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PT and the Greater Good

The Bigger Picture

Published July 6, 2010 10:40 AM by Dean Metz

While I've been making the transition to working in the UK, starting a new life with my spouse and terrifying the drivers of Great Britain, I've also started my master's in public health degree with Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It has been a real eye-opening experience.

I wasn't really sure about my choice at first. I knew I didn't want a DPT and definitely didn't want an MBA, but I needed bigger challenges and to have a bigger impact. I'm the only PT in my class. The rest are doctors, dentists, osteopaths and one speech-language pathologist. We are learning about global health systems, epidemiology, environmental health (not just ergonomics, which is a part of public health, but the natural environment as well) and finally the massive implications of an aging society on the health of the nation. How will we secure the resources necessary to provide care? How will the extension of life expectancy tax our care providers for years to come? How will our future generations have sufficient means for their health when this aging population is swallowing up funds like locusts in a field? I don't know the answers to these questions... yet.

The amazing thing that nearly every topic comes back to is thus, function. "How do we maximize function?" This field desperately needs PT involvement! Why am I the only one in the class? Well, it looks like I'll be in demand once I graduate.

3 comments

Dean,

Thanks for the explanation.  Funny how our perspective changes as we age - or perhaps "as we become independently responsible for our finances" is a more accurate modifier!  I remember when I was going to school, it was so not cool to pay in-state tuition...perish the thought!  I went just one state away, but my parents and I paid for it...for years!  Glad to know a "in-country" tuition is serving you well - financially and educationally.  My sister got her masters in social work a few years ago...what you describe sounds like it might be a good next move for her.  She would be great in a high level admin position.

Unfortunately, as you say, in the medical arena rising in the ranks holds far more sway than education, training, experience, or competence.  I imagine you can add that to the list of reasons our health care system lags behind:  cronies in positions of power rather than qualified movers and shakers.  But, I digress

Again, my hats off to you for your endeavors.  If your spelling is any indication, you are a quick study :-)  I have no doubt your pursuits will pay great dividends - for you and for those you serve.

Janey Goude July 16, 2010 12:19 AM

Janey, Thanks for the good wishes! Frankly, I'm not sure how it will translate. In public health, there is no formal validation process. One of the unfortunate facts I've learned so far in the pursuit of my degree is that most higher level directors in public health have NO training in it! They have simply risen up through the ranks of MD, RN or PT. My current line managers are supportive and I think experience and the fact that I have a degree at all in it will work in my favour.

As for why I chose an American University, I'm only here on a spousal visa which means I would have to pay foreign tuition for 3 years until my Permanent Leave to Remain (Green Card) comes into effect. At 3x the cost of resident tuition, I couldn't afford it! Still being a citizen of the US, I pay home rates there. I'm also rather impressed with the quality of education that I'm receiving at this university. The educators not only talk the talk, they walk the walk as well, with a number of them involved in health programmes in Africa, the Caribbean, and poorer parts of the USA.

I really feel like I'm learning a lot from them. Good enough reasons for me!

Cheers, Dean

Dean Metz July 12, 2010 1:49 PM

Congrats!  Sounds like a challenging and rewarding pursuit.  Just curious...how will an American post-graduate degree traslate in the UK?  Why did you choose to pursue a degree from an American university rather than one in the UK?  

It goes without saying that I'm hugely ignorant in this area, which is why I'm asking the questions to become educated :-)

Janey Goude July 12, 2010 1:16 PM

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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