In Part 2 of 3 in our series, Treating Our Future, Lauren Kealy delves into her perspective of the benefits of new professionals. This continues the conversation started in Part 1, “The Bane of the New Professional.”

 Links to Treating our Future Series
Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional 
Part 2: New Grads, An Asset for Clinics
Part 3: Resolving the Bane of the New Professional

New Grads: An Asset for Clinics

The job market for any new graduate is rough. The job market for new DPT grads in the state of Colorado takes it to a whole new level. All too often I have heard stories from friends looking for jobs being told, “Sorry, we don’t hire new grads,” without a pause for consideration or even conversation. Part of the rational for the profession’s transition to a doctorate degree was to better prepare new graduates. And, we are more knowledgeable (and more in debt!), yet we are still not seen as ideal hiring material. In fact, in many instances we are seen as a liability. I disagree, and I’m here to tell you why a new grad can be your clinic’s greatest asset.

We are full of passion and energy. Being fresh out of school means that we are very excited to put our knowledge to use. We recognize that we still have a lot to learn (which is a great trait in and of itself!), but we are competent enough to treat patients and get results.

We are innovative. In the business world, new grads are scooped up quickly because they give a fresh energy to the company. We are full of ideas, so give us a shot to present them to you. Sometimes a new set of eyes can find ways to improve profit/outcomes/experience to change the status quo that has become the norm. Some of us even have backgrounds that include other skillsets your clinic might benefit from. Accounting, law, health management, and finance are just a few of my classmates former lives.

We are up to date with current evidence. Ask us! We know the clinical prediction rules based on the latest evidence. If you give us a shot, we may even be able to teach you a thing or two if you are willing to learn from us. Of course, we’re not expert clinicians, but current evidence and clinical expertise seems like a good marriage to me.

We seek outside mentorship. We all recognize that graduating from a great DPT program does NOT make us an expert. We also recognize that most clinics do not have the time to baby us and walk us through constant mentoring. The whole point of the DPT is so that a new grad could hit the ground running (if someone would hire us and give us the chance). Therefore, we see the importance of seeking independent mentorship outside of clinical hours.

We want to continue to learn and grow. With additional certifications, fellowships and residencies available, most of us want to continue to learn and earn specialty certifications. This in turn can help your clinic as we become more advanced. Engage us, and give us a pathway and you might be surprised where we end up.

We are moldable. You want to hire the perfect PT for your clinic. Hire a new grad and mold us into that perfect PT you desire! Where we lack in experience, we make up for in passion and excitement. We are open to criticism and suggestions of how we can be the best possible physical therapist.   

We are the future of this profession. The PT field is growing rapidly and more and more students are applying to PT schools. That means the young PTs that are graduating were picked among tons and tons of applicants. We are a smart and utterly passionate group. WE deserve a fair shake in the applicant pool. If you find a new grad who is well spoken, involved, motivated, and a great fit for your clinic other than the lack of experience, I urge you to give them a shot. In a short while, they may become your best physical therapist.

If new grads are never given the opportunity to shine and grow, how are we as a profession going to move forward? I speak both personally and as the voice of many DPT students and new graduates- treat me like an asset and I will pour every ounce of passion and knowledge I have into becoming the best physical therapist for your clinic.

 Links to Treating our Future Series
Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional 
Part 2: New Grads, An Asset for Clinics
Part 3: Resolving the Bane of the New Professional