Members Spotlight – “How I Increased My Patient Numbers x5”

Posted By: Dave O’Sullivan

In this week’s blog I want to share Leon’s journey with you. When Leon first applied to my mentorship he was looking for help with gaining clarity on the true stressor, and particularly being able to implement and explain pain science in the real world with a patient.

When I started the Go To Therapist Mentorship I made the decision that I wanted the content to be easy to implement. I didn’t want to sound smart or be controversial for the sake of it, I wanted people to be able to take the content, make sense of it, and implement it straight away with their patients.

Leon has implemented the step by step system in his own practice, and I’m very proud of his journey from new grad to working in a renowned private practice in Dublin and growing his client base from 5-6 clients a week to up to 30 clients a week during busy periods.

Check out Leon’s interview below:

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what you were doing before coming onto the Therapist Mentorship?

“I started working with athletes about 10 years ago studying fields like nutrition and sports science. A few years into that I learned that I wanted to work more on the physio side and be able to treat people with conditions from all walks of life. I went back to college and graduated, and really wanted to work for myself in private practice. About 7-8 months ago I got a great opportunity to be a part of Physio Rooms in Dublin with Paddy Cummins who’s a brilliant physio and we’re working together now to further build the brand.

In January last year I wanted to build my knowledge and build a system that would help me treat people and help people get the great results that they need. I had heard great things about the mentorship and I reached out to you guys and I suppose I haven’t looked back since..

So 2 of things things you wrote on your application when you applied back in January 2018 were getting to the root cause of the problem and being able to explain pain science to people in a way that they understand. Can you speak a bit more about that?

I’ve always been an advocate of not chasing pain and realising it’s a symptom not the cause. The training in the mentorship is second to none for that in terms of understanding the neuroscience, being able to find the true stressor, and most importantly being able to give your patient an answer.

To me that’s key. Nevermind the treatment plan, but if you can explain to them WHY their having an issue that can decrease their pain response anyway. To be able to follow that up with the rehab program from the mentorship, there’s nothing else like that out there. When you have that process you can’t really go wrong. I have a habit of overthinking things, thinking worst case scenario and working back from there. But having the system from the mentorship provides a lot of clarity, even when the trickiest cases come in.

I think that’s a good point, having a system you can go back to even when the presentation is complex gives the therapist a lot of clarity. I know when I started if somebody came in that was too complex I’d almost panic and do my best with massage etc but in my head thinking “I don’t really know what’s happening here”..

I agree and having that system in place gives a lot of clarity and it’s always something to fall back on.

So going back to before you started the mentorship, what challenges were you meeting in your clinic?

The biggest challenge I was, and suppose still am, facing is dispelling a lot of the myths that are out there, especially in relation to back pain. Sometimes it can be frustratingly hard to break down these beliefs and patterns in people and it slows down the process of recovery.

With the clarity I’ve gained from the mentorship things have definitely sped up. When you do something different than the usual ‘strengthen the glutes’ and give them a step by step plan where they can see progress every session it helps you with those stubborn cases where the pain has been around for a long time.

That’s a great point. I think also if the patient has been around the houses and been told different things by the GP, the consultant, now the physio, there’s almost that confusion and hierarchy of ‘who’s right?’. I think building trust is massive for that, and helping them make sense of the problem and getting better buy-in is huge for that.

Definitely, and when you’re explaining something from the mentorship to the patient it’s easy to relate it back to the assessment. Unlike some of the outdated tests that have minimal amount of evidence behind them, where you’re almost going on a whim. But when you combine everything together with the mentorship system you have a leg to stand on. And week in, week out you’re seeing progress.

Did you have any doubts before you came onto the course?

Oh yeah definitely, like anything you always have that doubt. Like anything that’s promising to be the next big thing you always have that skepticism. And I suppose the mentorship never really made any of those claims and the reviews were very good.

The support system is also great. It’s like the days back in college having study groups you always have the community to fall back on. There was never that hard sell that “we’re going to show you how to fix everything” but more “we’ll show you a bit of this, a bit of that” and help you make sense of the problem and I suppose that’s what kind of sold it to me.

I think that community is really valuable. We learn a lot from the refresher weekends where we get a group of likeminded therapists who are all on the mentorship in a room and troubleshoot problems. We always learn something and make tweaks after those days.

Yeah and the research is always changing and you need to change with it. I like how on the mentorship you’ll sometimes update it and be honest saying “I used to do this but recently this has been getting much better results” and troubleshooting problems rather than cookie cutter approaches and having the group to fall back on in tricky cases is important, especially when you’re out working on your own.

In the first 6 weeks when you first started the mentorship how did you find the content?

