On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Elizabeth Santos on the show to discuss burnout among new graduates. Elizabeth Santos is a Physical Therapist, Naturopathic Practitioner and Author of ‘New Graduate’s Guide to Physiotherapy: Avoid Burnout and Injury, Build Resilience and Thrive in Clinical Practice’ an academic style of book designed to be a supplementary text for final year students and new graduates. Elizabeth has a special interest in maternity health care and works for a talented team of physiotherapists in a musculoskeletal private practice that focuses predominantly on running and sports, pelvic floor health and pregnancy and postnatal care. She is also an active member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, and a member of the University of Adelaide Physiotherapy Advisory Board.
In this episode, we discuss:
-Are new graduates prepared for clinical practice?
-Why new graduates are most at risk for burnout
-The signs and symptoms of burnout
-Elizabeth’s book, New Graduate’s Guide to Physiotherapy: Avoid burnout and thrive in clinical practice
-And so much more!
New Graduate’s Guide to Physiotherapy: 10% off with code: hwspodcast
A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode! Learn more about Secure Videoconferencing and Text Messaging for Telehealth.
For more information on Elizabeth:
Elizabeth Santos is an Australian physical therapist, naturopathic practitioner and author of ‘New Graduate’s Guide to Physiotherapy.’ Elizabeth completed a bachelor of physiotherapy at the University of South Australia in 2006 and then went on to work across a range of clinical areas, from acute care within the public hospital system, to aged care, rehabilitation in the home, and musculoskeletal physiotherapy where she now works exclusively. She has a special interest in maternity healthcare and works for a talented team of physiotherapists in a clinic that focuses mainly on running and sports, pelvic floor health and pregnancy and postnatal care. Elizabeth also completed a second bachelor degree in Health Sciences – Naturopathy in 2014 so that she could provide a holistic and integrative approach to her clients. Elizabeth is an active member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and member of the University of Adelaide Physiotherapy Advisory Board.
During her career, Elizabeth became curious about the pervasive burnout she saw in the profession so she spent seven years reading literature on the subjects of injury, attrition and burnout in physiotherapy. Elizabeth has written an academic style of book that is full of the latest research to guide new physical therapists and is designed to be a supplementary text for final-year students and new and recent graduates.
The book covers key areas of clinical interest for new graduates, including how to successfully gain employment, find a mentor, understand insurance and medico-legal requirements, build relationships with clients and colleagues, and learn how to work through professional challenges as they arise.
Elizabeth provides one-to-one mentoring for new graduate physical therapists and also hosts in-person and online workshops for helpers and health professionals who wish to prevent burnout, build resilience and truly thrive in the roles they have chosen. She believes that when we take good care of ourselves we can be of greatest service to others.
Elizabeth’s intention is to help new graduate physiotherapists truly thrive in those first years of clinical practice and beyond.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy (00:01):
Hi Elizabeth, welcome to the podcast all the way from Australia. I’m so happy to have you on the program.
Elizabeth Santos (00:08):
Thank you for having me.
Karen Litzy (00:09):
And now a couple of weeks ago, this is just for the listeners, a couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Tavana Boggs on burnout and physical therapy and she was talking about some of the clients that she works with and yeah, we were sort of centering the talk around people who are 12 to 15 years out of physical therapy school. They’ve been practicing for a long time. So today we’re taking a different take on burnout. So today we’re going to be talking about avoiding burnout as a new graduate. And Elizabeth has written a book, new graduates guide to physiotherapy, avoid burnout and injury and build resilience and thrive in clinical practice. So we are going to talk about burnout with new grads because sadly it’s a thing.
Elizabeth Santos (01:01):
Right? It is, it is. It’s a thing.
Karen Litzy (01:04):
I wish it weren’t, but it’s a thing. So go. So talk about why you took the steps to write this book in the first place.
