Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hopefully I’m not the only NP that can’t fathom how 2 weeks can flash by so quickly. I can’t say that anything has changed dramatically since I resolved to more seriously pursue professional change. Concrete steps I have taken: Contacted a coworker about trading work schedules come February (switching down to 32 hours and working a Wednesday-Saturday rotation). I’ve also taken on a slightly greater leadership role at my current job by heading up a group that will try to integrate different educational initiatives within the building (i.e. Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Inservices, Evening CEU courses, ‘Travelling’ CEU courses, and a group I started last year to discuss practice innovations.)

Ideally, I would like to work less and study more in 2010. I love my clinical work but feel that my calling is in areas with a more macro focus. So to the end of working less, going down to 32 hours in February and leaving my employer in June seems to strike the nicest balance between responsibility and innovation. [Note to self: Tell no one at work about this blog.] The next 6 months would give me the opportunity to save more money, complete more projects at work, and prepare to begin down another path. June would mark 4 years of traditional clinical work before “branching out”. I just wish I new what that was going to look like! More to come on that later. Now for a beer and, hopefully, back to back wins at trivia night!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A modest agenda

So, for no particular reason beyond having not much to do tonight, I'll continue my blog-athon with a list of options/opportunities/ideas worth developing in my life right now.

>Start my own LLC: Disruptive Physical Therapy (DPT, get it, ehn? ehn?)
>Develop follow up on PASS with a cross-discipline collaboration builder
>Work on a blog/online presence for NPs: promote the 'Move It' brand (if you can label it as such)
>Develop an app for new professional collaboration and consensus building
>Quit working and get an MPH
>Quit working and get an MBA
{Continue working and do either of the above}
>Enroll in next year's MIT New Media masters class (starting 2011)
>Develop an open source component for John Moore's project at MIT's New Media lab (technology enabled remote rehab program compliance monitoring)
>Promote the development of Fellowships in Prevention (within Ortho/Cardiopulm)
>Pursue a nationwide practice analysis (part of a PhD?) to form a Prevention specialty

Do none of these things, live like a hermit until my loans are gone (2012 if I commit to serfdom), and then start innovating...

My favorite way to look at this list is as a 'surplus' of opportunities. How could I do all of these if they weren't partially combined or integrated? Could starting DPT, LLC enable me to pursue an MPH or even MPH-MBA while building Or would that be overloading myself by taking on too much? I'd like to think not, but need to be rational.

My loans are at low interest rates (sub 5% fortunately enough). How much of my saving would a start up company take? Could I expect any return on invest? If so, how soon?

Enough for one night. More musing to come. ~ben

Pizza and cogitation

As I sit in a pizza shop trying to organize my thoughts, I'm not quite sure where to begin. This blog may ramble on. It's been a crazy 5 months and I'm trying, as I imagine many New Professionals are, to appreciate what I've accomplished in my time since PT school as well as to assess what I can still do with my remaining year and half of 'newbie' status.

Many salient quotes come to mind:

"What we have to remember is that we are really, very young. We have time to recreate ourselves as professionals many times over at this point." ~James Spencer

"You have 30 days to make this website happen." ~Steve Wolf, regarding a project I proposed in February [note: it hasn't happened yet]

"I'm pushing really hard to get approval for another Level 3 position to open up. If it does, I think you should be one of several people to interview for it. [read: You want a carrot? Who's a good boy? Carrot? Carrot? Roll over. Roll over.]" ~my boss

"Systems are rarely disrupted from within the silo. Generally, innovation happens at the intersections of multiple disciplines by upstarts with novel ideas." ~paraphrased from Clayton Christensen in pretty much everything he's ever written about Disruptive Innovation

I guess a part of what I'm struggling with here is the desire to step out of the mainstream. The fear, of course, is getting swept in the wrong direction or being a failure. Escalators aside, it's not in my nature to be a risk taker, so getting swept away looms large in my list of activities to avoid. There is a point in life, however, when I think someone has to decide to risk sinking, abysmally, or 'stay in line' in perpetuity.
For most New Professionals it's just not in the cards to take significant risks. This problem will only get worse as PT school continues to become more expensive and as available health care reimbursement dollars decline. While it makes leaving the mainstream more difficult, this may be the best thing that's ever happened for Physical Therapy. Back in February, I listed as an 'inspirational thought' the idea that payment is a "shrinking pie" (fewer available dollars, smaller pieces to go around, etcetera). I ask, what could be better for an evidence-based, articulate group of Professionals than a resource war?
But I digress, this Blog is about..., ..., knowing when to change directions in your first 5 years. In keeping with my quote theme, it's immediately apparent that I'm not meting Ghandi's call to "Be the change you want to see in the world." (Darn Indian philosophers and their tall orders!) We are on the receiving end of so much information and subject to so many masters, decision making can be very difficult. Stepping back to survey the situation, and, even more intimidating, stepping out on our own is daunting.
I hope that my next few blogs will reflect the thought process of one new professional trying to do just that. Come what may, I plan to document the thoughts, discussions, negotiations, and possibly a resignation that follow. I hope you guys will read along!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Books read and blogs to come

Hello all,

I've just finished a really interesting book on Health care "The Innovator's Prescription". I highly recommend it. I have note cards full of potential blogs! (Exciting for me anyway) I want to finish my other book, which I've been reading in parallel, "Predictably Irrational" by a behavioral economist, before I write the blogs. Some really interesting perspectives between and across these books. I look forward to getting some ideas out there and hopefully firing Move It back up.

Ciao for now ~ben

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Carpe Sanitas

Seize Health.  

