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The Road to Carindependence, Part 1: A Letter to Myself

01/15/2016, 12:30pm EST
By Brad Grohovsky PT, DPT, CFMT

The Road to Carindependence, Part 1:

 A Letter to Myself


            Career independence, or what I call “carindependence,” is something that we as health care professionals seek, but often feel is beyond our reach. The journey towards my own carindependence remains in its infancy, but what a ride it has been. I often wish I could have given myself advice as I progressed through my education, and later, the beginning of my career. I found myself drafting a letter to the PT school version of me.

January 12, 2016

To Mr. Bradley Grohovsky

Simmons College PT Department

Boston, MA 02115 



              2008: Welcome to your first day of PT school. You probably feel like you finally made it, but in reality, today is only the beginning of a very challenging and incredible journey. Understandably, you are on an emotional high right now as you explore the streets of Boston and prepare for Gross Anatomy. However, the reality that you moved halfway across the country while taking on enough student debt to buy a nice home is about to hit you. You know that you enjoy challenges, but with these challenges will come difficult lessons and sleepless nights - so hold onto your seat. With some sacrifice, hard work, and a little bit of luck, you will be the captain of your career ship by the time I write this letter!


Your three years in PT School will prove to be some of the most difficult days (and nights) of your life. The library and lab will be your primary homes and the apartments you pay for are primarily there to store your clothes. You will sometimes become burnt out and placed in environments that you dread going to daily, but despite this, you will gain a better understanding of who you are and what drives you. I want you to keep a couple of precepts in mind along the way, because if you follow them, doors may open that you do not even know exist:


  1. At times you will fail - and that’s OK.
  2. Make mistakes, but learn from them.
  3. Treat others better than you want to be treated.
  4. Make friends that are positive, passionate and motivated.
  5. Stay outside of your comfort zone.


              2011: Congratulations, Doctor Grohovsky, you finally graduated! By following this advice, you were even able to serve on the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, which was one of the best experiences of your life. The friends and acquaintances you made through these experiences will prove fruitful in ways you don’t even realize yet. Now, it’s time to move back to Kentucky and begin your PT career!


              Now that you are back home you can begin focusing on paying off your student loans and advancing your skills as a clinician. However, you are going to find that your personal drive and passion are burdened by your debt and your personal goals may differ from those around you.  Don’t let money keep you from pursuing excellence. Being responsible for 4-5 patients an hour is not an environment that allows you to grow or thrive - Don’t forget that you became a PT to help others! So, during these times I want you to remember these two things:


  1. Be true to who you are and trust your heart.
  2. Trust and rely on your friends - seek their advice.


              2012: Here we go! You followed your heart - you’re engaged to the love of your life (good catch) and you’ve trusted your colleague’s advice - time to move to Maryland for Residency! Over the next three years you will grow as a man, husband, clinician and entrepreneur. Your residency will be more intense than PT school, but you will love every minute of it. Take advantage of your love of the outdoors when you can, but know that to develop “carindependence”, your work will begin when you wake and end when you sleep. Use this time to fine tune your skills, passion, vision and goals by working on these things:


  1. Learn financial management; Practice discipline to take control of your future.
  2. Surround yourself with incredibly motivated mentors and colleagues.
  3. Develop a personal and professional gameplan.


              2015: Happy New Year! Those 50-60 hour weeks are now going to become 80-90 hour[1]  weeks as you finish residency, prepare for your certification and develop your business plan. I promise it will be worth it! Because of the mentors your are surrounded by, the discipline you have practiced, and your business preparations; you are going to find out that those closed doors are about to open. You are about to discover that your close friend Ryan Johnson[2] , whom you met while serving with the APTA (and who helped encourage you to seek residency) shares a very personal and professional vision. You are about to become business partners and will turn your vision for quality health care into action.


2016: You’ve achieved your Certification in Functional Manual Therapy (CFMT), moved to Nashville and have opened your clinic, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road so your business can begin improving people’s lives! You are now not only responsible for providing your patients the highest quality of care, but you are your own motivator, accountant, administrator, salesman, marketer, clinical staff, and director……Remember all of the advice I have given you because you are going to need it for this awesome roller coaster ride!


Through your business you are determined to make a positive difference for your patients, profession and the healthcare system. 


Welcome to your carindependence!


Follow your passion,

Dr. Bradley Grohovsky, PT, DPT, CFMT


CEO, Partner, Director

IPA Physio -Nashville


Stay tuned for Part 2: The Millenials guide to Carindepence, where I will take the lessons I have learned from this journey and provide a step-by-step guide on how to chart your own path!



Sponsored by Bradley Grohovsky, DPT, CFMT

Bradley Grohovsky, DPT, CFMT

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Brad attended Simmons College in Boston, MA - where he graduated with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2011. During his time in New England he served on the American Physical Therapy Association Student Assembly Board of Directors where he represented nearly 20,000 other PT students across the country. Following graduation, Brad enrolled in the Institute of Physical Art’s APTA Credentialed Orthopedic Residency where he spent three years studying in Annapolis, Maryland and was mentored by several of the most advanced manual physical therapist clinicians in the country - eventually gaining his Certification in Functional Manual Therapy (CFMT).  Brad recently returned closer to home and has ventured into the entrepreneurial world as the co-developer and partner of the innovative business model IPA Physio Nashville; where he is bringing the FMT treatment/lifestyle approach to Tennessee and beyond. Brad's inspiration for molding his passion for his patients and profession with disruptive innovation: To improve the quality of life for all individuals and to empower his PT colleagues through inspired action. Check out Brad at LinkedIn and Twitter.

Tag(s): Physical Therapy Pulse  All Articles  Contributors   Brad Grohovsky, DPT  Meghan Simonetti, DPT