Located at our Tempe physical therapy office is Elijah Chiang. Elijah is a foodie, an Arizona native, and he is this month’s physical therapist (PT) of the month!
Elijah was born in what is now Desert Banner and he spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Tempe. In high school, at his first game as captain for Corona del Sol’s football team, he had a lineman fall on his ankle. The collision resulted in a fractured ankle, and tore three ligaments and one tendon. “Needless to say, I was in therapy for a long time,” Elijah said.
While putting in therapy hours for his injury, Elijah discussed a potential career in physical therapy with his PT. Through these discussions, Elijah ultimately decided to pursue a career in the field. “I thought it would be the most meaningful and rewarding job that I could have,” Elijah said.
When the time came for him to choose a college, Elijah moved to St. Louis, MO to study physical therapy at the esteemed Washington University program. After graduation, Elijah moved back to Arizona and joined our team in August of 2017.
Elijah enjoys working at the Tempe physical therapy office because of his coworkers and the playful and positive environment; jokes and random questions of the day are a daily occurrence.
In his spare time, Elijah serves as a youth group leader, and is part of the worship team and Sunday school program at his church. He also enjoys being active; you can often find him playing flag football games or hiking.
Another passion of Elijah’s is food. In fact, the whole Tempe location shares this interest; “we might be the only clinic that always has the Cooking Channel on,” Elijah says. Elijah enjoys cooking, grilling, and smoking food and he’s always happy to discuss this hobby and recipes with patients.
In between church, cooking, and being active, Elijah pursues learning and growth opportunities. Since graduating, he has taken additional courses in physical therapy, and in the summer of 2018 he’ll be traveling to Taiwan to speak as a guest lecturer at a top PT school. When asked what he wants to do in five to ten years Elijah says, “I’m hoping to go overseas and improve the physical therapy scene in Taiwan.”
For those interested in a career in physical therapy he notes, “if you really like being on your feet and using your brain to problem solve, it’s a great profession.” He compares the process of finding out a “true” source of pain to being a detective and he recommends continually learning because there’s “infinite ways to help people.”
For Elijah, he finds his career in physical therapy to be extremely rewarding. “There are very few things like seeing the joy that you can bring into someone’s life when they can do something they thought they might never be able to the do again,” says Elijah.
Check out our locations page to find a Foothills location near you and, if you choose the Tempe physical therapy office, find Elijah and ask him some grilling tips.
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