We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Meredith Castin. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Meredith below.
Meredith, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to hear from you about what you think Corporate America gets wrong in your industry and why it matters.
One of the biggest issues in healthcare is that it has become a profit-driven industry. Healthcare should be separate from profits. I understand that hospitals are businesses and they need to make money, but once care delivery is following a path to maximum profit, patients’ health starts to suffer. At best it’s inconvenient and stressful for patients. At worst, it’s dangerous.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I launched The Non-Clinical PT (TNCPT) in response to the frustration and burnout that I felt when working in the clinical trenches. I couldn’t fathom that I had gone to school to get a doctorate in physical therapy, yet I was treated like an automaton whose only purpose was to generate billable units. It felt like my clinical reasoning and patient care skills took the backseat to racking up money for the facilities in which I worked.
Our didactic and clinical education stresses holistic, patient-centered care. We go through school believing that we can make patient- and health-driven decisions in our care delivery, only to be spit into a system that is driven by insurance reimbursements and maximizing clinician productivity. Burnout is at an all-time high.
When I created my business in 2017, there were no resources available to PT, OT, and SLP professionals who wanted to leave direct patient care. There was no community, and there were no forums to discuss options with others. I launched TNCPT to create guidance and community for rehab clinicians who felt lost and burned out. I wanted to empower them and provide them with resources to support the transition from direct patient care to non-clinical careers in healthcare. This transition is much easier for nurses, but rehab professionals — despite being highly educated with excellent clinical experience — are often passed over for non-clinical roles.
The mission behind TNCPT is to provide the support and community necessary to make the switch to non-clinical work with confidence!
The things I am most proud of is the movement I started and the problem I solved.
When I first created the site, it felt like I served a small cadre of people who were furtively discussing the forbidden truth: we didn’t enjoy patient care and wanted something more from our careers. These days, there are countless professionals helping rehab clinicians make the switch into non-clinical work. There have been spinoffs from my community which specialize in various non-clinical roles. As my community grew, competitors started to emerge. This worried me at first, but they were so focused on making money, and it showed.
It’s an exciting time, and I’m proud to have destigmatized the idea of people leaving a caring profession. If the profession doesn’t care for you, it’s hard for you to keep caring. I’m proud that I have provided PT, OT, and SLP professionals with alternative ways to use their experience and education, rather than starting from scratch in new careers :) I am also incredibly grateful that I already had a solid product, community, and online presence to offer rehab professionals when things really got tough during the pandemic.
The Non-Clinical PT solves a big problem that was festering for years in the rehab world: what could you do if you didn’t want to, or couldn’t, treat patients anymore? By providing a community for support, an online course for guidance and information, and templates to make job applications a breeze, I was able to make this daunting transition easy and fun for thousands of clinicians! I am immeasurably proud of how the industry has changed in the past five years, in large part because of The Non-Clinical PT :)
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
I created a lot of trust from day one. I did not try to sell, sell, sell. When I first started my business, it was a blog and nothing more. I figured I’d share all the information I could that I knew about the industry. Anytime I met someone who had successfully switched from clinical to non-clinical work, I’d publish a story about them. I answered people’s questions late into the night. I spoke with people for free on the phone. I did a TON of work to establish myself as an expert — and a trustworthy one at that — before even beginning to think about monetizing anything.
As my community grew, competitors started to emerge. This worried me at first, but they were so focused on making money, and it showed. I have always remained the most trusted voice in the industry, not just because I was the first one, but because I was always there from day one, putting out lots of free content and establishing trust, rather than focusing on making money.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
My best source for clients has been search engine optimization (SEO). I write articles that answer frequently asked questions about leaving direct patient care. I also have a decent amount of folks coming in from social media, but that’s where most of my competitors get their customers. I believe that it’s best to find people who are actively searching for you via search engines, rather than having to continually push out content that competes with everyone else on social media algorithms.