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Phenomenal work

by David Pope

The best job in the world

Do you love being a Physio? What makes you get out of bed for work in the morning? Are you going to work because you want to pay the rent and save for a new surfboard or holiday?

Quite possibly. But there has to be more, doesn’t there? If it was just about the money, we would probably be doing something far more lucrative than Physiotherapy. In general, I find Physiotherapists are highly motivated to help people improving the quality of their lives, and with the right environment your motivation can flourish.

There are a lot of reasons to go to work and stay in your current position that are often far more important than your pay cheque at the end of the fortnight. Here are some reasons I believe are largely responsible for your motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Passionate work – the “right” caseload

If you thoroughly enjoy treating the type of patients that are on your list for the day, you are definitely on the right track. If you are treating chronic workers compensation patients, when all you can think about is working on the sidelines of a Women’s Beach Volleyball game, how are you going to be passionate about your work? If you are not passionate about your caseload, start making moves to be involved in an area that you enjoy.

Supportive environment

Do you feel supported at work? Do you receive guidance or mentoring from another Physio you respect clinically? It is vital to have someone you can talk through that patient that came in with the irritated C/sp nerve root, or the marathoner with medial tibial stress syndrome that is not responding?

Reflection time

Taking time at the end of the week to reflect on those patients during the week that you have had fantastic success with, and others that haven’t gone exactly to plan.


One of the biggest factors in job satisfaction and feeling loyal to your practice. Are you being supported in growing your clinical and patient management skills? If you feel like you are growing every week, I believe you will have a high level of job satisfaction.

Good pay for a good day’s work

Let’s face it, everyone wants to earn more. Do you feel fairly satisfied with your pay?


Having the space, freedom and time to innovate new methods of working or treating, and improve your workplace. Can you innovate ways to get more of the patients you are passionate about treating?


Where can you take this job? What opportunities will you have by staying in your job? What opportunities can you create?

What gives you job satisfaction, and has made you happy in your work environment? Put your thoughts in the comments below….

  • Antony Lo

    Hey Dave – nice blog 🙂 Totally agree with you. I love my job as a physio because I love working out what the real problems are causing the symptoms. Even though there are many common aspects to patients, I love the fact that each patient is an individual and that makes 10 disc problems all very different in the way I approach their care!

    The other thing I love is the ability to teach and share what I have learned with others. I get to spend somewhere between 2-4hrs with my staff just on staff development as well as teaching and running courses. I love learning from everyone I meet and I love sharing what I have learned!

    Ultimately, I believe that as physiotherapists, we make a difference. Being able to change people's lives is a privilege and an honour that must always be respected and treasured.

    Over the last few years, you have inspired me to achieve more. I love what you have done with your Clinical Edge and now Physio Edge websites – all the best with it all and I hope to continue to have a long and mutually beneficial association with you.

    Thanks Dave!

    • HI David,
      I like the idea of 'being with physiotherapy in other ways' as you are doing here. I have been in practice for over three decades and know the imperative of getting off the hamster wheeI. We all know its great to be busy but it can also nearly kill you. It's better to diversify and be 'busy in other ways'. You are doing that and also bringing a great resource to the rest of us.
      I also like the way this initiative is joining together physios from across the globe. What with the with the average length of stay in Physiotherapy in Australia 6 years and with a 40% drop-out rate in the UK in the first 5 years trhough lack of confidence and feeling inadequate, we in the business have to work hard to help the new graduates coming through not to get disenchanted.
      On one of my websites (listed below) there is a post 'What is Physiotherapy" where I discuss other aspects of what our job entails.

      • P.Mitchell

        Hi Sarah
        I'm interested in finding out more about the stats in your comment about there being a 40% drop out rate in the uk amongst new physio's. Could you please point in me the direction of where this info came from? I'm currently at a personal crossroads as to whether to continue with a career in physio or change direction altogether, these stats confirm I'm not alone!

  • physioedge

    Thanks Antony, there is so much to get inspired about as a Physio. Being able to share your knowledge with staff and others is definitely rewarding, thanks for the feedback.


  • As an experienced physio and practice owner I love treating clients and mentoring staff both on retaining clients and clinically. However I think a good salary for good work is also vital and there is the capacity especially in private physiotherapy to both enjoy your work and take home a good wage. But we have to value who we are and what we know and charge appropriately. This will prevent burn out which is so prevalent in the older physio especially and creates a much improved life-work balance. I feel the majority of physiotherapists don't value themselves enough to charge appropriate rates and push the insurance companies to also do this. This is perhaps due to university training ingrained within us, which teaches us to be good public health physiotherapists and not value ourselves as worth much financially.

  • P.Mitchell

    This is a really well thought out excellent article. Thanks for sharing!

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