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THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY
Part 1 of the Bahinipatis’ Passion for Physical Therapy THE FUTURE OF PHYSICAL THERAPY
N early four decades ago, I left medical school to pursue an education in physical therapy. At the time, my family could not understand why I would do such a thing. They believed I was making a rash decision and heading down the wrong path. Becoming a physical therapist didn’t originally carry quite the caliber of becoming a doctor in their eyes. To this day, I cannot tell you what possessed me to leave medical school for another field. I wonder if it was meeting with a physical therapist who worked for India’s cricket team that lit the spark. My uncle had VIP passes to a game, and I was able to meet with some of the players and staff. After that, physical therapy was always a possibility in the back of my mind, but summoning the courage to leave medical school never seemed like a viable option. I attended the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. This school brought so much joy to my life. I fostered an appreciation for strengthening ways to heal, met lifelong friends that I continue to stay in touch with, and I met my wife, Chandana. Together, we have built a practice that we are proud of, and none of that would have happened if I decided not to leave medical school. … Until I did it, and I haven’t regretted it since.
dreams and planning to attend physical therapy school after she graduates from high school next spring. I’ve heard people ask her why she chose physical therapy over becoming a doctor, since she is “so bright.” They’re right about one thing: She is very intelligent! But I’m sad to hear there is still a misconception that physical therapists aren’t as knowledgeable about
healing as our practitioner counterparts, but I do have hope that our powerful healing techniques will be recognized more by our peers, patients, and researchers. We have been hunting for the right schools for Mitali, those with advanced physical therapy programs, including universities in Missouri and Indiana. On these tours, I was surprised and excited for the future of our field. There were so many young kids who were
empowered by their choice to practice or consider practicing physical therapy! There’s a bright future in physical therapy, and I’m excited to share this career with many young therapists, including my daughter, in less than a decade. I know Mitali will be a wonderful addition to the profession. Most of all, I’m proud of Mitali for following her dreams and shifting her focus to something she is passionate about. Check out the November/December edition of our newsletter to hear from Mitali about why she chose a career in physical therapy!
Today, my family understands the decision I made, and Chandana and I even devote a few hours each weekend to video calling our family in India to help them through some healing exercises. It took them years to come to this realization. For a long time, they told me I made a mistake by leaving medical school, but eventually, they recognized this decision was ultimately better for me.
I wish I could say the public’s general animosity toward the profession has
dwindled in the past 30 years that I have been actively practicing, but unfortunately, there is still skepticism. My daughter, Mitali, has decided to follow in my footsteps, burying her medical school
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