On September 22, 2016, I interviewed Scott Wilson, a physical therapist who has been working at Physiomed for sixteen years. Having the interview with Scott opened my eyes to different perspectives of a physical therapy career. I was amazed to hear from Scott that since high school he knew that he wanted to be a physical therapist and ruled out all other medical professions. Not many people can say that ever since grade school, they knew right off the bat they wanted to be in a specific profession and pursue it until finally going into that profession. I was surprised to hear how many concepts from class Scott talked about during the interview such as active listening and therapeutic listening. From his interview, I took away some key lessons that could help me in my future endeavors. I realized how important active listening is to patients when working on their treatments plans. Although many patients come see Scott on a daily basis, he mentioned how important it is to give ones full attention to what the patient is saying, and take the time to understand their points of view. He mentioned that an active listener is one who acknowledges the patient and is interactive (nonverbally and verbally) while a passive listener does the opposite. Furthermore, being able to communicate to the level of the patient is a critical point in a physical therapy profession because it allows the patient to understand what you know about their condition and how to go treatment. Scott couldn’t stress enough to me that its important to go beyond just simply treating the symptoms of the patient, but rather understand the patients “why” and be able to educate patients about their condition and how its affecting their activities of daily living. After our conversation with Scott, It inspired me to continue pursing a career in physical therapy. In the past summers, I did shadow for Scott at Physiomed so it was helpful to interview him and learn more about the profession. I was able to get on a deeper level with him and understand the responsibilities, and important characteristics of a successful physical therapist.
Although the interview was an enjoyable experience, Scott and I experienced couple barriers and challenges. The first one was that I had trouble scheduling a time to interview. With Scott’s busy schedule, it was hard to set a time and day that would work for him when he wasn’t with a client. We decided that the best time would be the weekend since he leaves middle of the day. Knowing Scott’s hectic lifestyle with work and his family, it is a challenge for him to find a couple minutes for lunch or dinner. He is always working and doesn’t have the time for himself during the week. The second barrier I found while interviewing Scott was when he was eating and talking to me simultaneously. I felt that some of the questions took him longer to respond to because I could hear him eating in the background and he was probably more focused on his food than the question. I was understanding of the circumstances and continued on with my question. This could be considered a physiological barrier since he was exhausted and he just wanted to rejuvenate himself. Although these barriers arose during the interview, it did not make Scott’s responses unimportant or less accurate. He took some time to think through some questions, but overall he responded thoroughly to them, and I learned a lot of useful information from him.
My overall interview experience was great, and I learned a lot of valuable advice on interacting with patients and what it takes to be an excellent physical therapist. I am continuing to learn about this inspiring profession everyday, and I hope to one day become as successful of a physical therapist as Scott.