Becoming a DOer 101: Tips from your Average Joe [Fresh Perspectives]

In All, Lifestyle by Ben

Meet Adam. Nice Guy. Tries Hard. LOVES the profession.

Phil Kessel reference? Anyone?!? So you may be thinking to yourself, “Oh, just another overachieving, Type A, perfect student”. Hold up. Not so fast.

As it is becoming more and more surreal that I am about to enter #FreshPT status (and while taking a break from NPTE studying), I wanted to share a few things  I’ve learned along the way to graduation. These past three years were difficult, no doubt. While things in my previous life came easy, I constantly battled imposter syndrome (beautifully exemplified here by our own Cruz Romero) while in PT school. I often felt like a fraud being around so many smart classmates that were also younger than myself. The struggles of PT school constantly had me frustrated, where I developed poor work-life balance and always felt the need to study and hit the books. On the brink of burnout, I knew something needed to change at the start of my second year. I needed to find my passion for entering PT school again.  

Here’s the formula to my success:  by doing MORE, not less. Becoming a “DOer” not only broke my spell of self doubt, but has reinvigorated my passion for the profession and served as fuel to my future success. Similar situation? Here’s some words of wisdom I picked up along the way:


  1. ”Dress the part, act like you belong and don’t be too shy”- Dr. Adrienne Simonds

This was something that was told to me during a mid semester meeting with my advisor and had really resonated with me. While I don’t consider myself a complete introvert, approaching and starting a conversation with a veteran PT was and still is daunting for me. Especially with PTs that you really admire. But what I found is that they are more than willing to connect with eager students. There isn’t a better time to ask, learn and find your area of passion, so DO it!

  1. “Give twice, ask once”- Dr. Jeff Moore

Yup, that’s it. Pretty easy, right? This is what becoming a DOer boils down to. Help someone out. A friend, a family member, a classmate, a first year or second year, a patient, a stranger. ANYONE. Give and do more, and you will be rewarded, I promise. So DO it!

  1. “Authority results in followers, leadership results in inspiration”-  Dr. Gene Shirokobrod

As a physical therapist, we must become a leader. A leader to our future patients, in our communities, a servant leader. We have been given a gift of helping people and enriching lives.  Whether you start on social media or in the real world, it doesn’t matter where, so DO it!

  1. “Revolve your work around your life, and not your life around your work”- Dr. Ben Fung

Here’s where we all must face the music and acknowledge that there is potential for burnout. Whether it’s the loan debt, the productivity demands, or the work-life balance, this quote provides the mindset we must adopt so that we don’t become a slave to our jobs.

Becoming a DOer has opened up so many opportunities for me, in what I’ve learned, and who I’ve connected with. Remember the rewarding part in #2? Well I have found my passion and area of practice that I aspire to become an expert in. I’ve started to grow my professional network and aligned myself alongside some great PTs. Want to find a mentor? Find your passion and enjoy a long, rewarding career, avoiding burnout? Then DO it!


Call to Action:  Here’s where you can start becoming a DOer, TODAY! As a new member of the Global PT Day of Service Core Team, I ask that you to become a DOer on this amazing event!
Can we count on you to join us and lend a helping hand? 10.14.17

“Great Leaders don’t set out to be a Leader, they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role, always about the goal.”


Adam Huynh, SPT, ATC, PT licensure candidate. You can find Adam on Twitter at @AdamtheHunSPT.

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