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Uncertainty about my future

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  • Uncertainty about my future

    Hey Docs! Just wanted to start off saying i’m massively grateful for the influence BBM has had in my life and its impact on my love for strength training and science in general. I hold your knowledge and opinions in very high regard and I respect/support the information you’re spreading. I’ve recently been having some self-doubt and i’d like to hear your genuine thoughts on the matter:
    During the past year or so, I’ve been more involved with the medical field, (summer camps, shadowing, seminars, and reading articles and research regularly) since i’m approaching the end of my senior year and my childhood wishes of becomig a medical practitioner seem closer and closer in grasp. Though I love anatomy and biology, I’ve realized that i’m equally passionate about exercise and nutrition science (greatly thanks to you guys!). Thing is, now I’m rather indecisive on what I want to major on... but i’ll sort that out eventually lol.
    My question’s a bit more related to the actual career path. Seeing BBM become so successful and having witnessed firsthand how distanced modern medicine is from strength training in general, I’ve created a “dream” for myself: to become a responsible medical practitioner and aid those in need (rn i’m leaning heavily on ortho, surgeon, or physician) while incorporating the principles of training and exercise science into their recovery (a rehab/training facility of my own perhaps?). It’s still a rough blueprint and sounds whimsical, but i’m certain it’s my calling; I think about everyday at this point.
    I’d like to hear your thoughts on this path (or potentially alternate career options) regarding its probability and chance of success. Am I just letting my imagination soar a bit too high or do you guys think this is possible/practical? Or is it too much of a sacrifice perhaps? Any and all input is appreciated
    Thanks again for everything! Keep doing what you do, you guys are my inspiration. Have a nice day!

  • #2

    Thanks for the post and I can appreciate your ambition. That said, I think the first thing you need to do is figure out if you be a doctor or something else. It would be great to shadow a primary care doctor and, if possible, a surgeon (given your interests). You may also be interested in shadowing an RD to give yourself additional perspective from a nutritional professional. Ideally you'd do this over the course of a few years prior to your senior year in college, but if you need additional time to decide- taking a gap year is totally fine too. A lot of people do this and get some meaningful experience in research and/or life during this time.

    Once you decide you want to become a physician, I'd then focus on getting into medical school, as this is the biggest hurdle to overcome. I'd recommend listening to our podcast on medical school when you get the chance

    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Book a Consultation/// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


    • #3
      Thanks a lot Jordan! I've already shadowed with general and specialized surgeons, a couple orthos, and some primary care doctors in my junior year, but i'll make sure to find some research/shadowing opportunities during college (that's the plan atleast!). For now i'm thinking of majoring in Biology (pre-med's a commitment i'm not willing to make at this point) and minoring in exercise science/nutrition to get a taste of both sides. Hopefully by the end of uni I'll decide what I wish to pursue!

      Have a nice one, doc!

      -p.s. way ahead of you, I've already listened to every single episode (it's my morning meditation while I make my breakfast lol).


      • #4
        Sounds like you're on top of things Best of luck!
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Book a Consultation/// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


        • #5
          Just to piggyback on this post, and without giving you my life story, I'm back in school with the intention of becoming a PT. I was interested in a brief response you gave, Dr. F, to a question on one of the instagram live sessions, from someone who asked whether they should become a PT or a PA. The things I'm really interested in seem best aligned with the work of a PT—helping my fellow musicians play without pain, helping older folks keep or regain their mobility and independence (must admit I get extremely excited whenever somebody posts videos of somebody in their 70s or 80s squatting 95 pounds and such; Dr Sullivan basically has my dream job), or helping someone who suddenly has the tools to regain self-efficacy and build a better life (post hip-replacement, say).

          I realize you weren't giving blanket advice for everyone everywhere, but I'm also still in the prereq stage (music degrees == I took no math or science classes in undergrad) and my options are wide open. Is there a compelling reason to go for PA over PT given my goals? I'm a little older than you, and I just don't think med school is in the cards for me at this point in my life, but I know there are a number of options in the medical field. Thoughts? My apologies for the long question.

          Also, just wanted to say, a coach I've had some sessions with mentioned a few months ago that you all had taken off on your own and that was all it took for me to start devouring your podcast and article offerings. Every once in a while I dip back into... certain other strength training forums, and I'm so happy and grateful that your approach and this forum seem free of the toxicity I see elsewhere. Good on you folks for that, and thank you.


          • #6
            Huh, well I guess my post was inappropriate? Sorry to start out with a clunker, mods. See you in another thread.


            • #7
              Originally posted by rickquantz
              Huh, well I guess my post was inappropriate? Sorry to start out with a clunker, mods. See you in another thread.
              Things slip through the cracks, nothing wrong with your question.

              If your interest is training/rehabilitating older people to functional independence, PT would probably be a more direct way to accomplish via professional post-graduate training that than as a PA, where you'd be expected to practice clinical medicine in some setting (eg outpatient vs inpatient general medicine vs specialty consultation service). With that said, we know people who have developed that sort of niche as coaches without needing to go through any sort of post-grad training for it either.
              IG / YT


              • #8
                Thanks for the response! I’ve wondered whether skipping the professional training was the way to go. The way I see it, I want the piece of paper for a few reasons:
                • It gives greater authority with clients than if I’m just some trainer
                • It would make it easier to approach and partner with physicians
                • It could give me access to clients who are in need but would not necessarily walk into a gym
                • I know the trendy thing is PTs not taking insurance, but being able to take Medicaid would be really important for treating musicians
                • I guess it’s good to go into the training with a certain amount of cynicism and an acceptance that I’m just going to have to “read everything,” but I would hope that clinical and research training would at least somewhat better prepare me to work with more varied populations and more acute injuries.
                • Being able to pick up shifts or even a whole job at a hospital or clinic is appealing to this guy who’s been self employed his whole life and might want a family in the not too distant future
                That said, and without taking too much of your time, I’m curious about the path you’ve observed for people developing a niche coaching practice in elder rehab? Any tips if I decided to go that way without the DPT? Thanks again!


                • #9
                  Those are reasonable thoughts. I would caveat it that you are not going to receive much research training as part of either educational track unless you go out of your way to pursue it.

                  Regarding the final question, I would direct you to our coaching podcast as a starting point for discussion, then you'd have to combine this with local/community relationships to build up word-of-mouth referrals.
                  IG / YT


                  • #10
                    Great, I'll have a listen! Thanks again.