What was your training in PT?
Graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of New England, College of Health Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Biddeford Pool, Maine in 1985
How did you come to choose the field of Physical Therapy?
On my 17th birthday, I decided to pursue “Physiotherapy”. It was 1971, I was looking for a “Hands-On” Profession vs. sitting behind a desk in a white coat and writing prescriptions on a pad.
Who was the most influential Physical Therapy Professor in your career?
Linda Crane! I felt very fortunate to have studied with Dr. Crane at University of New England. She always embodied the attributes of the consummate Professional, Academician and Clinical Advisor. Her words of wisdom for me were to f-o-c-u-s! The field of physical therapy is in fact Broad. To be proficient and excellent, it is essential to stay focused. My focus is to be a catalyst For my patients to find their way back to Wellness.
Who were the other Clinical professionals that have shaped your career?
As a PT student, we had local clinicians that did guest lecturing at the University...Lauren Hebert, Steve Huber, Paul Albert, Donna Barthe from the greater Portland Maine area. Upon graduating, I embarked on the sage advice of Dr. Crane. I studied with Stanley Paris’s Institute of Graduate Health Sciences and became certified in Orthopedic Manual Therapy by 1988 while working full-time. In my undergraduate years, studying side by side with medical students of Osteopathy, I was exposed to classes instructed by Drs. Viola Freeman & Lawrence Jones. The teaching standards of professionalism, clinical excellence, precision and respect for the individual’s unique presentation were the fundamentals of the successful treatment approach that was exemplified.
What is your Specialty?
Guiding patients out of pain utilizing the treatment modalities, select exercise methods and manual techniques best suited to the individual’s presentation and resolution. Specifically, I treat ages from adolescence to early-mid-later adulthood.
Over the span of my professional career, I have consistently employed the Aquatic Environment. Water addresses many rehabilitation components all at once. Pain is relieved, swelling is reduced, movement is enhanced, circulation and respiration are improved.
Hands-on, manual therapy is literally the skillful touch that stimulates the largest organ of the body, the skin. All patients are looking to be heard. From the initial contact all the way through the sessions, listening and responding to the patient’s unique circumstance. The body also “speaks” and when skillful touch is applied, the body talk can also be heard and treated.
An Integrated Systems Approach (ISA) is my practice style. Problems are not unidirectional or unidimensional. A multi-systems approach will best address optimal progression. For example, the joints are affected by the other body systems than the skeleton.
Considering the muscles are “fed” by the cardiopulmonary system, breathing is a key element to jumpstart the internal healing process. And the nervous system is prerequisite to the muscle firing, contracting and relaxing. I work with my patients to gain a greater appreciation for the inherent, autonomic body systems including digestion and endocrine
Why do you practice in the Out-Patient Setting?
Because I find that when patients visit an independent center for treatment, and temporarily leave behind the ‘homebody’ self...There becomes the chance to separate from old habits, to become more receptive to new information, instructions and results. Together, this is ‘where’ the therapeutic rapport is built and the common ground solidifies.
How would you characterize your temperament?
- Patient, no pun intended
What is your Success Rate?
Substantial – or I would have given up years ago!
With each patient from the first session, I look for the opening where we can affect an immediate positive change.
- Some patients who are traveling on vacation and are seeking temporary relief from pain or stress. In 1 or 2 visits, we are able to accomplish a great deal of pain reduction and resolution. Oftentimes, the interaction results in a paradigm shift for the individual once they return to their stateside life.
- Local patients are seen for same types of problems with the opportunity to follow through to resolution and now after 15 years in this locale, return visits for totally different problem areas.
- Pre and post-surgical patients are seen for rehabilitation to ensure a successful surgical outcome.
- Sports-Work-Life injuries happen. These individuals are treated with a Sports-Medicine Approach of early mobilization. Getting back into the ‘game’ utilizing a variety of physical modalities-manual techniques-exercises to promote faster and more complete recovery.
Note: Getting well is a two-way street! The patient’s actions-involvement-dedication to optimal self -care is as vital as my expert clinical skill set.
Why do you still want to keep working in the clinic after all this time?
After pursuing lifelong learning on how to effectively and efficiently assist patients’ in pain to expedite the healing process, I want to put this academic-empirical knowledge and these clinical skills to help those whose quality of life can improve.
I also welcome the opportunity to meet and mentor gifted, younger students and graduates interested in the Physical Therapy profession to challenge themselves and pursue this rewarding career.