28 HEALTHCARE CAREERS | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com CERTIFICATION | HEALTHCARE CAREERS 2018 CPAM (certification in physical agent modalities). “Prior to that, I had noticed gaps in my ability to administer certain types of treat- ment modalities due to a lack of sufficient training. So I pursued the CPAM to better serve the needs of my patient population.” The latest addition to Dr. Wagner’s credentials occurred in 2014, when he completed his post-professional clinical doctorate with a subspecialty in hand therapy. “I had been an adjunct professor since 2006,” he said. “But I felt that to progress in academia, an OTD [doctor of occupational therapy] degree would provide greater understanding of scholarly research and how it blends into clinical practice. The program combined coursework such as radiology, pharmacology and advances in hand therapy with integration of clinical research. It was one of the great- est and most difficult things I’ve ever accomplished.” Dr. Wagner’s tireless pursuit of advanced education has signifi- cantly benefited his career. “I now teach at two amazing OT pro- grams and am able to truly integrate clinical research into the classroom that helps prepare future OTs to provide the best care. In addition, I work with amazing companies that are committed to pro- viding the latest evidence-based therapeutic interventions. The net- working benefits alone have been worth the time and effort invested, and the impact on my clinical practice has been immeasurable.” WORDS OF WISDOM What advice would Dr. Wagner offer to other healthcare profession- als as they consider specialization in their respective fields? “Pick something you’re passionate about and become an expert,” he shared. “Your patients deserve it! Remember you’ll be learning for a lifetime. We can never know everything and many things change over time. Be willing to change with them. Listen to others, reflect on your successes and failures, then plan to improve. Thank those who have helped you along the way and help them in return. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know,” but the next step is to fill that gap with new learning. Also keep in mind that knowledge is nothing but stored information. It takes wisdom to actually apply it.” “If your goal in pursuing specialty certifications is to impress others via the ‘alphabet soup’ after your name, save your time and money,” added Dr. Cronin. “The real value of certification is how it helps a clinician truly understand the basics, utilize these building blocks of knowledge to enhance our treatment approach, and effectively com- municate with patients. Find something you’re passionate about and challenge yourself to face what you don’t know. Then use that intel- lectual vulnerability to truly grow in your profession. In the end, it will not only benefit the patient but also you.” n Brian W. Ferrie has 20 years of experience as a healthcare writer and editor. He previously worked for ADVANCE from 1998 to 2016. Ready to Learn? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 484.300.4940 to get started!