Monday, 17 February 2020

It's all about me now!


So as you may have noticed, I never fulfilled that promise to complete the triathlon series, nor did I update the blog as regularly as I should have. 2019 was a year of massive upheavals for me and mine, and things certainly got away from me. I did however complete the same triathlon this year. I was faster this time, and I’ve emailed the race organiser Adam Beckworth (www.beckworthracing.com) to get his 10c worth on triathlon and hand injury. Hopefully that will all work out! 

In the meantime, with the unashamedly self-centred goal of self-promotion, I’m going to use this blog to discuss my rationale associated with diving back into the perils of full time private practice after three years of working predominantly in the public sector.

Thanks again to Hoggie of Andrew Hogg design
When you are solely responsible for bringing food to the table and can’t just expect to be paid for showing up, a whole host of issues aside from the ability to fix fingers arise. You have to understand marketing. You have to understand budgets. You have to understand relationships with referrers. You may not want to admit it, but because your relationship with your patients is fee for service, sometimes your role becomes mercenary. These conditions are what you sign up for. The reason I went to work at Austin Health as their senior clinician in hand therapy, was because 15+ years of mostly independent private work had worn me out. 

At Austin Health I had a great team of therapists to lead and teach. I also learnt from them all, regardless of their experience. I got paid regardless of whether a patient showed or not. I could manage my time to include extra projects and research and was supported to do so. I enjoyed my three years there because of the people, both the other therapists, and the patients. Ultimately, the reason I left the financial safety of a permanent position, was because Austin Health could never give me the career control I had when I was my own boss.

Go the Blue Baggers!
Within two weeks of leaving Austin Health, I was consulting with a wheel chair athlete at the Australian Open. I also took the opportunity to work directly and regularly with the Carlton AFL womens team, in a very similar role to what I do at the Hawthorn footy club. I got busy establishing three new clinics. Two of these are in busy sports physio practices; one is in a rock-climbing gym! I am chasing provider numbers, new equipment, and new stationary, not to mention new patients. I am writing to potential new referrers. I am working on “establishing a social media presence”. I am getting control back. 

I am getting control back by doing what I love to do, in the manner in which I love to do it. Yes there is a financial risk; I don’t anticipate I’ll be flying first class anywhere anytime soon. But I’m challenging myself again much as I challenged myself in the Barwon Heads triathlon last weekend. Life is simply too short to doubt yourself or your ability to do what you want to do.

Until next time, look after those fingers,

Hamish

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