Dr. Ryan Schouweiler, PT, DPT, OCS, founder of PTMENTORS, has always had a passion for mentoring and teaching. Early on in his career he was involved with taking PT and PTA students as a CI, teaching Advanced Anatomy and Physiology at an orthopedic lab examination to medical students, mentoring new hires at the PT clinic, and mentoring PTs while in an orthopedic residency.
He was asked what gives him job satisfaction. It was at this moment, he realized how much satisfaction he receives from mentoring other PTs and PTAs. With other PTs and PTAs giving feedback on how much they valued the mentorship experience, he began to brainstorm how he could start doing this on a larger scale.
After many discussions with other individuals on how this could work, PTMENTORS was created.
The mission statement of PTMENTORS is the same today as it was at the beginning: "Deliver exceptional and innovative mentorship to physical therapists to make them more productive and successful."
PTMENTORS is not just another online Continuing Education (CE) course. PTMENTORS is:
Clinical mentoring is particularly important for novice PTs and PTAs who are still developing their skills and face insecurity with challenging patients.
Mentorship has been shown to benefit PT / PTA:
Typically mentorship occurs with a PT clinic taking at least one senior PT and blocking them out of patient care to observe the mentee treat patients and then have time for discussion. Mentorship programs can vary in time commitments but can typically be 2 hours per week and last 12 weeks. On average, a senior PT will bring in $200 of revenue per hour (depending on reimbursement model) when treating patients. If a senior clinician is blocked out of patient care for this mentorship program, that would mean the PT clinic loses $4,800. PTMENTORS will provide mentorship over the course of 24 weeks, provide at least 30 hours of instruction, and will cost $2,400.
A research article in 2018 looked at the effectiveness of virtual mentorship. The mentorship in this study included four small group interactions over six weeks with novice PTs and an experienced mentor. This research article concluded the following:
"This model of international online small group clinical mentoring appears to be an effective model to provide needed support for novices in their first 2 years of practice. This is a period of rapid professional growth as one transitions from being a student to novice clinician to a confident independent practitioner. This model may help build confidence and promote advanced critical-thinking skills that are needed to work with complex patient populations such as patients with spinal pain. Distance clinical mentoring is a model that alleviates some of the most commonly reported barriers to obtaining post-professional education, specifically cost and accessibility. This research provides a viable model to increase accessibility to clinical mentoring and fill a need within the profession."
Westervelt KC, Hing W, McGovern M, et al. An online model of international clinical mentoring for novice physical therapists. J Man Manip Ther. 2018
1. PTMENTORS will provide mentorship at half your cost.
2. PTMENTORS will save you time. A mentorship program doesn't just happen, there are many issues to resolve before the mentorship can begin including:
PTMENTORS will offload this from the PT clinic and will provide a structured outline with regular and scheduled meetings with the PT or PTA. Partnering with PTMENTORS allows the PT clinic to continue to focus building their PT practice while we take care of the mentorship details.
3. PTMENTORS will make your PTs and PTAs better business partners.
4. PTMENTORS gives you a competitive advantage hiring and recruiting. When novice PTs and PTAs are looking for employment, a top benefit they are seeking is mentorship. A common question during interviews that novice PTs and PTAs have is "Do you offer mentorship?" Through partnering with PTMENTORS, PT clinics can offer a structured mentorship program as part of the benefits package to their new hires.
Post-professional residencies are a path where clinicians can access mentoring. However, residencies are costly, often require relocation, and take time; as a result, the majority of clinicians do not receive post-professional education following graduation.
Currently, mentorship opportunities for novice clinicians falls on the PT clinic to deliver. However, many PT clinics face difficulties delivering mentorship due to high patient volumes, understaffing, lack of a structured program, and lack of clear goals for the mentorship experience.