Over twenty years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of injuring my knee and subsequently having surgery at the age of seventeen. The one positive that came from this experience was that it led me to pursue physical therapy as an occupation. Now having seen the deterioration of the healthcare system as both a provider and a customer over the years, I have chosen to make a difference by starting my own practice. I no longer want to just see changes; I want to be part of the change.

How have things changed in the last 20 years? For starters, the same therapist administered the care I received for my first knee surgery, every time I visited. No techs, and no students; just a licensed physical therapist who knew what he was doing. Did I ever have to wait while he juggled multiple patients at the same time? Not a chance - I had his undivided attention each session. Every rep of every exercise was monitored and corrections were given as needed. In fact, I learned more in the nine or so sessions I had with him that each subsequent surgical recovery in later years was much easier. And as far as insurance went, my co-payment was a whopping $10 per visit. Well worth it, even for a high school kid.

Fast forward five surgeries later to the year 2011. I am working as a physical therapist, looking to have someone great work on my knee. I knew what exercises to do, but I needed a therapist to provide the manual techniques needed to get my knee back to working order. What about having the same therapist each session? Not a chance. I found myself shuffled from one therapist to another, with no logical progression in terms of treatment. Was my therapist a licensed professional for every visit? Nope. I worked with students, PT aides, and other staff with hardly any training, let alone knowledge of my injury. Where was the one-on-one care I was looking for in order to bounce ideas off the therapist and ask about different treatment strategies? Well, I had to wait my turn in the rotation as the therapist was running around trying to keep up with their caseload. I didn't get much more than a "Hello," and "Are you scheduled for the rest of the week?" And remember that $10 co-payment? It went up to $40. Even as a grown adult, it hurt every time I paid - considering the service I just got.

Are there, today, some physical therapy providers who do it the right way? Absolutely. But they are few and far between. Even if the physical therapist has great ethics, their employer can't make money by having them treat one patient at a time. The next time you go to a physical therapy appointment, as you are pedaling the stationary bike or arm bike for 10 minutes of your allotted 60, pay attention to what's happening. Do you have a different therapist than the last time? Does your therapist give you a few exercises and then leave you alone for 10 to 15 minutes before checking back with you? Is the hands-on work you get barely a couple of minutes before they apply electrical stimulation and ice? When you leave, do you feel your money was well spent?

As a provider with over 10 years working in several outpatient clinics throughout the East coast, I have taken my knowledge of physical therapy and combined it with my experience in the health and fitness industry. At Physique, I am dedicated to bringing physical therapy back to what it used to be and what I feel it should be. By working with your other medical providers, we will construct a goal-oriented program that will work for you. My aim is to give each customer a superior experience by giving them the knowledge they need to succeed in all of their lifestyle goals.

Yours in health,

Keith Pacific