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Elevating private practice physiotherapists through Facebook

Physiotherapist Nick Schuster
Photo: Physiotherapist Nick Schuster
A Queensland physiotherapist is helping hundreds of physiotherapists connect, build their leadership skills, and boost their professional development through two private Facebook groups.

Scarborough Physio and Health director Nick Schuster, a physiotherapist of 14 years, has developed The Ultimate Physio Facebook groups, with a mastermind group for clinic owners, that has more than 350 members, and an education group for physiotherapists working in private practice, home to more than 800 members.

Mr Schuster said he established the Ultimate Physio, which offers online leadership courses and the two closed social media groups for private practice physiotherapists, after a key colleague left his own clinic.
“It made me reassess how good I was as a leader, and learn as much as I could about leadership,” he said.

“In doing this I developed a unique team mentoring method in the two years following, which I have developed with my own people.

“I believe most physio clinic owners are great clinicians but not great leaders, as we have never really learned how to lead, and how to help our people to get the most out of their lives.”

Mr Schuster said the unique online communities, which were launched less than six months ago, empower physiotherapists to voice their thoughts in a safe environment.

His goal is for every Australian clinic owner and private practice physiotherapist, who is on Facebook, to belong to one of the two private groups.

“Our members tell me that they have learned more in the last six months about how to run a private practice than they have in their cumulative years as clinic owners. One member told me that the page was the highlight of his year!

“Members ask any question they want about private practice – staff, HR questions, software and technical questions, business strategy, and taboo topics like money and wages, and our members contribute in kind by replying honestly in a safe and private forum.”

Mr Schuster is a finalist in the 2017 HESTA Primary Health Care Awards' Young Leader category for developing the Facebook groups.

“So much of the time health professionals are ‘head down, bum up’ in our jobs and practices, working hard to serve people,” he said.

“Being a finalist in the HESTA Awards inspires me and makes me want to do even more good and make a massive impact in my practice, and in my Ultimate Physio community.”

The HESTA Primary Health Care Awards recognise outstanding primary health care professionals in three categories, including Individual Distinction Award, Team Excellence Award, and Young Leader Award.

The Awards dinner will be held on August 27 in Sydney. Each winner will receive $10,000 in prize-money for further education or team development.

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Karen Keast

Karen Keast is a freelance health journalist who writes news and feature articles for HealthTimes.

Karen regularly writes for some of Australia’s leading health news websites and magazines.  In a media career spanning 20 years, Karen has worked as a senior journalist in newspapers and television. She has covered the grind of daily news and worked as a politics reporter at countless state and federal elections.

Since venturing into freelance writing five years ago, Karen has found her niche in writing about the health sector for editors, businesses and corporations.

Karen has interviewed the heads of peak health organisations in Australia and overseas, and written hundreds of news and feature articles covering the dedicated work of health professionals who tread the corridors of hospitals and health services, universities, aged care facilities and practices, day in and day out.

Follow Karen Keast on Twitter @stylemywords