Elizabeth Santos (01:14):
Thank you for the introduction. And look. Firstly, I want to say it’s a really exciting time to be a new graduate. I think there’s so much opportunity for new graduates and for physiotherapists right now, particularly. I wrote this book last year. It was published. It really was the culmination of lots of reading and research over many, many years and actually took me seven years to put it all together. From the moment I started taking notes in the clinic one day just on some letterhead and I thought, Oh, you know, what’s going on here? What’s happening in the profession? I was curious about the burnout that I saw and also attrition. So physiotherapists leaving the profession because they were feeling unhappy or not really wanting to continue for some reason. I actually looked into some research on this and found a study from Curtin university in Perth, Western Australia. And that study showed that up to 65% of the participants interviewed who were new graduates anticipated leaving within 10 years. It was so, I thought, what’s going on here? You know, why is this so high and what can we do about that?
Karen Litzy (02:33):
I mean that does seem very high. So they’ve just graduated and they already have the plans to get out of the profession.
Elizabeth Santos (02:42):
Yes, it was quite an alarming study and I’ve seen it those results actually communicated at conferences since and people bringing it up as a real talking point. Within the same study they found that 25% of participants predicted a long term career in physio therapy. So there were some people who were saying, you know, I am going to stick this out and I do see this as a long term plan, but not as many as you’d expect at that point in their studies. You’d be expecting them to come out fresh and excited and ready to take on the world.
Karen Litzy (03:17):
And what do you feel that it is a lack of readiness? Are they not ready for clinical practice? Are they not ready for the real world? I mean, what are your thoughts on that?
Elizabeth Santos (03:30):
That’s a great question because that’s also something that’s been looked at in the literature a lot in Australia particularly, you know, that sense of our physio therapists actually ready to step into the real world and step into their shoes. As a clinician, you know, we try to make sure that physical therapists have adequate clinical placements and exposure to different areas of physiotherapy because we know that helps them to make decisions about their career pathway. You know, they’ve got that knowledge to draw on when they’re choosing their first job or their second job. But there are other things that can help physio therapists prepare and feel job ready. So some of the things that have been highlighted in Australian research where that physios who have as students had experienced in sporting teams or had additional training in radiology. So people who’ve gone on to study and look at scans in a bit more detail, have had good experiences with that and that’s inspired them to go on and perhaps work in orthopedics or musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Elizabeth Santos (04:43):
We’ve also found that practicing building a supportive relationship and mentorships with colleagues, but also with other professionals. So whether that’s social workers or psychologists or doctors and other allied health professions, that’s become something that’s really big. And there’s lots of research behind that now as well. And just, you know, starting to think about which areas might interest you and what professional development you’re going to go down. Which pathway are you going to go down once you graduate? And there’s more and more internships which are becoming available too, which are privately operated internships through private practices and things. But yeah, so there’s some of the things that new graduates can do to sort of help themselves feel that little bit more prepared and job ready.
Karen Litzy (05:32):
And so what I’m hearing is, you know, getting some inspiration from your placements, getting inspiration and that can come from different places, right? That can come from a mentor, like do they mention finding a good mentor, whether that be within your Institute, your educational institution or outside of, within the profession. Does that help with burnout?
Elizabeth Santos (05:57):
So there is some research to show that mentoring actually helps not only the new graduates, so the fresh physiotherapists coming through, but it actually helps the more experienced ones as well. It helps them to develop a sense of meaning in their work. So finding the right mentor is really crucial and I think for new graduates and for students really, you know, they’ve got that mentoring in built beautifully in the undergraduate training programs. So they’ve got these really inspiring, highly qualified, highly skilled therapists teaching them, taking them through step by step. And it’s a really important relationship. But then when they become a new graduate, they suddenly lose that sense of being protected by the university. You know, they’re out in the real world. It’s like leaving home for the first time, you know, it’s a little bit scary being out in the world.
