Therapydia Kona Clinic Director Tyler Patrick, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, takes some time out of his busy schedule to talk about how PT is perceived by the general public, what keeps him motivated, and his dog, Rufio.
“At our clinic, we get to know the person who has the injury which allows us to treat them, and not just their injury.”
When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
My interest in medicine as a career started when I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus while playing football in high school. I decided to pursue Athletic Training for my undergraduate degree as it combined my interest in sports and medicine. Through clinical experiences with the different sports teams at Ohio State and professionally with the Baltimore Ravens, I realized I enjoyed rehabilitating the athletes the most, therefore I decided to become a PT.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a physical therapist?
We are a medical provider that asks a lot of the patient. We don’t perform a lot of passive treatments, which requires the patients to take an active role in their recovery with home exercises performed daily or even multiple times a day. Once people start to take that ownership and realize that they have some control in their recovery, it is very rewarding to experience.
How do you like to stay active?
I have an exercise program that I follow 3x a week and I also run 3x a week with my dog. Then try to hike, bike, swim, and surf as much as possible.
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
Honestly it depends on my mood, but I have been listening to a lot of Nahko and Medicine for the People and Childish Gambino recently.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?
Since we are a young profession, compared to nursing or physicians, many people still do not truly know what physical therapists actually do until they experience it for themselves.
Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?
Recently I have taken a deep dive into golf rehabilitation with the Titleist Performance Institute and it has not only helped me treat the golfers on the island, but improve their golf game as well! Additionally, I have plans to take some Pelvic Restoration Institute courses to incorporate more diaphragm and breathing into my treatments.
What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?
I think this one ties back into my surprise as to people not fully understanding what we do. As a profession, we are trying to educate people on how we treat injuries and pain, as well as the amount of training/education that goes into becoming a PT. It takes 7 years to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
I hate to admit this but I usually don’t eat breakfast, but when I do it usually is anything fast.
What is the most important personality trait that a physical therapist must have?
At our clinic, we spend an hour with new patients and 45 minutes with follow up appointments, so being able to communicate is probably the most important trait. We get to know the person who has the injury, which allows us to treat them and not just their injury.
What do you to unwind/de-stress?
I meditate, spend time with my pup Rufio, play bike polo, surf, workout, watch a movie or show, and read to name a few.
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?
I have a lot, but one that I was given recently is to imagine the person you want to be and then ask yourself, what would that person do in this situation? When it comes to fitness though my soap box topic is always to train movement, not muscles.
Click here to learn more about Tyler and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.