Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Experiences: By Cash PT Dr. Bobby Prengle, PT, DPT, CSCS

Huge thanks to Dr. Bobby Prengle! He has some great insights and advice. Read on to find out what he has to share. 

  • Who are you and why did you go into PT?

    My name is Bobby Prengle, PT, DPT, CSCS. I recently graduated from PT school at Duke University and did a year-long Orthopedic Residency at the Brooks Institute of Higher Learning in Jacksonville, FL. I currently work for Par4Success in Raleigh, NC. I went into PT because I was your typical "always hurt" athlete in high school. I played four sports and spent just as much time rehabbing various injuries at almost every joint in my body as I did playing those sports. My goal is to change the way we work with athletes of all ages so that they stay healthy and working towards their goals, not spending time getting back to their baseline function. Kids and adults are facing serious challenges to staying healthy and active these days, and it's our job as sports physical therapists to promote an active lifestyle. I also love both the challenge and the opportunity in the current PT/healthcare landscape!

  • What has been the biggest challenge going from school to the clinic?

    There have been tons of challenges. The first was clinically - I can vividly remember the first times I had to do PROM on a fresh post-op shoulder, and my first time for many special tests like Sharp-Purser. The training wheels really do come off! Residency gave me a perfect transition from being a student to becoming a higher-level thinker - the training wheels were off, so to say, but I had a team of experienced and high-level clinicians guiding me through that first year. The second, now in my transition into a cash-based practice, is trying to draw on limited experience to really provide top-notch care. Again, I have a wonderful team around me that provides further mentorship so that I can keep growing and learning. There's also a LOT of business/marketing/strategy that is not taught in PT school. There's a lot of trial by error in those departments!

  • What type of setting are you in and what is a typical day for you?

    We are a cash-based physical therapy and sports performance clinic with a focus on golf performance. We currently have 2 locations - a privately owned gym and a satellite clinic at a country club that I am heading up. There is no typical day right now when trying to grow a business! Some days, I see clients throughout the morning at either location, all one-on-one care, and am busy coaching our junior or adult performance classes in the evenings. There are lots of meetings and planning sessions. We run events such as pop-up clinics at Orange Theory Fitness locations, driving range events, and even started a podcast! I also sometimes have meetings with local golf pros to talk about clients that work with both of us. We are also busy with multiple research projects going on right now, and I have taken the role of Data Miner and Organizer for both of those projects! So, nothing typical, always an adventure, and I am constantly changing out which hat I wear.

  • What are your tips and tricks for expanding the golf/fitness end of the clinic?

    The biggest tip is to show someone your value to them as a golfer by finding out what matters most to that person. Some people hate that their back constantly hurts while they play - we can certainly help with that! Some people really don't care that they have to take 3-4 Advil during a round, they're just mad that they can't hit the ball as far as they used to. Again, there are tons of ways we as PT's can help you hit the ball further. If your hip only internally rotates 15 degrees (which is fairly common!), you won't swing very fast. If I can get you 30 or even 45 degrees, that completely changes things, and golfers can feel the difference on the range. That will probably make your back feel better too. So, it's really about having a big toolbox available to you so you can reach people where they are. Golfers are a competitive bunch - if you can show them just how much you can help, they'll certainly buy in. You also definitely need to know the difference between a 4 iron (ball goes further!) and a 9 iron (ball doesn't go as far), and recognizing a slice vs. a pull or hook is helpful as well. Watch a few tournament highlights and know who your clients' favorite golfers are! This is a super easy group to have a conversation with during a session.

  • What are your goals for the future and what will you do to achieve these goals?

    We have some pretty serious expansion goals in the future! Short-term, I would certainly love to expand the satellite clinic and build it up so much that we need to hire another PT. We're working on tons of different fronts to build it up - events, the podcast, pop-up clinics, and presentations for other local fitness communities. One of our main goals is to become leaders in the push towards reinventing healthcare, especially for physical therapy. Connecting with, supporting, and networking with other cash-based PT's is a great way to achieve this.

  • What is your advice for pre-PT, SPT, staff PTs, aspiring clinic owners, or current clinic owners?

