One Question Interview: Jack Miller
If you could tell NEW practitioners 5 things, what would they be?
1. Enjoy the ride
You are now in one of the top-rated professions in the world! You have a great future ahead of you where you can practice your craft anywhere in Canada and the world! You are well educated, well paid and well respected. You have a growing body of research supporting what you do and have been demonstrated to be more effective than injection, surgery or medications for many common MSK dysfunctions. You are envied by many if not all fellow Health Professionals.
2. Give back
I recently did a volunteer teaching term at the University of Kathmandu Nepal. I met great Physios there who genuinely wanted to learn so as to improve their skill set and help their own communities. It was the best personal growth experience of my life. I’m hoping to go back next year to see if I can continue to help them along their professional journeys - and my own personal one as well.
3. Find mentors
I think I am the luckiest Physio in the world. I landed in New Zealand in the early 1980’s just as McKenzie was formally putting his ideas together and Mulligan was beginning to discover Mobilization with Movement. They were my teachers in my 3-year program at the Auckland University of Technology. I got to mentor directly under them and other great Kiwi and Aussie Physio clinician/educators.
To find a mentor and be a “knowledge sponge” but don’t become a Disciple to some “Physio Guru”. Avoid labels “I am a Smith/Jones Therapist” = A clinical robot with little to no capacity for independent thought or analysis. If all you have is a hammer – everything looks like a nail. No one concept is “the complete toolbox” and no “Guru” is fully original. If they saw further, it was only because they stood on the shoulders of giants (some just don’t admit it).
4. Continue the journey
After Physio school, I traveled ½ way around the world to do my post-graduate manual therapy studies and ended up staying for 6 years. Whether you go to that extreme or stay in your hometown - do not stop learning. There are now so many ways to be a life-long learner that there is no longer any excuse for stagnation. Advanced Practice at the Doctoral level is the next frontier for young Canadian Physios wanting to push the practice boundaries and their knowledge base yet further. Blended learning platforms allow you to get this level of training in a format that is both cost and time-effective.
5. Learn from your patients
Every day I have a patient desperately trying to teach me something but I’m usually just too stupid to figure it out. Every patient is a walking textbook waiting to be written. You don’t “have to go to work” - You “get to go to work”.
Dr. Jack Miller PT, DPT, MClSc, BSc(PT), Dip Manip Ther(NZ)
Dr. Miller completed his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto in 1980. He then lived in New Zealand for six years during which he completed the New Zealand Manipulative Therapy Association’s Graduate Diploma of Manipulative Therapy in 1984. He has subsequently earned a Masters of Clinical Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine.
Jack has worked with the senior EIM faculty to develop a transitional DPT curriculum suited to the specific needs of Canadian and Caribbean Physiotherapists wishing to develop their skill to the advanced practice level.