How to identify the gap in the system…that could be your next big career move!

In our "7 Steps to Carve out Your Neuro Niche in a Non-Neuro World" presentation*, step #2 is Passion + Need = Success. I think most of you reading this have a passion for working with individuals with neurologic conditions and the next step is figuring out where to direct that passion!

(*Haven't seen our presentation? Sign up for our newsletter and have it sent directly to your inbox!)

The healthcare system, including physical therapy has many gaps that prevent individuals from receiving optimal care. These gaps seem to increase for individuals with neurologic conditions. Whether it is lack of understanding and referrals by Neurologists and other physicians, to insufficient numbers of PTs who specialize in neuro, or to my “favorite” gap: what people do after being discharged insurance based PT to continue improving, or maintain the improvements. There are many gaps, and it depends on where you live and work as to which gaps are the most obvious.


I turned the gap I saw into my full time business. And that gap was limited high quality exercise and wellness options for individuals with Parkinson disease outside of traditional insurance based therapy.


While working in a hospital based outpatient clinic, I really enjoyed working with patients, but was constantly frustrated about the difficulty in discharging them to their home exercise program. I did my best designing home programs that included all the elements I thought were important for continued success. That in itself could be overwhelming for these patients and their families. I tried keeping programs simple so that people could be successful, and then I didn’t really believe that program would create continued improvements. There were a few scattered exercise classes in the community for individuals with Parkinson disease, but in my experience they didn’t have all the elements necessary for optimal success and health.


You might find yourself thinking about these things ALL THE TIME!


What to do? Where to start?


It can be extremely helpful to give yourself a little space to sit down, write down your thoughts and develop a plan. Stop thinking about it and start doing something about it!


Look around you and see what gap you think is most important to address:

-Lack of awareness and collaboration with local neurologists? 

-Lack of Neuro PTs? (Are you currently seeing clients with Neurologic conditions? Full Time?)

-Lack of services for these clients after discharge from individual PT?

-Lack of education to potential patients/clients regarding physical therapy and exercise?


Write down the gaps you see in your area:



Next, identify which one you would like to focus on first:



Now set a goal for what you would like to achieve:

*Remember, just like a PT goal, make it ABCDE format!



What is the first step you will take towards that goal:



Ideally I would like to make this process work for you whether you plan to stay employed where you work and you want to improve that workplace, or if your ultimate goal is to start your own business.


In my previous employment I tried to address as many gaps as I could, and I got a lot of satisfaction from that. At a certain point though, I knew that the only way I could really design the program I knew could help people the most, was to leave employment and start my own business. I think it is something you should consider as well!


This is also what has motivated Julie and Erin to grow their practice and for Sarah to start hers. We believe there is so much potential in this professional space for new businesses, ideas and models. We want to all collaborate and learn from each other to serve our clients to our best ability!


Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, and it is hard to get started. That is why by writing your thoughts down, identifying the gaps and making a plan for how you will start addressing them, will get you on the path to #iloveneuro Passion + Need = Success!!


We are so excited to hear about your thoughts, ideas and goals. Please remember to join our newsletter and the NeuroCollaborative Facebook group if you haven’t already and post about your thoughts, questions and goals!


Until next time—keep your #iloveneuro spirit strong and keep changing lives!!


Claire McLean PT, DPT, NCS