Master of all or jack of none

A lifetime of exercise when compared to an IRA versus starting late comparing to lost interest.
You know…I spent a heck of a lot of time studying the spine. Over the years, reading at least 1 hour per week since 2007, I would anticipate that I read over 900 journal articles since entering the profession. Since more than 80% of those are on orthopedic issues, I would say that I have a put a lot of deposits into my bank of ortho care. At this point, I am just reading spine stuff for fun. 
I liken this to putting in deposits, over the course of time, into a retirement fund. After much time, you can see how the little deposits over time add up to millions of dollars. That’s how I feel about spine stuff. 
Now, I am trying my darnedest to learn vestibular stuff. It is taking an inordinate amount of time in order to learn the basics. I am so far behind those that are experts in the field that I feel like a baby on the subject. I liken this to the person that hasn’t saved for retirement. I have to frantically read and learn as much information in as short a time period as possible in order to be even minimally competent to treat these disorders. I am learning, but the process is slow. 
There is an argument regarding training your weaknesses in order to get better or making your strengths stronger. 
I have to spend a lot of time to get a little better at treating one disorder, when I was so used to spending a little time to make huge jumps treating others. 
The struggle is real. It’s hard to find that master of all trades. Usually you’ll just find the jack of none. 

Author: Dr. Vince Gutierrez, PT, cert. MDT

After having dedicated 8 years to growing my knowledge regarding the profession of physical therapy, it seems only fitting that I join the social media world in order to spread a little of the knowledge that I have gained over the years. This by no means is meant to act in place of a one-one medical consultation, but only to supplement your baseline knowledge in which to choose a practitioner for your problem. Having completed a Master of Physical Therapy degree, the MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) certification and currently finishing a post-graduate doctorate degree, I have spent the previous 12 years in some sort of post-baccalalaureate study. Hopefully the reader finds the information insightful and uses the information in order to make more informed healthcare decisions. MISSION STATEMENT: My personal mission statement is as follows: As a professional, I will provide a thorough assessment of your clinical presentation and symptoms in order to determine both the provocative and relieving positions and movements. The assessment process and ensuing treatment will be based on current and relevant evidence. Furthermore, I will educate the patients regarding their symptoms and their likelihood of improving with either skilled therapy, an independent exercise program, spontaneous recovery or if the patient should be referred to a separate specialist to possibly provide a more rapid resolution of symptoms. Respecting the patient’s limited resources is important and I will provide an accurate overview of the prognosis within 7 visits, again based on current research. My goal is to empower the patient in order to take charge of both the symptomatic resolution and return to full function with as little dependence on the therapist as possible. Personally, I strive to be an example for family and friends. My goal is to demonstrate that success is not a byproduct of situations, but a series of choices and actions. I will mentor those, in any way possible, that are having difficulty with the choices and actions for success. I will continue to honor my family’s “blue-collar” roots by working to excel at my chosen career and life situations. I choose to be a leader of example, and not words, all the while reducing negativity in my life. I began working towards the professional aspect of the mission statement while still in physical therapy school. By choosing an internship that emphasized patient care and empowering the patient, instead of the internship that was either closest to home or where I knew that I would have the easiest road to graduation, I took the first step towards learning how to utilize the evidence to teach patients how to reduce their symptoms. I continued this process by completing Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy courses A-D and passing the credentialing exam. I will continue to pursue my clinical education through CEU’s on MDT and my goal is to obtain the status of Diplomat of MDT. Returning back to school for the t-DPT was a major decision for me, as resources (i.e. time and money) are limited. My choice was between saving money for the Dip MDT course (about 15,000 dollars) and continuing on with the Fellowship of American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) (about 5,000 dollars), as these courses are paired through the MDT curriculum or returning to school to work towards a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. I initially planned on saving for the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT, but life changes forced me to re-evaluate my situation. The decision then changed to return for the tDPT, as my employer paid for a portion of the DPT program. My goal for applying to and finishing the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT is 10 years. This is how long I anticipate that it will take to finish paying student loans and save for both programs, based on the current rate of payment. I don’t know if I will ever accomplish what I set forth in the mission statement, but I do know that it will be a forever struggle to maintain this standard that I set for myself.

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