    Especially for the SPT's and the pre-PT's - have a goal, but be flexible. I knew before even going to college that I wanted to work with athletes, but by being flexible and open to trying new things, I landed at Par4Success, which couldn't be a better fit. Don't be afraid to walk a slightly different path, but always be moving forward! Reach out to local business owners for shadowing opportunities, talk to your local alumni from your PT program about ways to get involved, and really go after unique experiences you can find. As a student, you're certainly not expected to have all the answers right away, but always be seeking to find them! Furthermore, this generation of therapists has a unique challenge when it comes to advocating for our profession. You can get involved with your local, state and national association, but you can also advocate by being a powerful voice in your local community. We offer so much to patients, and we can help so many people out there! It's important to get the word out about what we do so we can help as many people as possible.

Thanks Again to Dr. Bobby Prengle for his awesome words of wisdom. For more insights and advice from real-world PTs check out the Experience Series.

Friday, September 28, 2018

From Pre-PT -> SPT -> DPT -> Clinic Owner

Over the past decade, life has presented challenges. I just want to briefly go through some of the ups and downs throughout my journey.

First, I decided to get into PT school so I started doing my pre-requisites. I had some good grades and some okay grades. When I got a C in physics I was devastated! but I retook it and got an A!

Second, going through the process of PTCAS was exciting and scary. I was determined to get in and applied to 14 schools. I ended up being waitlisted at 3 schools and ultimately I was rejected! It was so painful.

Third, after feeling like a complete failure and being rejected I decided to try again. I filled out PTCAS again with the encouragement of my wife I applied again. This time I was much more refined in my selection of schools and only applied to 3 schools

Fourth, an email came I got in! I was accepted to PT school at the University of St. Augustine. I thought the hard part was over... getting into PT school but after PT school started I realized I the hard part was only getting started.

Fifth, getting through PT school was a total struggle! I felt like I crawled across the finish line. I graduate and much to my surprise I was awarded the Outstanding Physical Therapy Student Award at graduation.

Sixth, working as a PT was such fun but I soon felt like it was all about money. My boss would say "every time someone walks through that door imagine they have a 100 dollar bill taped on their forehead."  I loved working with people but I wanted more than just working for a boss that looks at patients as dollar bills. I want to help people!

Seventh, enough was enough and I decided to quit my corporate job and start a clinic! This has been a scary and fun process. I just opened about 8 weeks ago and I have seen a handful of patients. It is scary but I feel like with time I can get this clinic going.

All in all, this journey had been scary and fun. If you are a Pre-PT, an SPT, a DPT or a clinic owner I would love to connect and network with you. If you are reading this leave a comment so we can connect/network. I would love to hear your story.

If you feel like you have a story that would be beneficial to others I would love to put it up on this blog so reach out!


Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

High Road: Empower Utah Physical Therapy

As I have thought about why I wanted to start a clinic there are some many reasons but it boils down to just a few things. I'll expound:

1. Corporate PT wants you to bill as many high paying units as possible and they will mask it by saying "it's what is best for the patient"

2. PT's are highly educated and are capable of providing a plethora of help for people but corporate PT wants you just sign evals. Community health and wellness services could be revolutionized by movement/exercises experts corporate PT makes us too busy signing herding people in and out.

3. Autonomy to give the patient what is best. Corporate PT wants you to see people 2-3 times a week for several weeks but good PT in my book is empowering people to manage their conditions independently. So, in essence, I want to see people less often and facilitate independence.

So far opening a clinic has been fun (11 days in now). It is also scary! Very very scary because I look at my schedule and it is pretty empty but I feel if I am good to my patients they will be good to me (and send their friends to me, I hope)

In the end, at Empower Utah Physical Therapy I just want to give people what is very best for them.

Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Still Creating A PT: Opening A Clinic

I've been out of school for 2 years now! It has gone by so quickly. Some might say mission accomplished you're a PT now... but it just does not work that way for me.

As I was working at a corporate PT job I felt like I was growing complacent seeing patients 2 at a time. I felt like I could help people more. So what was I supposed to do?

Get another job... well not exactly. I got another job but that other job is a whole new adventure because my wife and I moved 1000 miles to open Empower Utah PT.

Yeah! We decided the best way to push ourselves was to open a clinic. So here I am sitting in a tiny one-room office having only seen 3 patients my first 3 days.

Is it scary you ask? Well of course! I'm scared to death this thing won't take off but on the other hand, it is exhilarating.

If you are thinking about opening a clinic hit me up I would love to talk strategy or marketing!

A little further info: I'm an LLC with no insurance contracts only taking cash/card payment. I am working solo (with some help from my wife from an admin standpoint).

