“No one owes you anything”

This quote is from an excerpt of a conversation with Amelia Boone from “Tools for Titans”.

Growing up with 5 brothers and a sister, I learned that I wasn’t owed anything and that I had to work to get anything. My brothers were great baseball players and my sister had a mean tennis serve. I wasn’t built to be an athlete. At least that’s what I told myself.

In my neighborhood, college wasn’t an expectation or even an option unless one was a master of sport. Our area wasn’t known for producing scholars.

This would be my path. My parents sacrificed in order to send me to a private high school, where it would be hard to fit in because my upbringing wasn’t the “Leave it to Beaver” type. I had more in common with JJ Walker than Wally Cleaver.

I was descent at sports, but I knew I couldn’t play. I saw sports as a gateway to failure. I saw too often how excelling at something could lead one down a broken road. I chose not to play.

I instead joined the honors group at Providence. It was a small group of about 30 of us. One of the coaches said we weren’t “that smart, just knew how to cheat better”. He was partly correct, we knew how to cooperate to win.

What’s all this have to do with physical therapy?

In the end no one owes you anything. Having finished PT school, it was time to rest on my laurels and collect a paycheck. It was time to treat every patient that walked through my door the same as anyone before him/her. It was time to take the easy road…because I earned it.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am blowing smoke.

I still follow this saying that I’m owed nothing and bust my tail to continue to learn and produce. I treat each patient as a new patient, even if it’s a presentation I’ve seen hundreds of times before, because it’s possible that there will be something with this presentation that will help me with the next hundred.

I never get to “cash it in” because I haven’t made it yet.

I have a pattern in life and it’s very apparent. My mom brought it to my attention about 15 years ago. The pattern is that once I’ve climbed the mountain and made it to the top…I pivot. The juice is always worth the squeeze, even when there is no juice.

There’s always something to learn, something to accomplish and another mountain to climb. I only wish that everyone could live a live never feeling like they were owed anything.


Hey! If you enjoyed this post, so may your friends…SHARE IT!


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s