western medicine

why a physical therapist is the head of my medical team*

physical therapy PT medical chronic pain - 29goingon92.com
my PT after he won the AlterG National Physical Therapist of the Month in 2013 {it was really my nomination that did it, but we can call it “his” victory}

Now that National Physical Therapy Month is complete, I feel it’s the perfect time for this post. Actually, I just didn’t have my stuff together. Oops?

PTs, like nurses, are one of the many unsung heroes of the medical community. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bad physical therapists out there {I even had a PT once who tore my labrum further}, but the good ones are invaluable.

So here are the reasons for this possibly unexpected specialty choice to hold my number one spot:

  1. He gains nothing from me trying one treatment over another, or stalling as I am often one to do. This helped me trust him before I knew him well enough to do so.
  2. He has treated me longer and / or more consistently than any other physician.
  3. He knows me, my issues, and my goals better than any other physician.
  4. He treats me as a whole and not one little specific part. He’s not just concerned about how my hip appears on imaging or whether he can fix it in surgery. He feels it move, knows my range of motion, understands my gait, et cetera.
  5. He provides an open and direct line of communication between us, even at his own expense. This is probably most valuable when I need to see him before the end of the day and his schedule is booked. {By the way, he usually handles this problem by staying late to treat me.}
  6. He thinks outside the box and is constantly reading up and going to conferences to learn the next new thing, and implements the treatment into my plan of care if it seems promising.

Who do you have to fill these needs, and what do they do to help you? Tweet or comment below. I’d love to know so I can tell this guy how he’s really slacking!



*If you have a complex health issue or are responsible for someone else who does, and you’re wondering a medical team is please read the following : Most of your doctors, if not all, should be communicating with one another regarding your care. If they aren’t, you need a single treating physician who does so what {s}he can to contact your other doctors and run interference on your behalf. No one person or specialty can handle it all, but even if you’re someone who color codes all your medical records and brings them all to every appointment you still need a doctor in your corner. With their credentials come a lot of knowledge, and, unfortunately, some doctors only listen to their peers.


  • linda maumus

    very fortunate you are to have this PT. I can not name one single doctor in recent times that cared about me as a whole person. my ob/gyn-may he rest in peace-was the ONLY doctor who ever treated me for everything and was always available. he died in 1984 at age 52 and I was devastated. he delivered all of my babies. Honey knows his wife-Norma Steele. keep on truckin’. you got this! xo

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