Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is proud to have a staff full of hard working, caring and certified AZ physical therapy experts. For this reason, we showcase individual achievements and dedication by sharing with you our Physical Therapist of the Month. This month, we spoke with Ted Carter, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, from our Ahwatukee location.
Ted grew up in Seattle, but decided to head somewhere warmer while getting his education at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles and earning his undergraduate degree. From there he went on to receive his doctorate in physical therapy from Chapman University in Orange County. After his siblings and parents moved to Arizona, he decided to move here as well in order to be closer to his family. Ted enjoys spending his free time with his family, his wife, and his 8-month old son.
Since March 2014, Ted has been a valued member of our Foothills team. His interest in physical therapy goes back to when he first began learning about anatomy and physiology in school. “Once I started learning about it, it was the first subject that I really wanted to know more and more about,” he says. He has also always been interested in sports, and is a recreational weight-lifter, member of World Team Tennis, and the US Tennis Association.
“Physical therapy lets me work with people, follow up with my patients, use my hands, and problem-solve on the job, so it has everything I have always wanted in a career,” he says.
In a typical workday, Ted evaluates patients by assessing their body mechanics, providing hands on manual therapy, prescribing therapeutic exercises to improve flexibility, strength and motor control, and educating patients. He says his day involves a lot of interaction with patients, discussing how their symptoms are changing, re-assessing their treatment plans and doing a lot of clinical reasoning to discover solutions. He also interacts with the other staff in the office, including technicians, ensuring a high level of care is provided.
His favorite part of the job is his coworkers. “Foothills has a great staff, from the front office to the physical therapists and technicians. Everyone enjoys what they do and working with our patients, and we all love going to work each day,” he says. The only challenging part about the physical therapy field, Ted says, is dealing with insurance companies who are increasing copays and premiums, and reimbursing therapists less and less for the skilled services they are providing.
As for the future at Foothills, Ted hopes to continue working on advancing their residency program. The program is now nationally recognized and American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) accredited, and it allows licensed physical therapists to further their development in the field. He has helped build the program, mentor the residents, and hopes to continue to play a part in its growth.
Ted is often asked for advice from students and technicians considering physical therapy school. His advice is “to try and find a school that you can receive in-state tuition from, if possible. Physical therapy school is an important part of your education, but most of what you learn is in the field, practicing, doing a residency or yearlong seminar series and advancing clinical skills.” Avoiding student loan debts is ideal, especially when you will learn so much on the job.
One common misconception about physical therapy, Ted says, is that people think therapists use simple methodologies such as heat packs, massage, and ultrasound, but in reality those methods are outdated. “PTs are trying to make progress in the field by using movement science, clinical reasoning, manual/manipulative therapy, and teaching patients how to move in a functional manner.” Using evidence-based research and applying it is why certified therapists achieve great results.
To meet one of our therapists like Ted, you can sign up online here for a free evaluation. For more information about AZ physical therapy, our practice and how you could benefit from PT, follow our blog!