An Introspection...

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Thursday, October 25, 2007 with 4 comments

A friend recently passed the licensure examination for physical therapists in the United States. I’m happy for his accomplishment. See, I also happen to be a registered physical therapist here in the Philippines, but lately I have been surmising if I have what it takes to become good at this profession and make the PT community proud. For one, I have not been practicing for some time now. Instead, I’m employed at an American captioning company with a job description far beyond what I learned in my five years of PT school. I could have resigned from my present job if I wanted to and applied for work as a therapist in hospitals, rehab centers, or PT clinics here in Manila or Zamboanga, but I didn’t. There are a lot of reasons why: the means to support my stay here, the lack of job opportunities for PTs in the Philippines, the perks that my present job offers, and the ME that is holding everything back. I guess those who finished courses different from what they wanted understand where I am coming from.

Physical therapy was never my choice. Before transferring to PT, I was already taking classes as a political science student at a state university in our hometown. An opportunity came one time to study one of those expensive courses (you know, degrees where you need to have enough funding to finish, from the tuition fees, the books, clinical internship, et al.). I was told that as a political scientist, I might either end up as a lawyer, a teacher, a government employee, or just that, a political scientist. My mom was looking for something that will secure my future, financially, and that’s when PT came. She even said that I was named after a doctor, and my late father, I was told, wanted me to be one. That probably what made me say yes to this profession. Funny, but I didn’t even know that there was a PT school in Zamboanga.

Now, here I am at work, in front of a computer opining over my future as a physical therapist. Have I made the right choice in finishing this course? I’m not that medically-inclined. Not that I lacked the education and the training, I even made it to the top 5 of our graduating class. I’m the type that once I get to start something, I’d rather finish it. But alas, I am calling myself a therapist, yet I don’t feel like one. Something’s amiss. If I pursued my political science classes, I think I’m already in my junior year in law school. But who knows? Something different may have happened during those times. If I did pursue what I wanted, I might not even be blogging now. Again, who’s to tell?

A friend told me that, since I’m already licensed and all, I should look at my being a therapist as a stepping stone to what my heart desires. A PT job in the US pays well. Four months of work there and you’re already a millionaire in the Philippines. The current economic status here has made PTs looking for jobs elsewhere, and my friend and countless others have that for a career boost. I believe it’s for the better because therein lies a window (more like a very big door) of opportunity for us to open and take advantage of. Every PT I know is headed there (and some are already settled in various states in the US), so what is left for me to do is to join the bandwagon. But, again, this isn’t what I want. I guess, once I’m already there, then I’ll get to worry about what the future has in store for me.
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