Member Perspective: Why Should You Become a PPS Member?
By Brian Gallagher, PT
To be honest, I failed to become a PPS member during my first 10 years out of physical therapy school.
As I reflect back on those times and ask myself why I never became a member, the only thing that comes to mind was the cost. I was thinking of it as an expense, rather than an investment.
As with anything that we fail to take on—even when we know it will benefit us in the long run—it’s usually the time and money that bring us to a stop. At that time, I failed to understand the value of being a member of my professional association in the section that I planned to make a living in.
Was that my failure for not exploring what PPS was, or was it PPS’s failure for not doing a better job of informing new grads like me about what their value was to my future within the profession? The answer is most likely a little bit of both.
Back then the internet and social media were nothing like they are now. Even still, one of the things that I have long felt PPS needed to do a better job of was getting opinion leaders and influencers within our profession to do their promoting for them. People are much more inclined to listen and act upon advice from those they know, like, and trust.
At bare minimum, we seek herd approval. For instance, research reports that 92% of people read online reviews prior to making purchase.1 This is a more effective means of getting someone’s attention than being solicited by people you don’t know, or by receiving a generic promotion that doesn’t include a call to action that connects to you specifically. However, today it is a totally different dynamic and there is no reason for any of us to be in mystery about the value of being a PPS member, as evidenced in a podcast by PPS member Cristina Faucheux.2
This is due, in part, to the support provided from colleges and universities around the country communicating to our DPT students early on with the hope that they enter the profession more informed and engaged than I was. Social media and digital media allow PPS to reach thousands more people with far less effort.
So why is there still less than 50% enrollment from physical therapists who are working in private practice, not to mention other fields of practice, when PPS finally has a large influence and national stage for our profession?
WHY PEOPLE JOIN
I know for myself being a member is a must, as I love my profession and want to see those who come after me benefit from the efforts of those before them.
Let’s discuss the “Why” behind becoming a member and the “What” we can do about strengthening our association for the benefit of our members and patients.
The day you graduated from physical therapy school, passed your boards, and started working, you put on the jersey of a physical therapy professional and joined the rest of us on the playing field. By default, we are all in this together. Upon graduation, you sought the best employer that met your needs as an outpatient therapist, meaning they had the right environment, structure and systems of operations to attract good people like you whose purpose was to make a difference in the lives of your patients.
If this is true, then by now you may have also discovered that change is brought about through unity of the masses. PPS is the forum where your voice and the voices of thousands of others like you can be heard by those in positions of power.
IT STARTS WITH APTA MEMBERSHIP
There are some tremendous benefits for APTA members, whether they be students or new grads just starting out and looking for financial assistance in the form of scholarships or student loan refinance to lower monthly payments.
The benefits include:
- Access to experts in the field of practice consulting and education
- Networking opportunities at the annual PPS conference, Peer2Peer Network, and online community groups
- Trusted partners who support members with discounted services
- Marketing support as well as practice regulations and billing guidance
- A learning center for cost-effective continued education on a wide array of subjects
For those of you already in private practice, I understand that time is tight, and the challenges just keep coming. But if you don’t make time to get off that hamster wheel of problem solving all day, you will constantly be at the mercy of what you have created.
As you build your strategic plan to scale your practice, having this data from the APTA will allow you to move swiftly and with more confidence that your standard operating procedures are in line with our industry’s metrics and acceptable staff accountability for obtaining the ideal company culture.
PPS MEMBERSHIP: THE NEXT LEVEL
PPS membership offers additional benefits, including:
- Impact magazine monthly for 11 issues
- Unlimited access to all website resources from leading experts on a wide range of topics relevant to physical therapists in business
- Discounted CEUs and certifications
Should you be winding down your career, you have the option to apply for a retired membership for those over age 55 who have been members for 20+ years, and a lifetime membership for those who are over age 65 and have been members for 30+ years.
Nothing is perfect, especially in our health care system. Therefore, if we are not filling the vacuum with our voices, others will to our detriment. In essence, if you believe in what you are doing day-to-day, you need to join a platform where you can be heard.
Our section spends countless hours and thousands of dollars on lobbying and grassroot efforts to ensure that our livelihood and services benefit the thousands across the country in need. I’ve witnessed thousands of PTs like you expand their skills from what they gained at our Annual PPS conference, courses, and online forums.
I’ve been to Washington, DC, and have met with legislators who I would never have had the opportunity to speak with if it weren’t for the leadership of our Section. Your membership should be treated like your driver’s license. Why? Because it establishes agreed-upon rules of the road and affords us greater mobility for a higher quality of life. Therefore, we cherish and protect it and pay our license renewal and all other associated costs to maintain it because we are able to perceive its value in our lives.
The same holds true for your APTA and PPS membership. Your support ensures greater professional enhancement, greater job security, and one of the only means of care without surgery or drugs to make a lasting difference in the patients’ lives. Remember that if you hold a physical therapy license, you are already on the field. So be the player that is devoted to their profession and wears the jersey of PPS to make a difference.
THE PPS COMMUNITY IS OUR TRUSTED SOURCE
Let’s face it: people buy from those they know, like, and trust. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about the purchasing of goods or services. I mean buying information. This is where an opinion leader comes in as a trusted source who has done the heavy lifting on your behalf and makes recommendations that are pro-survival in the industry.
PPS is the source that bonds us all together in a powerful, meaningful way—fighting on our behalf for today and into the future. I like to think of myself as an opinion leader having helped thousands in private practice dating back to 2003. I and so many others have spent an abundance of time and money to help pave the way for you to succeed.
Think of how much more we can do for the profession if we all joined PPS and paid it forward for the success of our profession, patients, and practices? I think it’s important now more than ever that we stand together in support of our profession and become PPS members to fuel the efforts of those who are trying to advance our reach as physical therapists.
1Bloem C. 84 Percent of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Friends. Here’s How to Manage What They See. Inc. https://www.inc.com/craig-bloem/84-percent-of-people-trust-online-reviews-as-much-.html. Published July 31, 2017.
2Gallagher BJ, Faucheux C. How To Make A Difference With The APTA And PPS [Podcast]. bit.ly/3v92Y8u. Published October 24, 2019.
Brian Gallagher, PT, is the president and founder of MEG Business Management. He may be contacted at Brian@megbusiness.com.