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Why I Became a PT

Posted on: March 26, 2019

Pt2 Intext

I am frequently asked, “Why did you become a physical therapist?”

To be perfectly honest, I cannot say for certain why I chose this path, but without a doubt, I have found success, satisfaction and fulfillment in this 26 year journey. Reflecting back, it started when I was a junior in high school. My sister Karen advised, “You are good with people, you should be a nurse.” I was not interested in nursing, and although I did not have personal experience with physical therapy, it seem like a good direction to follow.

I was thrilled to be accepted by Simmons College (now University) into their six year master’s degree program. While a student, I learned that there were so many paths a physical therapist could follow. My internships included a chest PT rotation and rehabilitation hospital experience with outpatient pediatrics. During that affiliation, I worked with pediatric burns, amputations, various childhood neurological impairments and outpatient rehabilitation for TBI, as well in-patient with the “Young Stroke” population. But my final clinical rotation was where I found my passion: outpatient private practice, specializing in treatment of the spine and sports medicine.

Inspired by Martin Langaas, a PT specialist in York, Maine, I completed the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. I gained the necessary skills and confidence to provide high quality care, which allowed me to join my two great passions: PT and figure skating. As an injured figure skater, I wanted to prevent other young figure skaters from getting hurt. I merged my two skill-sets and began working with figure skaters at Colonial Figure Skating Club. I provided “rink side” injury prevention and strength and conditioning, as well as acute care and skilled physical therapy when needed. I began lecturing on injury prevention to the skating community.

After 14 years in the rink, I decided to return to outpatient physical therapy. In 2013, I joined Professional Physical Therapy (formerly known as ProEx PT) and took on new challenge, management. I continued to learn and grow, not only as a physical therapist but as a manager to physical therapists, athletic trainers, exercise technicians (aspiring to become PT’s), and front desk specialists. The communications skills I gained as a PT helped me lead my team. I had the pleasure of developing and promoting physical therapists to clinic directors, as well as front desk specialists onto corporate level positions.

I continued to grow and learn within the organization. I joined the Legal and Compliance Team and became Certified Healthcare Auditor though the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance. As a Compliance Specialist, I assisted with Internal Audit and Medical Necessity Reviews.

So, now knowing what I know now, the answer to the question “why did you become a physical therapist?”

While I have enjoyed so many opportunities throughout my many years of practice, there is nothing more satisfying than being a part of a patient journey back to pain-free function, health and well-being.

Interested in a career in physical therapy? Already in love with the field, but looking to mix up your career path? Check out our open jobs, or connect with a staffing specialist today!

Allison Stringer, MS, PT, FAAOMPT, CHA
About Allison Stringer, MS, PT, FAAOMPT, CHA

Allison Stringer, Physical Therapist, is the Clinic Director for Professional Physical Therapy in Salem, MA. Allison received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 1993. In 2000, she achieved the status of a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists after completed the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. Allison continues to treat patients and specializes in manual Physical Therapy for patients with orthopedic injuries to the spine and extremities, sports medicine, and wide range of Women’s Health issues including incontinence.