In our field, mentorship matters. I have had the ENORMOUS privilege and honor to work with mentors in my OMPT practice and other areas of my life. Gail Molloy and Jim Meadows have been constant relationships, and they are two mentors that I look up to and still ask questions of.
The two of them together endured MANY years of my endless questions. When I worked for Gail and Bev Parrott in Denver, I was five years out of school and four years into my OMPT training. The amazing thing is that they treated me like a colleague and an equal.
Every time I have faced major choices in my professional path, Gail and Jim have been there. They see me and my abilities, and encourage me. They believed in me when I didn’t. I failed one part of a certification exam and Gail made it seem like NO BIG DEAL.
She told me, “Rebecca, you are smart. You just made a mistake. You can do this.” Not long after, concerning the advanced certification she said, “You are ready for it. You can take it now.”
I probably looked at her like she was crazy. She oversaw my fellowship. I have NO idea where would I be without Gail.
Gail has done this for many others. She is a true mentor. This is what mentors do. They know you. They believe in you. They know how to help you know what the next step is. They also know who is ready to be mentored.
I do not know everything. I am still learning and I always will be. I still need mentors. They are now often peers: Bryant Miller, Brett Windsor, Susan Clinton, and David Deppeler. They have different experience, knowledge, skills, and personalities. But, they see me, encourage me and help me grow. Right now, I’m growing in the area of teaching and mentoring. Teaching the teacher. Mentoring the mentor. Thank you!
I am ready to mentor. I know more than I did 21 years ago, and I can teach someone how to learn. I can share my passion and enthusiasm. I will give all that I can and be involved to help someone’s process and plans and goals.
Here is my commitment and advice to all of my now and future mentees (I cannot speak for anyone else, but I am pretty sure that the other NAOMT Clinical Fellowship Instructors would speak the same):
- I will match your commitment to yourself.
- I will be a part of your team, but I cannot do it for you.
- I can connect you to resources.
- I can encourage you.
- I can give you options and ideas.
- WE CAN PURSUE OUR BEST. Isn’t this what we ask our patients to do?
- But, be prepared, being your best takes effort, engagement, time, and money.
- You have to want it.
- You show me by your motivation and effort how hard I should work to help you.
- You will hit obstacles. YOU WILL HIT OBSTACLES. You don’t even know what they are yet. We will anticipate some and will try not be surprised by the others.
Continually pushing myself to learn more and challenging myself has been a difficult path. But it has been worth every bit of effort not only for my patients, but for me as well.
Seek out mentors. Seek to be mentors.
And, if you have me for your OMPT mentor, you will not end up approaching issues and treating like I do. That is not the goal. Instead, you will approach issues and treat like YOU do! THIS is what our patients need.
–Rebecca Lowe, PT, COMT, FAAOMPT
The North American Instititute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy is committed to providing valuable, life-long mentorships to help shape you into the PT you're meant to be. Contact us to discuss opportunities for you.