Elizabeth Santos (06:52):
And then they’ve got to find mentors in other ways. And so there’s two ways that you can go about finding a mentor and one is to have a mentor who’s actually got really more of a vested interest in seeing you succeed. So they’re the ones who probably your employer because they’re going to want to see you grow and they want to see you help clients and they want to see you do the best that you can because it’s going to be beneficial for you and it’s going to be beneficial for the practice. But then there are other people who become mentors in your life because they’ve got some sort of interest in seeing you thrive as well. So it might be someone who’s a family member who’s a physical therapist or someone who’s been an educator, but then you’ve formed a relationship that’s perhaps, even outside the university, which does happen too with different training programs and things. So I guess it is a really important piece of the puzzle and something that, and new graduates can, you know, definitely look into and find someone who’s gonna help them.
Karen Litzy (07:59):
Yeah. Yeah. And, one thing that I found very interesting from a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago about sort of helping new graduates find a roadmap for their career is to really be very clear on what your vision or what your individual mission statement is. Mmm. And it’s hard, right? You really have to do some soul searching and find out what is your mission statement. And this is from Tracy Blake. She is a physiotherapist in Canada and she suggested that everyone have a mission statement and that that mission statement should not have jargon in it. It should not have physical therapy jargon, right? So you want to try and find what your mission is even as a new graduate. Write your mission out, repeat it over and over again.
Elizabeth Santos (08:53):
Tell it to people. So that becomes real.
Karen Litzy (08:56):
And I think that will help you gravitate towards the right mentor.
Elizabeth Santos (09:02):
Fantastic. I really love that. That’s a great idea. And something that’s really practical that the listeners who are tuning into this podcast can actually sit down and do it is it aligns with something that I read a while ago about new graduates and is actually in the book and I can’t find the source unfortunately, but it was to picture your list in two years time and work towards it now. So if you can actually start, you know, that sense of who do I want to work with, what kind of clients really light me up, you know, who do I feel called to serve? And being okay with that changing over time as well and knowing that through different phases of your life. It, it may change for a little and that’s okay. It was actually an experienced physiotherapist. I’ve just had a flash of the face where that quote came from, so I can’t give him credit by name, but
Karen Litzy (10:06):
But that’s fine. He’ll know when he listened to that it was him. Yeah. And I always find that I love that you said it may change and morph over time because I think what gives people a lot of stress is that when you graduate, like let’s say you say, I’m going to work with children, this is what I want to do, I know it, this is going to be my life’s work. And then you start to work and you’re like, you know, I kind of like working with athletes, I kind of like working with pregnant moms, moms to be right.
Karen Litzy (10:42):
I think to avoid some burnout and avoid some guilt, you have to give yourself permission to change because if you don’t, I feel like you’re carrying this baggage with you and can’t that also contribute to burnout. Especially if you’re a year or two out and you’re like, Oh wait a second, this isn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. I kinda like doing this. But I said I was going to do this and now I guess I have to do it right. And I’m sure you’ve heard that before.
Elizabeth Santos (11:10):
Absolutely. And so knowing that the path will unfold step by step, job by job, and you may not be in the same role for 20 years if that doesn’t feel aligned for you. And that’s okay. And it’s that sense of knowing and trusting, which yeah, it’s just something that you cultivate over time and have to feel confident in. But it’s hard in the beginning because I’ve heard a lot of new graduates say to me that they’re concerned that if they take this first job in aged care, or if they take this first job in musculoskeletal private practice, then they’re locked into that, you know, and there’s no way out and there’s no, and if they want to change their mind and do this, and quite often it’s me then encouraging them just to make a decision. And I never you know, I never really help anyone to make a decision.
Elizabeth Santos (12:04):
I just help them to sort of look inside themselves and make lists of the things that light them up and like we’ve discussed. So that mission statement kind of idea is going to help them find the right path and then reconcile that and you know, and back themselves and go for it.
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. And now in the book, Mmm. You also say that burnout as we are talking about is an issue for new physiotherapists, right? So we talked about some things that maybe they can do, but let’s back it up. Why are they at risk for burnout if they haven’t even started?
Hmm, good question. Because burnout is something that we know about and we’ve all talked about. We’ve heard about it, we’ve read articles, there’s a huge body of research looking at burnout among nurses and doctors and psychologists.
Elizabeth Santos (13:04):
And there is a relatively smaller but growing body of research about burnout in physio-therapy too. And we know it’s because there’s parallels between those professions. And because physiotherapists in direct patient care, really with clients every day lots of different people from all walks of life. And there’s lots of different social and psychosocial elements that go along with that. But on top of the therapeutic relationship that you’re building with clients and all of those things, new graduates are juggling seeing more clients than before as well. So they might’ve been able to cope with seeing and processing, you know, the pain or the stories of three or four patients in one day. But then when they’ve got to do that for 20 or in some hospital environments and clinics, even more than that with classes and things, you know, it can take its toll. And so navigating that professional work environment and even for physiotherapists, you know, navigating their own personal processing of that can the mental load and it can add up to burn out.
Elizabeth Santos (14:15):
So I guess we can also hypothesize that new graduates are really trying to put their best foot forward too and they want to work really hard and they want to be as good as they can for their employers. So they’re going to be at risk a little bit there too.
Karen Litzy (14:52):
Yeah. So it’s a lot of external and internal pressures. Yeah. That kind of happened all at once. Right? You graduate and all of a sudden, boom, you’ve got all of these pressures from the outside. And how do you deal with that mentally and emotionally? And it almost makes me think that there should be a, maybe there are, I don’t Sort of mental health support groups for new graduates so that they can almost like an alcoholics anonymous, right? So they can go in and discuss the things that are causing them to have these feelings of burnout. I don’t know if that exists. Do you know, is that a thing?
Elizabeth Santos (15:09):
It doesn’t to my knowledge, but it sounds like a great idea, you know, just that community. And look, I think there are some communities on Facebook that we possibly don’t know about because we’re not new graduates. And I do know of some student association groups and we certainly have some great new graduate programs through the professional association in Australia in terms of building those support networks in. So, you know, that’s up and coming as well, which is really exciting.
Karen Litzy (15:46):
It’s definitely a growth area. Awesome. All right. So let’s talk about what are the signs of burnout? So signs of burnout. Let’s say if you’re the new grad or let’s say you’re someone like me who’s been out for quite some time, can I see these signs of burnout in new graduates? So go ahead.
Elizabeth Santos (16:07):
Yes, you can definitely see signs of burnout in people. And I think it’s important to differentiate signs and symptoms just like you would if you were, you know, a medical practitioner. Even as physiotherapists, we do look at those things separately. So the signs would be seeing that reduced employee engagement. So perhaps loss of enthusiasm for new projects or for jobs that you’re given. Perhaps less willingness to contribute. A sense of lack of transparency around how you’re really feeling or what’s really going on for you. So quite often new graduates will try and hide their emotions a little bit or hide that vulnerability and just put, you know, hold their chin high and keep going instead of being honest about where they’re actually at. If we look at symptoms, they’re actually the things that you’re feeling as a physiotherapist. So whether you’re a new graduate or an experienced physiotherapists, they’re going to be quite similar.
Elizabeth Santos (17:13):
So they will be things like fatigue. It’s going to be different for everyone, but you might get headaches or you might feel nauseous at work or you might have a sinking feeling or that sense of dread about going to work. For some new graduates I’ve spoken to, they’ve even been in tears in the car going into the job in extreme cases where they’re feeling not supported in their workplace or they’re feeling like they want to quit or leave that particular role. So it’s actually coaching people through those feelings, those emotions because they’re the symptoms. You actually manifest in the body. But then there are the signs which are those bigger picture things which people on the outside looking in tend to see. If we look a little bit deeper, we can actually look at some of the research around this and look at the validated tools which have been used to assess the burnout in society.
Elizabeth Santos (18:13):
So particularly in the health professions, the mass like burnout inventory has been used. And this is a 22 item outcome measurement tool, which takes about 10 or 15 minutes to complete and it’s been considered the gold standard since it was created in the 1980s it’s obviously been updated since then and there are now five different inventories which are used across different settings. And they’re used in the research a lot because they contain some great questions which respondents can answer. So things like I feel used up at the end of the day and you would score that with never being a zero through two every day being a six. And there’s different subsets within the outcome tool so you can score each subset or each part of it. And what it does is it actually provides some information for people who are looking at burnout in different populations and it helps to categorize them into three distinct categories.
