by Dylan Callier, DPT of New Medical Nomads
I told my small-town, Missouri family that I was packing my things and moving to the other side of the country to be a traveling physical therapist. Their response? WHY? Why would anyone leave a stable job? Why would I leave the comfort of home, where all my family and friends are? Only to move to an area of the country that I had never been to and did not know anyone?
Here are my four reasons:
1. Freedom of Location
My sister recently took a week off from work to drive to the Dakota's with her husband. It was a fantastic trip! She returned with beautiful pictures and she was SO happy. But she had to work a WHOLE year for it.
On the other hand, I packed up my things and moved to 'The Desert' of California. Along the way I skied for the first time in Utah, explored magnificent Zion State National Park, and stayed the night in Las Vegas. During my travel PT contract, I went on weekly hikes and trips to Los Angeles.
My weekends are spent doing the trips and activities that my sister and others in my town must wait an entire year to be able to do.
It is hard to think of another career path that would allow an adventure like this. And harder yet to find a career that allows you take several weeks off between assignments so you can adventure in a new area!
Healthcare Traveler Pro Tip: Find a company that has contracts in the areas and states you most want to see!
2. Increased Pay
As a healthcare traveler, you are paid to relocate and save the day. In nine out of ten circumstances, you will be paid higher rates than a permanent salaried employee to work in a position that is unable to meet the needs of their patients.
On top of that, the majority of your income will be at a reduced tax rate. I recently had a couple on The New Medical Nomads Podcast that paid off $70,000 of student debt in 10 months.
Here's the episode so you can see for yourself: https://youtu.be/MFc_toXqAkE
3. Professional and Personal Growth
You will come into contact with multiple different ways to perform techniques and provide patient communication. You will also notice the difference between regions in entry-level education, patient populations, and medical insurances.
There is a STEEP learning curve and you will become a better clinician for it ten-fold!
During a typical year of traveling you will have four "salary" negotiations and multiple interviews to develop the skills that they don't teach you in school. In addition, there is immeasurable personal growth... nothing says "comfortable with myself" like going on a solo dinner/movie date.
The first two weeks of a contract are slow. You don't know anyone, so you are forced to do activities on your own. You will be better for this alone time because you will become 100% comfortable spending time with by yourself.
Healthcare Traveler Pro Tip: Find out what exclusive contracts a recruitment agency has to offer in order to find the settings that you want to grow in!
4. Nationwide Friendships
Events like these are great to meet others doing what you love and dream of -- seeing the world and gaining experiences. Making strong bonds with co-workers that tell you to come back whenever! Making friends that you see every week that then travel to visit you at your next assignment location.
The relationships and the memories that come with traveling as a PT are unique and special. You will remember these feelings and these faces for a lifetime.
Dr. Dylan Callier is a traveling physical therapist and founder of New Medical Nomads aimed at educating travelers and bringing transparency to the field.
He also hosts the New Medical Nomads Podcast where he documents his journey and interviews other experts within the healthcare traveling field.
Find the Podcast episodes here: www.newmedicalnomads.com/p/podcast
And contact Dylan at: