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Toni Talks about PT Today

What if I Won the Lottery?

Published March 11, 2008 11:05 AM by Toni Patt

Today at lunch we talked about what we would do if we won the lottery. Almost every one said she would continue to work but not at her current job. A couple said they would stay home and be mom. An ST said she would volunteer her time to help uninsured children. Others said they would still work but fewer hours. The difference, we decided, was doing what you want to do instead of what you do to get by. At the same time we wondered why all the good jobs pay less.

I would still be a therapist. That's all I know how to do. My practice would be different. Instead of working with the elderly in hospitals, SNFs and the like, I would like to do hippo therapy. I could combine my love of horses with my profession. For me that would be the best of both worlds. I could spend every day with horses and still provide therapy. The problem is, though the programs are successful and popular, very few exist. Those that do either hire volunteers or pay very little. So, I keep my current job which allows me to have horses.

Making the switch would be a complete change in direction for me. Currently I'm working on a certificate in geriatrics, preparing to take the GCS exam and considering enrolling in a DPT program. Hippo therapy would be something completely different. Geriatrics is pragmatic. I like working with older adults. It is also the fastest growing population requiring services. As more baby boomers reach retirement age, the need for therapists will explode. If I could I would switch without a second thought.

Now, if you had asked me 10 years ago about my dream job I would have said management. I've done that. I could do it again. It just isn't a burning desire. I'm not sure if the change is experience talking or a change in my priorities.

I think everyone has a perfect job they would prefer to do. Some people would go back to school and change careers. Others, like me, would stay in their careers but change what they do. I know some people who've managed to make it happen. I'm jealous. I envy the woman who trains my horses. I would love to do what she does. Meanwhile she talks about wishing she had chosen a different career path. Wouldn't it have been nice to have had this knowledge when choosing a major in college? Or to be able to go back to school to be able to make changes? The problem is everything costs money and there is never enough to go around. Well, at least I have something to think about.


If the lottery came to anyone in the health profession they would have to quit.

Reason: You have money and people want to litigate.  

You have to volunteer, become a silent partner in business etc. Stay out of the spot light.

For learning, never stop.  Multiple careers, fine. One career, multiple degrees, fine.   As long as our love to learn never ends.

For someone to decide on a career at 28 is not too late Janey.  I have known MD's who start medical school at that age, or better yet DPT school.  

jason, PTA March 15, 2008 6:51 PM

My oldest daughter just turned 12.  A few weeks ago she was talking about how she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life.  She said one week she wants to be one thing, the next week she wants to be something completely different.  In just six short years, conventional society will ask her to make that decision.  To decide, at the tender age of 18, what she will do for the next 50 years of her life.  She won't even be legal age to drink, but she will be asked to make one of the most important decisions of her life, with far reaching consequences.  Because, as you pointed out, a later-in-life change requires considerable financial resources.  Resources the majority of folks don't possess.

I think it is great that at 12 my daughter doesn't know what she wants to "be".  I think it is great that at 12 she still feels many options are open to her.  And I will still think it is great when she is 18.  It will be okay if she isn't ready to go to college because she is still unsure of what she wants to do with the rest of her life.  At 28, it won't still be so okay.  But, if she takes a few years past the traditional 18 to figure out what she wants, I will be delighted to have her stay at home, or to work a job and be on her own for awhile before going to college.  Or her life's work may even be something that doesn't include college.  That will be just fine too.

Our society currently facilitates frustrated adults because of the traditional path we expect them to take as children.  As today's unfulfilled adults, if we can allow our children to take an untraditional path, and truly be okay with that, then maybe our children's generation will be more content with their life choices for a profession.

Janey March 14, 2008 12:33 PM

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