Where were you in 1997? J.K. Rowling released the first Harry Potter book, Titanic won eleven Oscars, the Pathfinder landed on Mars and Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State in US history. North County Water and Sports Therapy Center opened its doors in October of that same year. Twenty years has brought many changes in healthcare but not, how WE treat patients.
When asked, “Why did you start your practice?” the short answer is, “to continue to do what I love, my way!” The late 90’s shift in healthcare included reducing reimbursement for physical therapy services. Which required treating more patients in less time to make a profit. I became frustrated at the reduced contact time with my patients, and began researching going back to school to become an architect, if this was the way healthcare was going. Instead of returning to college again, I seized the opportunity to start North County Water and Sports Therapy Center.
In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “Ever notice that “what the hell” is always the right decision? “ I did not do everything right, I made a lot of business mistakes along the way. The frustrations from insurance reimbursement while trying to stay in business has not eased over the years. Yet every time we face challenges as a small independent practice, I remind myself of why I started in the first place: the patient. We are now using electronic medical records and online/video home exercise programs, but we still treat patients the old- fashioned way, one on one, getting to know the person, not just the injury.
First, I would like to say how happy I am I built this practice. I would have made a lousy architect. Secondly, I did not make it twenty years without the love and support of my family, the understanding, patience and skill of our team, and of course, all the patients and physicians who have placed their trust in us over the last twenty years. I enjoy a keen sense of gratitude.
Hard work, and long hours are still part of my daily practice but so is laughter, joy, and satisfaction in a job well done. I am thankful that I still get to do what I love with an amazing, talented team. Future predictions for the next twenty years: continue to learn and grow as a therapist; integrate the advancing technology which will deliver more tools to assist in providing care and weather inevitable changing healthcare polices. The one thing that won’t change is our philosophy; providing patient first, hands on therapy, and education and exercise to help our patients achieve their greatest potential. Where will you be in 2037? I plan on continuing to do what I love and love what I do!
With gratitude and hope for the next twenty years,