At first it probably was a little bit daunting so I suppose if anybody’s starting out I’d advise to stick with it. It challenges a few of the things I learned in my studies and it pushes you outside your comfort zone. But with the videos and how it’s explained you pick it up very quickly. And I suppose the more you implement it the more results you get, then the word of mouth spreads and you get more clients in to practice on, and as time goes on you start to understand the modules even more and you can keep going back to the videos.

It’s great that you can go through it at your own pace, and the support structure. If you’re struggling you can reach out to yourselves and you’re on it in a flash. You don’t get that level of support on other courses. So like anything it takes time and commitment, and stepping outside of your comfort zone, but with the content and the support if you stick with it you’ll get the results.

And as you went on what results did you start to see?

The mentorship brings you right back to basics at times. I think if you train and you’re pain free it can be easy to forget that some people just can’t do the higher level stuff. The mentorship has given me the tools to be able to implement and understand how powerful the lower progressions can be. And being able to put a plan together for somebody who’s had back pain for a long time from the basics right up to single leg hopping, which is something they probably never thought they’d be able to do again, is brilliant. Their whole way of life changes. I’ve been fixing some of my own problems with it too!

Definitely that’s powerful for the patient. And what have the real world implications of being able to do that for your business been?

I still haven’t really massively advertised myself out there, and I’m just starting to wrap my head around the business side of things which the mentorship is helping me with. But since implementing this stuff a lot of my referrals are world of mouth. Patients referring family and friends and I suppose it’s kind of snowballed from there.

Don’t get me wrong, like any other business you’re going to have quieter times of the year, particularly leading up to Christmas. But it’s brought me from 5-6 patients a week to now, on busy weeks, seeing up to 30 patients. As a new business 6-7 months in, I wasn’t expecting that.
And also being able to explain the problem to a patient in a way that makes them say “that makes sense”. And being honest with them and saying look you’ve had back pain for 10 years, it’s not going away overnight, but they understand the problem and you can give them a plan. That’s huge.

Specifically for me also, working with the brand of Physio Rooms which Paddy has built a great reputation with over a good 5-6 years longer than I’ve been working. Paddy is on the top of his game, so it can be quite daunting coming in new, trying to keep the brand up to that standard. That was one of the most important things for me and a lot of what I’ve learned on the mentorship has brought me to that standard and accelerated the learning curve.

Getting busier obviously comes with its own problems, and you have to get pretty good with time management. Can you tell us more about that?

Yeah the testing definitely helps with that. Again when you’ve got that system even when you’ve got a complex client, where before I might have been thinking “I might run over here”, with the testing you can quickly get to the bottom of why they are getting their pain and explain the plan in a way that they can say “that makes sense”. And you can make a good guess on how many sessions it’s going to take based on the tests.

When they then do the exercises then and get the results they leave happy, and you’re not relying as much on the hands on and within 45 minutes, or 30 minutes for a follow up you can get them leaving happy and having got a good result.

Yeah and I suppose when you’re using the right exercises and challenging them in the right way, by the end of 30 minutes I normally find the patient had enough anyway. They should have felt like they’ve been working hard in a good way and it’s not just 30 minutes laid on the bed.

Yeah they nearly leave sweating and they feel better for it. Half an hour is more than enough. I’ve seen crossfit athletes who are well able to throw 100+kg overhead struggle with some of the rehab exercises, and they love it because their lifts go up then too afterwards.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Just continuing to fine tune everything. Trying to grow the business, I have a good experience of the kind of clients coming in and now I need to focus on the business side of things as well. Marketing and things like that – you guys are continuing to help me grow with that as well. So yeah just continue to develop it and consolidate instead of doing more courses to overwhelm. Just practice practice practice.

I think that’s a good point. If you’re doing course after course after course, to me that’s a symptom of a lack of clarity. Not that you shouldn’t continue your CPD, but do courses that genuinely interest you for a specific reason rather than trying every new thing that comes around.

Definitely and having a system that caters for everyone. Everybody is different and until you can understand that there’s no one size fits all approach, you need to be able to treat the person in front of you and they have to do the hard work at the end of the day to get the result. It’s managing that. So yeah, my advice to anyone out there looking for a course is reach out and speak to you guys about the mentorship.

Thanks Leon, I’m excited to see what’s happening with Physio Rooms over the next few weeks and months. I appreciate you coming onto the podcast and sharing your story.

Thanks a million.

Special Report Written By England Rugby League Physiotherapist Dave O’Sullivan…
“The 6 Step Checklist I Implemented From Pro Sport Into My Private Practice To Help You Keep Patients Adhered To The Treatment Plan So You Can Increase Your Results, Retention, Referrals & Reputation As The ‘Go-To’ Therapist"
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