Again if you are thinking about doing it text or email... I'd love to chat!

Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pre-PT Interview Stress: Part II

Critical feedback was painful in my first meeting with my interview coach. He counted each and every one of my um’s and ah’s, pauses, stutters, and bad answers. The was no sugar coating and ultimately, he told me I needed a lot of work. I took his advice to heart and practiced on my own time over the next couple of weeks. I interview myself in the bathroom mirror. When my follow up session I walked in and he was impressed with my appearance commenting that I even carried myself with more confidence. He as question after question with tough questions and I came right back at him. I had taken his tips to heart and refined my skills. I gave heartfelt answers about real life experiences. Not just your typical I had an injury and I did PT and it helped so now I want to be a PT. With personal experiences, I was able to win him over. After 30 minutes of tough to answer questions he announced to me that a grad school would be nuts not to take me. I walked out 2 inches taller that day. Shortly thereafter the invite came. I accepted the interview with excitement and let my interview coach know that I had received an interview. We met for one more short session just to fine tune and then off to Austin, Tx. With a fresh haircut, a pressed suit, and refined interview skills I was ready for the challenge. They called a group of 4 applicants into an interview and started asking questions. The interview went as smooth as butter. I felt confident I was doing well. After exiting the interview the other 3 applicants started asking me how I know what they were going to ask. I didn’t know what they were going to ask but came prepared. I just told them about my practice and preparations and all 3 of them praised me for knocking it out of the park. After going home, I knew I had done everything I could to get accepted. A couple of long weeks later anticipating the news I finally received a letter informing me I had been accepted into a DPT program.

If you are looking to prepare for an interview for a DPT or PTA program check out some of my previous post below.

If you are trying to get into PT school I would love to hear from you! Find me via:
Twitter: @DPT_USA
Facebook: Dalin Hansen 
If you are looking to take your interview skills to the next level contact me for a one on one interview with me for critiques and advice. Email me at dalinhansen@gmail.com

20 minute one on one interview session for $35 via Venmo

If you are not happy with the interview prep session just email me and I'll give you 100% refund.

Pre-PT Interview Stress: Part I

Applying to PT school = stress + research + essay writing + paperwork + pay money. Then repeat. It's expensive, it’s scary, it’s exhilarating. At the end of my under-grad I studied PTCAS constantly. I looked endlessly at programs, dates, requirements, matriculation rates. I calculated, hypothesized, theorized, wrote, studied, worried. The deadline arrived and I submitted loads of paperwork, essays, and application fees. And then I waited. Forever. And finally, I got invited to interview, all the way across the country at the University of New England. Unbelievable! Surely, an interview meant I would get accepted. Arriving in Portland, Maine with a crisp new haircut, and dry cleaned suit I felt cool and confident. When I arrived, I noticed everyone else also had a fresh haircut and dapper attire. But I had one thing nobody else did – a really great personality! As I started to chat with the other interviewees I soon realized they too seemed to be really good people persons. What was I going to do to stand out?  I reassured myself that I am a really good people person and I will knock this interview right out of the park. Only problem was my homerun hit felt more like a pop fly to center. From the start of the interview, I struggled.  My answers were choppy, cliché and full of um’s and ah’s. Nothing I said made me stand out from anybody else. Having looked over their website and reviewing the pros of their school I thought I was ready to go, but I wasn’t nearly enough prepared.

At the end, I had a doubtful feeling but tried to remain optimistic. Perhaps I did not do as poorly as I thought. In anticipation, I checked the mail daily and then it came, an envelope from UNE. I ripped the envelope open to read a letter. WAITLIST! Remaining optimistic I just knew I would get in. As time went on I ultimately ended up waitlisted at 3 schools and eventually, I was not accepted to any of them.

Obviously, I needed to improve as an applicant. So I took physics I again and got an A. I took more time researching programs that were a better fit for my stats. Lastly, I knew I needed to address my poor interviewing skills. Just being a people person didn’t equal a quality interview. I hired an interviewing coach. At our first meeting his first words were “I hate your shirt, there is not a chance I would accept you into my grad program.” Boom, it just got real, but that is exactly what I needed.

If you are trying to get into PT school I would love to help you! Find me via:
Twitter: @DPT_USA
Facebook: Dalin Hansen 

Also check out some of my other posts about my interview experience and advice.