Elizabeth Santos (19:17):
So the first one is emotional exhaustion, which is where physical therapists become depleted and they might be starting to feel a bit fatigued or some of those symptoms I mentioned. And this then leads to that second stage of burnout, which is called depersonalization in which the physiotherapists stops empathizing as well as they normally would and they might even start to become detached from their clients or show signs of cynicism, which is unfortunately not a good sign as a practitioner if you’re having a dig at clients or locking them in some way. Yeah, it’s a sign of burnout and then that third stage, yeah, it’s reduced personal accomplishment. So for new graduates this might look like, you know, compromised standards of care or reduced sense of personal achievement. Then starting to wonder if they’re even a good physio at all, if they even know anything at all. And that kind of ties in with the imposter syndrome and you know, that sense of being a fraud, which I talk about in the book as well, that these are all things that you can look at if these signs are starting to emerge and take some action, talk it through, find some strategies.
And I was just thinking as an employer, is this, let’s say doing this Burt, the mass, like burnout, inventory, giving this to your employees, is that a good or a bad thing?
Elizabeth Santos (20:49):
I can a great question. I can’t quite put my finger on that. It could go either way, couldn’t it? It could, right? It could go either way. And sometimes just sitting down and having those honest conversations and actually you don’t necessarily need to ask your employees if they’re feeling burnt out, but you can check in on engagement and check in on, you know, are they feeling inspired? Do they have enough to work on? What kind of clients do they want to be working with? Looking at the personal mission statement stuff, sharing wins, you know, that’s a big one. That sense of positivity. And that’s something we do in the clinic a lot as a team, which is fantastic.
Karen Litzy (21:31):
That is fantastic. And, and I would imagine that all of that just becomes, just gives that new graduate, especially a sense of being taken care of. We spoke a little bit beforehand and we talked about the word comfort. So I can only imagine if you’re the employer, if you’re the more experienced, even if you’re not the employer, if even if you’re the more experienced physical therapist in the clinic or in the hospital and you’re just checking in with people on a weekly basis, ask them, how are you doing? How can I help? What do you need help with? Are you stuck? I can only imagine that it would give, cause I know when people check in on me, it does give me a sense of comfort like, Oh, this person’s in my corner. This is great.
Elizabeth Santos (22:16):
Yes. It’s just that caring approach that we have to our clients that we need to then reflect out into the world, you know, for our team and checking in on people is a beautiful way to do that. And then extending that care to ourselves as well. So going, am I okay? Actually, no, I’m not. What’s going on for me? What do I need to do about that? How can I take responsibility for changing that with the support of my employer?
Karen Litzy (22:44):
Yeah. Yeah. So again, we go back to having that both internal and external check-in, which seems to be a theme here. Okay. So what other big issues do new graduates face at the moment? So just so people know, we are recording this, it is in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic and there are changes in health systems, changes all around the world. How will new grads be affected by this?
Elizabeth Santos (23:15):
I think there is a level of uncertainty about the impact of covid-19 across the board at the moment. And we can hypothesize that the current situation is going to impact on physiotherapists who are final year students who are graduating out into the world. They’re going to be unsure about what’s available for them, you know, where they’re going to be needed. Certainly clinical placements are going to be impacted. This at the moment, and this is something that I know in Australia we’re working really hard on the Australian physiotherapy association as part of their advocacy role, which is wonderful. Just protecting those and making sure that we’ve got those roles for physiotherapy students and that they’re getting all the experience they need because they do need that experience. I think we’re going to see some really positive things in terms of the workforce because we’re going to see more jobs.
