1. How will I be supported for CPD? Will I get on-the-job training?
  2. Will I be an employee or sub-contractor? Which is better?
  3.  I’ve heard private practice is hard work. Will I burn out?

1. How will I be supported for CPD? Will I get on-the-job training?

Mentoring is ESSENTIAL for a new-grad physio. We understand it can be daunting starting a new career and we are here to support you every step of the way. It is our job as a Clinical Manager or Clinical Lead Physio to help get you up to speed as quickly as possible. 

At Spine & Sports Physiotherapy, as new-grad physio you will receive:

  • 2 hours specific new-grad mentoring every week (for the first 6 months). This is generally clinical skills to start with but may also include communications skills, exercise prescription/progressions, common injury treatment mapping, complex case reviews or whatever you feel you need help with. 
  • Fortnightly case conferences (to discuss complex cases with the whole team so we all learn from each others experiences).
  • 1 hour in-service training per month (to focus on whatever you want to learn).
  • Quarterly group in-services. Where we all get together and “freestyle” new manual therapy techniques or pilates and/or gym rehab exercises.  
  • Specifically allocated time fortnightly for patient reflection and self-directed learning. 
  • Unlimited Shadow Sessions (the Clinical Lead physio will make themselves available to come in on your next session with any harder patients so you can learn from them on the job).
  • Shadowing the Clinical Lead Physio for the first 2 weeks. You will not be thrown to the wolves with a full book of patients on your first day. You will have the ability to meet the patients and watch and learn how we treat at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy so you know what to expect when you start seeing them yourself. 
  • You will receive $5000 as a CPD sign on bonus to be used for training in Dry Needling, Clinical Pilates and/or Strength and Conditioning in your first year. Each following year of your career you will be provided with $1000 towards external CPD courses to update and improve your skills. 

2. Will I be an employee or sub-contractor? Which is better?

You will be an employee. Each has it’s pros and cons. 

Employees have the benefit of being guaranteed a wage (even if no patients turn up), while also getting superannuation on top of their wage. They will also get paid for public holidays (if they are rostered on) and accrue holiday pay, sick leave and long service leave. 

Sub-contractors normally have to build their own caseload before they make any real money. It is generally a less supportive structure where you are left to your room to see your patients and paid for who you see. However, one of the benefits is generally a sub-contractor can come and go as they please because you won’t be getting paid if no patients are in and therefore shouldn’t have to hang around (whereas an employee will have to stay until their shift ends). 

Sub-contractors usually also have to pay their own superannuation (currently 10%) and take that from their commission earnings. They will also not get paid for their holidays or sick leave. Commission rates will normally sit somewhere between 40-50%, depending on experience. 

It is true that while it is harder to start with for a sub-contractor they may make more money after a year or two when their caseload is full. This is why Spine & Sports Physiotherapy have developed a Quarterly Bonus System to increase the employees wage to effectively match what a sub-contractor would normally earn. These quarterly bonuses allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labour by potentially earning an extra $30-40K per year on top of your salary!

3. I’ve heard private practice is hard work. Will I burn out?

Private practice is definitely harder than the public system. It requires you to think more for problem solving and use your body more for hands-on treatment. However, as we also do Clinical Pilates and gym rehabilitation, the hands-on treatment is balanced out by the exercise rehabilitation which is much easier. 

 At Spine & Sports Physiotherapy we structure our rosters so we work 4 long days a week which gives you a day off in the week. The long days might sound daunting, but having the extra day off is definitely worth it. We also break up the day into thirds so you will have two 30min breaks (one lunch and one “admin break” which is like a catch-up break for your notes).  

The flexible nature of private practice also allows you to only work an 80% caseload if you want to. There’s no reason you NEED to do a 38hour week, as long as both you and your employer are happy with you doing less hours. This part-time system works really well for mums who are returning post-maternity leav or physios who are going on to post-graduate studies.   

At Spine & Sports Physiotherapy we sit down every quarter to ensure you are happy, travelling well and address any concerns you may have. If you are feeling you are getting tired, we will look to restructure your diary to maximise your holiday days off to give you some 4-day long weekends (ie. if your normal day off is Tuesday, we can look to block off some Mondays over the quarter so you can have a few 4 day weekends). 

You will also not have to work public holidays or the 7-10 day xmas break. Effectively with your 4 weeks annual leave, 10 public holidays, 10 days sick leave and 7-10 days clinic shutdown over xmas, you will be getting nearly two months off a year. 

In regards to burnout, everyone has different limits and it is our responsibility as Managers to ensure you are happy and working at a sustainable rate. While I’ll freely admit private practice is harder than the public system, you are also not going to be brain-dead bored just walking patients down a corridor every day. You do you.