What’s in a Name?

By Terry C. Brown, PT, DPT

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea. – Buddha

When you hear “Private Practice Section,” what does that name say to you? What is private practice? Who belongs to that organization?

I thought my orthopedic practice epitomized private practice, a bricks and mortar outpatient clinic owned and operated by physical therapists. This type of clinic is the foundation on which the Private Practice Section (PPS) was built, but does it still describe our members today? Is it private practice that we represent or physical therapist entrepreneurs?

In the past week at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), I met and talked with scores of present and future physical therapist entrepreneurs at our Taste of Private Practice reception. The business models of today vary greatly from the traditional practices of my generation. It is exciting to see the business opportunities being created in physical therapy today.

I met a young man who is developing apps for physical therapists to use in their clinics to educate patients. I talked with a young lady who started in home health and quickly saw the need for more therapists in her area, so she developed her own home-health staffing agency. It is growing quickly and she needs business education. Another young therapist is developing a relationship with a group to be a revenue-sharing partner in the outpatient surgery center they are forming.

All of these business models have some non-physical therapy ownership involvement but are being driven by young physical therapist entrepreneurs. They are looking for a home in the physical therapy world and are hungry for the business education and mentorship that the Private Practice Section provides. The problem is that they do not know that PPS services are available to them. “I thought PPS was only for people who owned their own private practice” was a reverberating comment I heard. They had no idea that PPS is here for them.

So, what’s in a name? Is it inclusionary, or is it confusing? Is it respect for the past or is it limiting to our future? I look forward to your answer. 


Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

Are you a PPS Member?
Please sign in to access site.
Enter Site!