Experiences: Clay Case PT, DPT, CSCS
Clay Case PT, DPT, CSCS is a graduate of Daemen College and
currently works outpatient orthopedics in New York. Presently he is
applying for an orthopedic residency and pursuing a certification in
Mechanical Diagnosis. For more info about Dr. Case check out his website
I got lucky in that I was hired on at a previous clinical affiliation
site. For academics requirements, students at my school needed to
complete 4 separate affiliations. My 3rd affiliation was an outpatient
orthopedic clinic in my hometown that was a perfect fit for me and
apparently for them. After I graduated, I started working there under a
limited permit and have since transitioned to a staff physical
- How was the transition/learning curve coming out of school and starting your first job?
One of the biggest obstacles
coming out I think is realizing the balance of how much you actually
learned and how little you truly know. The therapists at this clinic
have provided good mentorship throughout any troubling cases or general
weak spots in my knowledge which is invaluable to me. Because of that
mentorship, I think my transition has been much easier than if I were
taking a position in a different clinic or setting.
I will see 1-2 patients every half an hour and an initial evaluation
for 1 hour each day. Currently, I am still building up a caseload and,
accordingly, I am working a part-time schedule. A typical day will begin
at 7:30am and 1-2 patients will arrive for their appointments on each
half an hour. An initial evaluation will be scheduled somewhere
throughout the day according to the patient's preference with an hour
allotment of time for that evaluation. Depending on the day, I will work
until 2:30pm or work through to 7:00pm. Notes are completed whenever
time allows for it, and I try to finish them off during my patient's
session so I don't have a huge stack of work at the end of the day.
- What is your work load like and what is typical day is like for you?
far, I feel like any knowledge I could have gained on insurance
companies and their policies would have been beneficial. Although we did
receive some of that education during the didactic portion of our DPT
program, the topic is certainly immense and requires continued learning.
Clinically, I felt very prepared in knowing who I can help, who I can't
help, and who I might need a little assistance in helping. While that
comfort may have come from the clinic I chose to work with, I think
active searching for a nurturing work environment directly out will
improve a new grad's ability to grow. I'm sure a handful of situations
will come about in the future that will inspire other answers to this
questions, but currently I'm pretty satisfied with my preparation for
new grad life.
- What do you wish you would have known/been prepared for after graduating?
graduated in May 2015, so I am currently still figuring out the student
loan management! Although I'm still currently in my grace period for my
loans, I have been steadily building reserves from my income to pay off
my loans prior to my interest capitalizing. I have decided to maintain
my minimalist college budget for as long as I can in order to pay off my
loans in the quickest time frame that I can. That's a personal choice,
and I certainly don't claim it to be the best route! However, it just
fits my lifestyle best and the thought of being debt-free as soon as
possible really appeals to me. If that means I have to give up a few big
purchases for a couple years still, I will be putting off that short
term satisfaction for the long term gain.
ever, ever, stop being hungry. This profession is one of the best in
the world because of the amazing results we can get with relatively low
cost and low risk to the patient. Every time a person experiences
success, you should be proud of yourself and celebrate that victory;
however, don't forget how you got to that victory. A whole lot of work
went into that, and I think one of the biggest pieces is continuing to
advance your knowledge and skills. Regardless of your situation, you
should always strive to become the best you that you can. Just because
you're still in school, just because you're a new grad and have loans,
just because you have 5 million things to do other than learn....Those
ideas shouldn't hold you back from seeking out any topics you want to
learn. Want to learn more about Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy? Take
some MDT courses, student membership is discounted. Want to learn more
about training athletes through strengthening and conditioning? The NSCA
offers a student membership which receives discounts for study material
for the Certified Strengthening and Conditioning Specialist track. Many
organizations offer these discounts, and many PTs offer mentorship!
- Coming out of school what was compensation is like/managing student loans, etc?
We got in this profession to help people. Do it the best you can.
Huge thanks to Dr. Case for his inspiring word. For more physical therapist's experiences click HERE.
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