Elizabeth Santos (24:13):
So it’s actually a really positive time and a really exciting time to be a new graduate physiotherapists. So if you can look at that and think, you know, we are going to need therapy physiotherapists in key roles in assessment and treatment of injury both in the community, in the hospital setting, helping to increase or facilitate discharge I should say, and making sure that, you know, clients are actually, patients are leaving the hospital system in due course. You know, we really need those beds and the staff to be looking after people who of all walks, you know, they’re still going to be in the hospital system, but yet really we need physiotherapists on the frontline as essential workers. We’re seeing a huge uptake in telehealth at the moment, which is also really exciting. And that’s because of the social distancing policies that are being put in place. Well clinics and hospitals remain open. Some people are still having services in those clinics and in the hospitals, but there is a large movement towards the telehealth sphere. So this is something really exciting that new graduates can learn about and put into their toolkit for use now and into the future as well.
Elizabeth Santos (25:34):
I don’t see tele-health going away when social distancing rules are lessened. So I think as a new graduate it is really exciting to be able to have so many options. And because of the pandemic, all of these people who are sick and who are recovering, they’re going to need our help. You know, like you said, we are essential and I think that as a new graduate that really at this point, yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty but there’s uncertainty across the board. But I don’t think that new graduates have to be in great despair at the moment. I understand, you know those final year students who like you said, are trying to get their clinical placements, which is all over the place and just graduate for God’s sakes are having a lot of stress at the moment. But I agree, I think that physical therapists or physiotherapists are in a unique position here to really show up and be part of the team.
Karen Litzy (26:44):
Earlier you mentioned being part of the team of physicians and nurses and doctors and psychologists. I mean we are going to be an essential part of that team. So hopefully if the research shows that being part of a team helps with burnout, it’ll help with our new graduates now.
Elizabeth Santos (27:02):
Absolutely. And there are those vulnerable groups and vulnerable patients who are really going to need the support that physiotherapists have to provide and anyone in the community who’s wanting to keep their exercises going and do those online classes and all of those opportunities which are unfolding. It’s a great and exciting time to be part of the profession.
Karen Litzy (27:23):
I can’t agree more. And now how can new graduate physios keep confident and keep positive? Right now we’ve said, Hey, it’s, you know, it’s not like it’s a horrible time to be a PT, but how can they keep confident, positive and take care of themselves?
Elizabeth Santos (27:42):
That sense of reassurance I’d like to really impart, you know, just for new graduates to keep taking care of themselves. It’s those simple things that they can do, like making sure that they keep their nutrition up and exercise and really try and inspire themselves at the moment and look after themselves and get plenty of sleep and those basic things which are useful for anyone to be honest. Because we all need to be practicing good sleep hygiene, keeping off our phones or having some boundaries around social media and the news and just looking for jobs, getting support with looking for jobs if they’re in that phase, reaching out to a mentor, a debriefing if they’ve just started in a new role this year. So making sure that if things feel overwhelming or if they’re unsure that they’re asking for help and that they’re asking questions and that they’re supporting their teammates as well. You know, every country is going through lots of changes and there are some really sad and heartbreaking things happening in the world and we can’t look away from those and we can’t ignore them, but we can stay still keep moving forward as individuals and as a profession and feel hopeful about the role that we have to play.
Karen Litzy (29:01):
Yeah, I agree. And I think that was very well said. Now Elizabeth, let’s talk, can you talk a little bit about the book.
Elizabeth Santos (29:09):
Good, thank you. I am really excited to reach as many new graduate physios who need this reassurance and this support the people who are looking for that sense of comfort or unsure about which role is right for them. So it’s a mentor in your pocket style of book, which has an academic undertone. So there’s lots of research in there. But then there’s some light and funny comics which I had commissioned as well to kind of make it a little bit more enticing read so it wasn’t dry because if it’s too evidence heavy it can sometimes be hard to sift through. But our physiotherapists are good at that and it’s designed to help you navigate all of the tricky areas as a new graduate. So things like negotiating a contract, building therapeutic relationships with clients, how to find the right mentor, how to choose professional development.