At the risk of this blog becoming just a font of my own personal diatribes, here's another one.  But first let me just say that having a new professional forum is a great opportunity to discuss and critique our perceptions of the field.  I hope people come to post their own thoughts and opinions, or at least occasionally heckle the bejesus out of mine.  

Sorry to beat a dead (language) cliche but now for Carpe Sanitas or Seize Health!  

If life and happiness, both intrinsically health-related, are unalienable rights, I would like to see a little more "pursuit" in the methods of the American health care consumer.

That's why I'm here to deliver an invective on why the concept of "health care delivery" is utterly deplorable.  It seems to imply that if you just wait long enough, health care will come to you.   Just wait right there on the couch... "It's not delivery.  It's diabetes."  

And to be honest, the way our system is currently arranged, that's not far from the truth.  Wait. And it comes.  Help arrives in the form of an ambulance on the fast track to reactionary, emergency care.  The problem is long established before any 'care' is given.  

It's kind of like using a smoke alarm instead of an oven timer.  Then as a society we bemoan how many burnt meals we've been having lately, how the price of smoke alarm batteries is skyrocketing, and how the alarms seem to malfunction more than they once did.  (Let's not even mention the cost of providing smoke alarms to the uninsured.  They don't even have a wall to hang it on.)

Physical Therapists have great potential to draw public attention to timers over alarms.  Not only can we clearly explain how fast the clock is ticking and why, but often we can actually add time to the countdown.  

Which brings me back to the latin, I am enthusiastic about the phrase "Carpe Sanitas" for 2 reasons.  Number one, the 'seize health' message is relevant and timely as explained above.  And number two, Sanitas could also be perceived or interpreted as "sanity".  Frankly that's a useful double entendre.  On the one hand you have the logical 'Seize Health' and on the other you have the more imploring 'Seize Sanity'.  

The sane approach is the pursuit paradigm.  Reactionary health care is bloated and unsustainable.  It's begun to set off alarms and warnings of its own.  Realizing this, PTs can and should pursue an aggressive oven timer agenda!  

That's enough for one night from me.  But anyone have thoughts on how to structure our agenda?  Speak now or forever be subjected to more late night blogs from Ben.

     to be continued...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gonig Green or Going Healthy

   The House of Delegates (Physical Therapy's highest governing body) has two pieces of legislation coming forward this year about environmental issues.  While good initiatives at heart, I believe they both miss the mark by not aiming higher.  The environment, be it built or natural, is inextricably linked to health and mobility.  As physical therapy is directly concerned with these two issues, PTs and PTAs must form a comprehensive, progressive stance on environmental health.  
    I will be the first to admit that by most standards, I'm as 'crunchy' as they come.  I dragged friends and family to An Inconvenient Truth and I ride a bicycle to work.  But when it comes to American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) policy, the language should not be about climate change.  Our focus would best be placed on asthma not ozone, and on obesity over emissions.    Our profession has unlimited potential to impact health not climate.  Therefore I hope to see the APTA develop a detailed position that puts us in the leadership role among health care providers advocating for healthy environments for the sake of supporting health.  To me, this means the APTA has a vested interest in everything from air quality to sidewalk quality.  
    In general I would say that New Professionals are aware of this issue more so than the general public.  However, I believe that we have an ethical obligation and huge opportunity to rally behind this cause.  It will undoubtably push us further along the path towards becoming preventative practitioners.  But more importantly, it will express to our clients that we care about their health as much as we are concerned about their injuries.  After all, health is contextual.  PTs must come to vigorously advocate for the context that best supports a kinesiophilic or movement loving existence.    

I have an as yet unfinished joke about "where the sidewalk ends..."  I'm not sure how to get there but the punch line is "diabetes."

        What do you think?  Can PTs frame "going green" as "going healthy?"  
            And can we do that at a national level?  


Sunday, April 12, 2009

NYC New Pro Mixer

Start Time:
Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 7:00pm
End Time:
Friday, April 24, 2009 at 1:00am
Place: Taj Lounge (
48 West 21st Street Between 5th and 6th Ave
New York, NY

New Professionals and Students of the world of Physical Therapy come together for this great event to get to know each other and have a good time. You work hard for your patients, now enjoy some time for yourself.
Time: Thursday, April 23rd @ 7:00pm
1.5 Hour Vodka Open Bar (7:00 - 8:30PM)

Along with great drinks, Taj has a great food menu.

Cover is $15 for anyone on "PT Networking" list (that would be all of you!)

Above is the Facebook invite info, let me know what you guys think. Because it was short notice I will be making it more open to other groups, but this is more a test run to see what kind of NYC motion we can get going with this group and take it from there.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Seamless Web

I am sure this will fall into place eventually, but is there a way we can make this blog, the google group, the facebook group, the e-mails all link up to create a more seamless share of info?
What is everyones preferred method for checking this info?
I know we can get updates on the blog through our email or rss feeder, including getting an update on the comments as they come through as well.

I did just find about a service called basecamp, which may an option for us if we want to setup a much more thorough website:
You can take a tour of what they offer... may not be worth it, just one idea.

NYC NewPro Event

I am fairly certain this is in the spirit of this site... I would like to announce that I am going to be planning a Social event in NYC. I have yet to determine the date or exact venue and am willing to take suggestions. I realize we are all over the country, but I hope some of you can make it out here. I will announce any details as they become available. I am going to aim to get this event in by May 1-ish... I figure if I put it here, it has a much higher chance of getting done

I am still considering beginning a New Pro SIG here in NY through the NYPTA. So any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as always.

I have one more thought but will make it a separate post as it may generate a whole different talk...
Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The First of Many

Hello to the group formally known as the GoXV.  The Group of 15 was really never intended to be so confined.  Hopefully this blog will further our avenues of expansion and collaboration.  I hope we find it useful in whatever capacity it takes on.