People often ask me how I made the transition to Physical Therapy after a successful career on Wall Street. After all, they say, “Isn’t bond trading different than treating patients?” Not really. It is all about problem solving. You have had persistent knee pain and want it gone, yesterday. That is a problem that needs solving. Chances are it’s not your knee, especially if your symptom is a chronic one.
My clients on Wall St were the institutional kind, think central banks, hedge funds etc. They wanted to figure out how to strategize to maximize return or minimize loss.
After all, isn’t that what you want, to be able to squat in the gym without knee pain, for example? Maximum potential, minimum loss?
I was asked to give a speech this past November at our inaugural Women In PT Summit here in NYC on how I used my experience on Wall Street to grow my PT career and practice. Excerpts are below. It’s short, I promise!!
I really took charge of my mindset when I started on the trading floor and how I viewed myself in a very male dominated profession. The second thing I did was identify my strengths. One of them is that I am a Learner and I love problem-solving ! The third is that I became a educator both for myself, my clients and patients.
People ask me how was I able to gain confidence at a young age given this ratio on Wall Street? I realized that it was not about the ratio but it’s about the mindset.
The best mindset you can have is not to make it about being a woman, make it irrelevant , take it off the gameboard. Mindset is an attitude and a perspective that should empower you. I was not a woman in a man’s world and adopting that mindset helped me thrive.
It is not the nature of the environment, it’s what you do with the environment that matters.
So I ask you, what is the new mindset that you could adopt that would enhance and empower you in your physical therapy career ?
Look at your life story and see if there is something from your past that can help you find the mindset that serves you the best. There’s a story there.
I also looked back at what I loved to do and that is problem solve and figure things out. That is my second concept-know your strengths. My strength as a problem solver and the fact that I am a learner helped me successfully build a book of clients in my 10 years on the Street.
And today the types of patients that I see are just that-they are in search of answers. For example, they have chronic knee pain or back pain for years and they still have not gotten full relief. And that is what I love to do.
It is about empowering others on their journey. And this third and final concept goes hand in hand with my strength as a Learner. How do I empower clients , patients? How do I lead them? I educate them.
It’s not about telling someone how to use a yellow theraband and or put a piece of tape on. That is a form of education but that’s not the education I am talking about. They can go to YouTube and watch that and most of them do.
I am talking about education via relationship building. Wall Street was all about relationships at the end of the day. My mission is to put the patient back into the center of the healthcare model and advocate for my profession. I do that via education while building relationships at the same time.