Becoming a Home Health Physical Therapist — A Personal Journey

I first became interested in Physical Therapy around 25 years ago as a high school athlete.  Multiple sporting injuries introduced me to the sports medicine side of therapy. Like many male therapists, I thought my professional career would follow the orthopedic and sports medicine route. After undergrad, I was accepted into PT school where I found that my professional interests were very far from athletes.

I became fascinated with neurosciences, spinal cord injuries, and other medical conditions and discovered that in working to treat those issues, physical therapy could be a complicated yet rewarding career. After several years of gaining hands on experience with multiple patient types and settings, I felt my larger contribution to the profession and healthcare would be through health care leadership and assisting in the future success of other therapists.

With 10 years of clinical experience, I did not feel as if I had the best skill set for leading others. At the same time, life put me in a position where I started experiencing home health on a PRN basis. I was working three separate jobs while taking prerequisite classes for another degree. I fell in love with home health because of the stronger impact I could make as a clinician in a more functional setting, have a much closer interaction with my patients, learn so much more about people and life from the patients I was working with, and the logical fit it had with my personality.

I finished my MBA while working as a full-time home health PT. During that time, I was able to create a stronger leadership role for myself with the team of clinicians I was working with and supporting. About six years ago, it was time for me to make the leap into a primarily leadership role. After a period of road blocks, speed bumps, failures, and frustration, I found Signature.

I have been working for Signature for four years as a Rehab Clinical Manager. I have been fortunate and blessed to have found the strongest group of Rehab professionals I have ever worked with and been able to support. Because of the support of Signature’s senior leaders, the strength and support of the clinicians I serve, and the culture we continue to develop at the Signature Federal Way agency, I have found my professional career and the direction it is going to be extremely fulfilling.

I will always be a PT and am happy every day that I chose PT and leadership in healthcare as my profession and passion!

Mike Foster, PT, MBA
Clinical Manager
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