus. If they can expose people to what physical therapy is, it’s something that I wished the APTA would have done more of but that’s a different story, then that only benefits us because we need to start playing in bigger pools. That’s branding, that’s niching and that’s marketing to our key people.

Each person, as an individual, it’s up to us to take the responsibility to make that happen. If you asked me, “What should people do?” If you’re in business right now and you’re like, “You’re right. I did have this scarcity mindset. I don’t want this. I want the whole thing. I want the great practice. I want the great life. I want to build my practice. What should someone do?” The answer is you don’t even have to spend more money. All you have to do is take the money that you’re spending on your clinical education and start putting that money into your business education. It’s the same amount of money. You’re just carving it up because the more business-minded you are, the better your business is going to be. The more people you’re going to serve, the better people you’re going to attract to your company and hire. You’re going to be able to achieve all of this. You cannot achieve anything we’re talking about working 60 to 70 hours a week in your practice and treating 40 hours a week in patient care. You can’t do it. You physically don’t have the ability to do it.

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths
Debunking PT Myths: All you have to do as a small business owner is differentiate yourself from the larger company so the right people can come to you.

 

What you have to do is start to realize that there’s a better way to do it. I’ll tell you the biggest challenge that you’re going to have in doing this. If anyone’s reading this, here’s the biggest challenge you have. It’s you, you’re the biggest challenge and the reason I say that is because you have very strong perspectives around things. You have very strong beliefs around how things should be. If you’re not willing to at least consider other ways of doing it, you will continue to get the same results you’ve always have. If you like to say, “I’ve tried to hire people and there are just no good people out there because I tried it twice and we didn’t get anybody.” If that’s your mindset, then forget it. You’re not going to get anybody. If your mindset is, “Maybe I didn’t try every possible way. Maybe there are other ways I can learn to make my business attractive into bringing on new people. Maybe in how I do my ads or my hiring process or onboarding or training.” Whatever the case are, if you just open your mind, there are lots of people out there that can provide good stuff to you.

It’s not like it’s not out there, but if you just focus every day on, “This is just the way it is. I’m all about quality care and I can’t have the money I want and the life I want because that’s not quality care. Those other guys are just doing something wrong.” If that’s your perspective, nothing will ever change. What sucks about that is it doesn’t move our profession forward. That’s what stinks about it. All of us have this great opportunity to move our business forward. There is a much bigger pie out there for everyone. All you have to do is make the commitment to learn how to build a business just like you did to learn how to treat people better clinically.

We didn’t get the business knowledge in our school. I’ve told the number of people who have reached out to me via LinkedIn or via email. I said there’s a pattern to it. The successful business owners follow a pattern. That is they step out of their clinics, they reach out to coaches and consultants and they network. I just see that over and over again. I’m trying to tell them. I’ve talked to owners who have a hard time parting with $10,000 for some coaching or consulting. You don’t know how much I spent but it was beneficial to us. There was a return on your investment and it is an investment. If you’re not willing to invest in the thing that is providing you life and sustenance, then your balance will stay where you’re at.

I tell people, “If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, you deserve what you’re getting.” It’s harsh. It’s tough love, but here’s the thing. You’re investing right now, especially if you’re relatively new into this PT world. You invested $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 a year. You had to work your butt off. Just because you invested that, you had to beg, borrow and steal to get into the school, work your butt off while you’re in school, take the exams, pass the exams, only to get to the next year, then the next year, then they take a board and it guarantee you nothing. The school is not held accountable one bit. The accountability was all on you as the student. You had a passion. You had a desire. You had a deep belief that this is what you want and when you got out there, you realize, “I have a lot of debt. Someone’s going to have to pay this debt back.” You start looking for other people to pay your debt back.

You think that the value you provide is your DPT or the value you provide is all this clinical education. That’s not valuable to someone. Are people going to buy that? We have to get smart around this idea of money is what drives business. Money is not a bad thing. It’s a measuring tool. I look at money very simply in my own business and my coaching business right now. I look at money in a way that the more money I make means the more people I’m serving. That’s how I look at it. That’s the relationship I have with money. Not this crap that money is the root of all evil. The more money you have, you must be doing something wrong. You got to wake up and start to question why you believe what you believe because you weren’t born like this. People have influenced you. You better take control of what goes in your brain because there are a lot of people out there that are frustrated.

It isn't about how good of a clinician you are. You have to learn about business. Click To Tweet

There are a lot of people out there that aren’t making basic financial needs because of how much they’ve invested and how much money they’re making in the PT world or how much money they’re making as business owners. With 92%, hundred and some odd million people that are waiting for you to help them, all you have to do is say, “Here’s who I am. Here’s what we can do. Here’s how I can help you.” That’s what you have to do. Make yourself known and run a business that can deliver the type of care and the quality care you talk so much about and want. Create a business that delivers quality care. If you will put it all on you, you will never be able to expand. This all can be done. Everyone reading this right now, you can do this. You can have what you want. It’s up to you. You have the power to make this happen and no one else can take that from you unless you allow them.

We talked so much about what happens with these physical therapists coming out of school. As business owners, we need to understand where they’re coming from. They’re coming out with all these same platitudes about quality care is dependent upon the amount of time that you spend with a patient. If you are asking me to see more patients, you’re all about the money and the profits. I need to get more continuing education in order to become a better physical therapist if I want to further my career. We need to know as an owner that a lot of that could be coming from the amount of students that they’re dealing with coming out of school. We just need to be aware of where they’re coming from. They’re coming out of these academic areas. They’re coming out with a lot of debt and if we’re going to attract, recruit and cultivate our next leaders, it’s an ongoing conversation but knowing exactly where they’re coming from. The idea of first seek to understand before you’re understood.

We have to understand. We have to get on the same side of the table as our staff. I talked a lot about in other areas, you might want to talk about team building. One of the biggest things that we have trouble with is we have this us versus them, this adversarial relationship with our staff, especially our clinicians and especially younger clinicians. If you go in with that attitude and they’re like, “You think you know me because I’m a Millennial. You have all these things,” then it’s going to create a difficult relationship. Ask questions, understand where they’re coming from, and get on some common ground because you all want the same things.

That’s the beautiful thing. You all want the same thing. They want mentorship, they want an ability to pay back their loans and they want opportunities. It’s exactly the same things you want. These Millennials aren’t different. They’re human beings. They have certain needs. Let’s understand what their needs are. Let’s meet them where their needs are. Let them understand where our needs are. Get on some common ground and let’s go help and serve some people. There are an amazing number of people that absolutely need what we do and we can’t have that if all of us are struggling. We can’t do it.

Jamey, it’s been awesome talking to you.

A scarcity mindset says there's not enough to go around. Click To Tweet

You too, Nathan. I appreciate you having me on and I love always talking to you. We get into who knows what kinds of conversations. It’s nice to be open and speak how it is.

If people want to get in touch with you, share with us how are they able to get in contact with you and learn a little bit more about your Practice Freedom Method.

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths
The Practice Freedom Method: The Practice Owner’s Guide to Work Less, Earn More, and Live Your Passion

You can go to my website, ThePracticeFreedomMethod.com. It’s changing titles to PracticeFreedomU.com. They all both point to the same direction. If you have any questions specifically for me, you can just reach out to me at Jamey@JameySchrier.com. I’d be happy to help you point in the right direction and do whatever I can do to support you

You’ve got a book out as well.

I’ve got a book out called The Practice Freedom Method. You could pick it up at Amazon. It’s a great book. It’s almost like an autobiography of my experience of how I went from being a struggling practice owner and not happy with my life but I’m smiling and pretending like I was to having a fire to eventually create an amazing team and removing myself from the day-to-day aspects of running a business like clockwork. Having what other would consider a dream and having an amazing practice and a great lifestyle. The book talks about how I did that and all of the struggles I had.

I referenced the book because one of my previous guests who has worked with you, Michele Kehrer, said she read it on a plane. It was a pretty easy read and influential on her success as well. I want to make sure you got the credit for that. Thanks, Jamey. I appreciate your time.

Thank you, Nathan.

 

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About Dr. Jamey Schrier

PTO 40 | Debunking PT Myths

Dr. Jamey Schrier is the Founder and CEO of The Practice Freedom Method, business training for physical therapists. After growing and then selling his multi-location PT business, for a price often reserved for businesses quadruple his size, he began teaching other PT owners of all clinic sizes how to grow and scale their practices while improving their quality of life.

Jamey now shares his proven methodology with other PT owners using timeless business principles combined with his “best practices” he has learned in over 20 years in business. He has personally coached over 70 private practice physical therapists create their dream practice, and through his book, The Practice Freedom Method and signature programs, he has helped hundreds if not thousands more. Now it’s your turn!

 

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