Before I went to college, I was really that decisive to take Physical Therapy as a pre-med. I had enough units of anatomy and physiology during my time. We had clinical discussions among selves, revalidas, and laboratories. Most of my colleagues would reason out they chose to take up the course because they wanted to go abroad and search for greener pasture, some would have no idea what it is and just trying to finish it so whatever happens, they still have a bachelor's degree. I'm one of those who dream of leaving the country to practice my profession in full, but more than those dreams, I WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I had my appetizer of whats in the clinic/hospital during my internship. Sadly, I realized how much my country was so outdated and so in the box in terms of rehabilitation. We kept on reading journals, but it was not enough to suffice our needs to grow on the clinical level. I shared enough of good and bad clinical rotation during my internship. Some centers/hospitals would accept affiliations just for monetary gain, only a few would have this vision that I want to share these kids how Physical Rehabilitation should be. When I finished the degree, the real challenge had a good jumpstart with me.
I passed my board exams after I graduated the same year. I was preparing myself for med school but something came up then so I leave the dream for awhile. I had the hard time working during my first year because our system here in the Philippines would allow volunteer work which I find unfair. My degree is 5 years and they want my service for free? I had a job which my dean recommended me but I lasted a few months because I did not like the practice. Out of my respect to our Dean I just gave it a chance. Few weeks later after that, I decided to have a training on a clinic that caters naturopathic medicine (chiropractic, osteopath, homeopathy...). I'm a physical therapist working on their side. The chiropractors could bill 2,000php per treatment and the procedure would last only for 10 minutes. The patient would visit them once in a while then they were discharged. It made me think, why can't I incorporate such techniques in my practice. Some would say I can never call that Physical Therapy work if I added such approach. I'm tired of the usual system that you have rehab doctors working with you, telling your patients to go back after 6 sessions or whatever number they want to and have another consultation and when good recovery doesn't occur, the patient is subjected for more visits. Why giving the burden of more visits if you can pay attention to the real problem and treat it in a more holistic approach for a day?
From then on I started to look for workshops that could teach me some ways to lessen my patient visits. The truth is, it saddens me when I get to see the same patients in my entire practice. It only means I'm a GOOD-FOR-NOTHING-CLINICIAN. I found a few groups that practice Manual therapy. I had a share of Indian, Australian and German Based workshop that had certified me on their respective domains in practice. In my 3 years of post grad training, I developed few of those techniques and increased my sensitivity on my patient's ailments. With that, I learned to help them according to my vision on how the healing should take place. That as a clinician, I should be more concerned on how I could add life to their years. Combining western and eastern approaches, everything is worth it. There are patients that would come to me and I have to see twice then they were already better. There are some cases that the books would tell the recovery process of this disease was maximum 3 months but I made it only in 1, 4 mos to 3 weeks and so on. I considered it achievement on my part. Something money can never suffice in me.
Looking at myself now, humbly speaking, I developed such "X-ray eyes/Clinical Eyes" that I could easily detect where the problem is. By studying/researching and practicing various assessment tools, I learned to tell my clients the exact problem is. "Ma'am/Sir, you may be experiencing back pain as I noticed you are stuck on your left lower back and compensating up on the opposite midback." And my client would say "Yes". In the back of my head "there you go, I can start the treatment here".
My professional satisfaction doesn't end when I have the chance to practice in a more lucrative industry that people like me deserve but to give what is due to my patients. To be a part of the healing process in every way I know is the best.
If you are a clinician, a cold blooded clinician who wants to understand further on different pathways of healing process, you will get amazed on how these in depth processes take place. Giving credits to God on how He made us, in every details of it, unfathomably I admire His works. HUMAN BODY is indeed a perfect creation of God.
Our body has its own healing mechanism. As long as growth processes exist on us, so as to our capacity to heal. When our body cease to heal, we die. This cycle should be allowed to take place in order to reach balance in the body. I respect the western approach as much as I respect natural medicine. We need to stay focus on the cause of the problem and not the effect in treating our patients. Widen the assessment tools. Its good to read a lot of books but sometimes its good to rely on what you can see to your patient before jumping to the conclusion what/where the problem is. I lost the chance of entering Med School but with what I'm doing right now, is something I can never exchange to the latter. I know God wants me to be in this path and now I'm embracing it.