Laura Turner, PT

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Laura Turner, PT, is a new member of PPS and the owner of Move Better, LLC, Westborough, Massachusetts. She can be reached at laura@movebetterllc.com.

Practice location: I have been a physical therapist for 26 years and have practiced in a variety of settings. I am currently a solo practitioner, renting space at the Healing and Wellness Center in Westborough, Massachusetts. There are multiple units in the office with diverse tenants including a chiropractor, several massage therapists, a nutritionist, and now a physical therapist (PT). Right now I am building that practice as well as providing cash-based home visits. For the long term, my vision is to build a larger practice with these other providers, along with fitness professionals, as a multidisciplinary team that gives patients lots of options.

What or who is the most influential book/person/event that enhanced your professional career? Two books that I found to be helpful are How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, and Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Cheryl Sandberg. I loved how Sandberg encourages women to take a leadership role. Catherine Hoover Smith at South County Physical Therapy was a very influential mentor for me. Her passion for providing quality care helped to shape who I am as a practice owner today. I also cannot forget my family! My mom, sister, and brother have always encouraged and supported me through my journey as a physical therapist. My husband Bill has taught me to have a strong work ethic and to be committed and patient as I pursue my goals. As a result, I’ve really tried to push myself in recent years. I went back to school to get my doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) through Northeastern University, I attended the Neurokinetic Therapy and Anatomy in Motion (Finding Centre) courses, and I’ve attended the Perform Better Functional Training Summit. Each of these further exposed me to working with and learning from other types of providers. The business/marketing classes in my DPT program were an essential part of my training, especially as I grow as a practice owner.

How would you describe your essential business philosophy? It is centered on what is best for the patient and sometimes that may mean putting them with another provider or in another discipline, but I like the idea that the physical therapist is uniquely suited to help patients in need. I believe life is about balance: activity and rest; mobility and stability; work and play. I believe it is important to focus on what you can do versus what you cannot do.

What have been your best/worst/toughest decisions? Something that I wish I could have done differently would be to have the confidence to take the leap into private practice sooner in my career. Initially meeting with an attorney to help with forming the LLC and meeting with an accountant gave me the confidence to know I was starting a business off on the right foot.

What have been your best learning experiences (mistakes) since you started on this path? Learning to handle and stay on top of the business/record keeping is an ongoing learning experience. As a practitioner first and a businesswoman second, I am continually learning to stay ahead of things. Learning to “sell” my services to my patients as an investment in their health is something I strive to get better at.

What are the benefits of PPS membership to your practice? I feel like Impact provides a good base for learning about operating my practice. I think that each month it stimulates something I should be thinking about or learning about.

What is your life motto? Be a good person, do the right thing, and all will fall into place. When times get challenging I try to remember that tomorrow is another day to start again and to learn from my mistakes.

What worries you about the future of private practice physical therapy/what are you optimistic about? Looking out at consolidation and larger corporate practices gives me some concern. Also, the current and future insurance landscape with regard to reimbursement is concerning. On the other side, physical therapy continues to grow. There is a never-ending supply of people we can help, and as we work with other professionals we offer people the most opportunities to regain their movement health.

What excites you at this moment in your journey? I feel like I am constantly learning. I had to teach myself how to get my website going, and I continue to learn about marketing, documentation, finance, and other aspects of the business. I am excited that I get to meet so many people both inside and outside of the health care field to talk business as well as physical therapy. In business they call these conversations networking—I just find the conversations fun.

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