Elizabeth Santos (30:11):
So what you should be doing versus what your employer perhaps thinks you should be doing or what you know based on your mission statement I think is a good way to choose. But it also talks about the highs and the lows that you might experience and the mistakes that you’ll probably make, which are part and parcel of being a physical therapist and then how to put all of that together and sort of trust the journey as it unfolds and build resilience over time. And it’s written in the third person. So as I said in that sort of academic tone, but then there are some simple questions, journal prompts at the end of each chapter that you can workshop as well. And I’m happy to support people through because I think it helps to have that self reflection and actually to write some things down and go, what is working for me and what’s not and what am I having trouble with here?
Elizabeth Santos (31:04):
So it’s designed to help them kind of workshop and for it to be a little bit like a Bible for that first year or two. So if they have a really rough day, they can actually go home and flick it open to that chapter and go, okay, what happened here? What could I do differently? How could I learn from perhaps some of the mistakes that are talked about in the book, you know, and how can I integrate this and move forward and get the best outcome for myself and for the client, for the practice, for the team if I’m in a hospital or wherever I might be.
Karen Litzy (31:37):
Nice. So it’s more than just a once read and done. You can go back to it and kind of use the tools in the book over and over again, which I think is great. And just for all the listeners for a limited time, Elizabeth is offering a 10% discount on her book when you use the code HWSpodcast at checkout. And we’ll have her website, which is ElizabethSantos.com.edu over at podcast.healthywealthysmart.com and we’ll splash it across social media. So we’ll make it really, really easy to do this. So again the discount code is HWSpodcast. So Elizabeth, I’ve asked the same question to everyone at the end of each interview and I feel like in this particular episode it is the perfect question to end with. And that is knowing where you are now in your life and in your career, what advice would you give to yourself as a new grad?
Elizabeth Santos (32:37):
It’s a lovely question. Funnily enough, I taught to my younger self a lot when I wrote this book because I needed her insights and I needed her stories and she had a lot of wisdom to share, which I wove through the book. And it wasn’t just my experiences, it was all of the experiences of all the physiotherapists I’d ever known and spoken to. So it was a real collective of wisdom and inspiration that went into the book. And I’m grateful for that. And it’s a nice moment to thank all of those people who were part of it in some way because it’s created a meaningful resource. But if I could go back to 2006 I would say congratulations. And I know how excited I was at that time. And I would probably say straight up, listen, you’re going to make some mistakes, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and you’re going to really want to beat yourself up about those.
Elizabeth Santos (33:38):
And you’re going to question the choices you’ve made in therapy and in your career. And you won’t know if you made the right choice, but you’ll have to back yourself and you’ll have to know that you are enough and you have got a lot of knowledge to share. And you know, it’s student experiences and it’s life experience as well. So I always encourage new graduates to really draw on everything they have and know that they’re always going to be in some small way, the expert in the room, you know, even if you think you don’t know anything you actually do and you can draw on, okay. That strength and that knowledge in those moments. But I’d also really offer some words of comfort because it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing and it’s hard to know if you’ve made those right choices.
Elizabeth Santos (34:30):
I’d tell myself to take some regular holidays too because I know I didn’t do that enough in my first couple of years, so yeah, but just knowing that you can inspire others and that you can inspire yourself is probably the biggest and yeah, it’s a really exciting time for all the physios out there and I hope that they can find some inspiration in this podcast and in these answers.
Thank you. I’m sure they will. And now, Elizabeth, where can people find you on social media?
So on social media, they can find me at whole living with Elizabeth Santos, which is my Facebook page, but the website, ElizabethSantos.com.edu probably has the most amount of resources and it has links to my new graduate mentoring and people can connect with me through email that way. And I do actually have a free chapter of the book available. If you want to jump on the email, you can do that and I’ll send you a chapter to read and get a bit of a feel for what the book’s about.
Karen Litzy (35:38):
Perfect. Well thank you so much. This was great and I just know that I think it will give new graduates inspiration. I think it will give new graduates a sense of comfort and of confidence as they go out into the world. So thank you so much Elizabeth. This was great. And to everyone listening, thank you so much. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
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