www.annsteinfeldpt.com (714) 556-1600 JULY 2017
STEINFELD STAY-FIT NEWS
A TRADITION OF CARE An Education in Physical Therapy
My interest in physical therapy started at a young age. Some of my first experiences with the discipline were in the adapted physical education program in junior high. When I was in high school, I learned my cousin was going into physical therapy, and my mom suggested it as a possible career path for myself. I knew I wanted to get into the medical field. I loved math and science, so in many ways it was a natural fit. At one point, I considered becoming an orthopedic surgeon. But the more I learned, the more I felt it wasn’t quite right for me. Surgeons lead demanding lives, and it can be difficult to find a work-life balance. Young surgeons often have to put off having a family for many years in order to focus on their education and career. That was something I wasn’t ready to do; I wanted more balance and control over my life. When I first got into school for physical therapy, I didn’t know much about the field. Initially, I worried I might be in over my head, but I stuck with it. The more I learned, and the more experience I gained, the more I loved it. Throughout my education, and in the years following, I worked in a lot of different settings and had many mentors. I learned the importance of focusing on becoming a skilled clinician above all else — even above the aspiration to become a business owner, which is a common desire among physical therapists. So, I dedicated myself to becoming an exceptional clinician. I listened to the advice of my mentors, and I became better for it. One problem I’ve noticed about physical therapists and clinics is that their focus is on the business rather than the patients. Their motivation stems from their desire to be a business owner, and as a result, the quality of patient care is diminished. While I wanted to explore the business aspects of physical therapy in my early years, I knew it would distract me from focusing on providing exceptional patient care.
That’s what sets
us apart from so many other clinics. I spent years learning from mentors and honing my clinical skills. About 15 years out of college, in 2001, an opportunity presented itself to open my own clinic, and I said yes. I felt comfortable in the dual role of clinician and business owner. I was ready to go down that path.
I’m glad I made that decision. I was able to become the primary treater and give patients the attentive care they deserved. Over the years, my role in the clinic has evolved, but our dedication to our patients has remained. These days, I am doing more mentoring than treating, but it’s for a good reason. I want my staff and clinicians to have the same opportunities I had early in my career. Through mentoring, I know each member of my staff will be able to deliver the same high-quality results and care that I’ve delivered to our patients. And maybe in the future, the clinicians I mentor today will mentor future therapists of their own, keeping our tradition of quality care alive for years to come. - Ann Steinfeld PT, OCS
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