Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy provides hands-on and individualized physical therapy services to patients across the Valley. We are able to use the newest, most advanced techniques thanks to our highly trained employees who are passionate about helping you achieve your therapy goals. Each month we highlight a member of our staff to recognize their accomplishments. This month, we spoke with Gilbert physical therapy expert Matt Midkiff, PT, DPT, CSCS and co-owner of our Gilbert-Mesa location.
Matt Midkiff grew up in Asheville, North Carolina then moved to California after being recruited to play soccer for Westmont College in Santa Barbra. After his family relocated to the Phoenix area, he decided to attend A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa to obtain his Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Matt’s interest in physical therapy stems from his experiences as a young athlete. After dislocating his shoulder twice while training, he had to undergo surgery. However, this turned into a positive— his good experience with physical therapy post-surgery made him realize the career would be a good fit for him.
Matt says the best part of his job is “interacting with patients, seeing them get back to where they were before, and having fun doing it.” A typical workweek for Matt involves three long days and three short days, during which he focuses on both patient care and documentation. He also manages and educates staff, making sure the support staff is learning and growing.
For people thinking about a career in physical therapy, Matt says the key to success is finding a specialty you really enjoy. “There are so many areas of PT, so utilize schooling and volunteer work prior to figure out your niche in the field. There’s everything from outpatient orthopedic, to wound care, burn care, and spinal cord injuries. I just had a student who’s going off to work with the Navy Seals. There are so many aspects, you should find one you really enjoy.”
One thing Matt wishes more people knew is that there are so many different aspects to physical therapy. Arizona is a direct access state, meaning patients do not have to see a physician before seeing a PT. “A lot of people don’t utilize physical therapy, especially with direct access, as a primary care orthopedic facility. Most PTs are adept at ankle, knee, extremity, and spine issues, and making sure a patient knows what to do,” he says.
When not working, Matt enjoys working out and competes in natural bodybuilding shows. He loves spending time with his wife and three kids, and has also coached soccer in the community for 20 years. He is working toward making his Gilbert physical therapy clinic a leading force in treating and preventing knee and ankle soccer injuries, especially among female athletes. He is also building a golf business at the clinic, and is a certified Golf Performance Specialist by Nike and the Gray Institute.
His goal for Foothills in the future is to create an amazing patient experience that people enjoy coming to; he calls it the Cheers of physical therapy. “People come back to the clinic a year after they’ve finished physical therapy just to say hi,” he says. “We want people to enjoy working with our staff, and the staff to enjoy being there. That’s what sets us apart from the rest.”
If you want to find a physical therapist, you can schedule a free assessment with one of our PTs like Matt by going online here today. For more information and advice about physical therapy, follow our blog!