What about preparing for your job though, the interview, and standing out from all the other newly minted (or oldly minted) DPTs? Don’t worry! I’ve got you, I’ve lived and worked all around the country and have come up with a list of con-ed and traits my old bosses all look for that will bring you higher up on the resume pile!
Treatment Style People Know
One thing employers want to see is something that their patients will recognize and that they can market! So, what can you do that the patients will recognize? If no one comes to see you, your job disappears! There’s niches everywhere, and the more specialized you can become the easier it will be to attract the patients you want to see, so what does your population need or want? Is pickleball a big thing in your area (if it’s not it will be soon). Do referring providers want to see their people have a certain type of exercise procedure or spinal manipulation? The person that will be hiring you will know what will keep people coming in the door and the referral sources sending more. Figure out that skill set and hiring you will be a no brainer!
Don’t Worry So Much About the Alphabet Soup After Your Name
None of my bosses really cared about the letters after your name. These letters are more for our own egos, impressing our colleagues, and an occasional referral from the course educator’s website. Clinic owners do want the skills that come with courses, and these are often the ones that have been around a while. The 3 big M’s of ortho come out a lot: Maitland, Mulligan, and McKenzie. Now if you haven’t been to an actual course put on by one of these (check them out here) you may have been exposed to some techniques or thought processes in school and the interview is a great place to showcase this knowledge! Many certifications aren’t easy or cheap, so if you spend the time and money to attend one, even just the first in a series, your potential employer will know that you’re serious about learning and serious about your career!
Skills or Techniques Your Boss Can Market
This is a huge thing from the private practice owners we talked too. Things like LSVT BIG, vestibular certs, ImPACT for concussions, any board certified clinical specialist, Graston/ASTYM/Hawk Grips proficiency, dry needling were all big hitters. Everyone wants something their competitors don’t have so any skills that you can bring that are new to a geographical area give your boss a leg up on marketing for new patients. These also let referral partners find and send patients to you based on the course work you’ve taken.
Having spent time around the country it’s easy to see that certain areas, and certain clinics, practice a certain way based on the continuing education offering that come to that city or region. Also, some clinics will have someone who is certified in something like McKenzie or dry needling, and they just want to have something else to offer patients. So find a course that interests YOU!
Because the same courses come to the same geographical areas, hiring managers and private practices will see the same types of continuing education come up on a resume again and again. If Mulligan is popular where you are, and everyone you meet is certified, and you’re more interested in vestibular – then do it! We spend all our life trying to blend in, but then when it’s time to enter the real world the people that stand out succeed!
Only one requirement with taking continuing education: learn something new to bring back for your patients. In PT school you had to take x, y, and z course but now you have the choice! You may have had some great courses (or maybe not), but it’s always been on the school’s schedule. Plus all the tests, quizzes, practicals, competencies, or whatever your school called those “teaching moments” when you had to demonstrate something you learned once and most likely couldn’t remember.
Below are some courses that we feel are utilizing the evidence and pushing the profession forward