Blog Post

12 Physical Therapists to Watch in 2021

PTs are poised to do big things in the coming year. See our top 12 physical therapists to watch in 2021, here.

Breanne Krager
5 min read
December 31, 2020
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If you’re reading this, pat yourself on the back—because you’ve made it through one of the most chaotic, challenging, and transformative years our industry has ever faced. And as we kick off 2021, there’s no better time to reflect on what the future might hold for your career or clinic.

So, whether you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, some new ideas for diversifying your services and revenue streams, or simply a source for keeping tabs on forward-thinking therapists making waves in your industry, read on. We’ve compiled a list of PTs worth watching in 2021—presented in no particular order.

1. Julie Wiebe, PT, DPT

Following her passion to revolutionize the way women recover from pregnancy and injury, Julie Wiebe pioneered an integrative approach to promoting women’s health through fitness. Active on her blog, YouTube channel, and social media accounts, Julie is a tremendous inspiration for enterprising PTs who are looking to take their businesses to the next level. She also provides online continuing education courses and one-on-one mentoring to help therapists integrate pelvic floor, breath mechanics, pressure management, and neuromuscular and dynamic stability strategies into their own practices. (Be sure to check those resources out on her website.) 

2. Jarod Hall, PT, DPT, OCS 

Since completing his DPT at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in May 2014, Jarod Hall has taken the PT industry by storm as the co-owner of Modern Pain Care, an educational institute for practicing therapists seeking to further their clinical expertise in treating patients with musculoskeletal pain. Jarod regularly discusses trends and challenges impacting the PT industry on his blog and presents continuing education courses at the state, national, and international levels for practicing PTs, OTs, and chiropractors. Keep tabs on Jarod via his Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter profiles to learn more about evidence-based practices that can improve the patient experience and outcomes.

3. Nicholas Rolnick, DPT

As the founder of The BFR Pros, Nicholas Rolnick strives to provide clinicians with cutting-edge, evidence-based education and training on blood flow restriction (BFR)—one of the fastest-growing trends in the fitness and rehab community. The BFR Pros’ blog, online workshops, and Instagram page are great resources if you’re looking to learn more about BFR and how it can benefit your practice.

4. Mitch Babcock, PT, DPT, SFMA, CF-L1

After graduating from the University of Michigan’s DPT program in 2016, Mitch Babcock wasted no time co-founding HealthHQ, a cash-based PT and wellness clinic that takes a holistic, integrative approach to solving musculoskeletal pain. In the same year, Mitch also opened a CrossFit gym adjacent to his PT practice, where he specializes in the treatment of fitness athletes as both a physiotherapist and CrossFit-certified coach. If that wasn’t enough, Mitch also recently joined the Institute of Clinical Excellence (ICE) as a lead faculty member, a role in which he teaches several online learning classes for PTs and chiropractors who want to take their treatment and coaching skills to the next level. If you’re looking to cross over in the physiotherapy and fitness realms, Mitch is your guy!

5. Lisa Vanhoose, PT, PhD, MPH

An Associate Professor and Program Director in Physical Therapy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Lisa Vanhoose is a powerhouse in the PT research and education realms. She specifically focuses on the incidence, prevalence, and severity of cancer-related side effects with an emphasis on the consequential, downstream diseases many minority cancer survivors face. What’s more, Lisa is on the front lines of addressing health disparities in the rehab therapy profession—particularly in the current pandemic. Recently, she was appointed to the Health Disparities and Research subcommittee of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Follow Lisa on Twitter or LinkedIn to learn more about how PTs can address the inequities brought to the forefront by COVID-19.

6. Dr. Josh Funk, DPT, CSCS

A lifelong athlete, Josh Funk became interested in physical therapy after undergoing his own successful rehabilitation as a Division I lacrosse player at Ohio State University. Looking for a way to merge his passion for sports and physical therapy, Josh founded Rehab2Perform in 2016. His practice offers rehabilitative and preventive services primarily targeted toward active adults and competitive athletes. Josh and his team are currently hard at work launching Rehab2Perform’s fifth location in Annapolis, Maryland. Josh provides a bevy of resources, including:

7. Chris Wilson, PT, DScPT, DPT, GCS

Chris Wilson is an Assistant Professor at Oakland University, where he’s active in clinical research in the areas of hospice and palliative care as well as chronic disease management. He is also the Residency Director for the Beaumont Oncology Residency program for physical and occupational therapists—the first accredited program of its kind in the US. Chris and his team at Beaumont recently received the 2020 Association of Community Cancer Centers “Innovator Award.” If you’re looking to advance your career in a new specialty, check out Beaumont’s cancer rehabilitation program.

8. TaVona Denise Boggs, PT

TaVona Boggs is a physical therapist turned life and business coach for women in health care as well as the founder of Wellness PTs—a free online community for healthcare professionals who want to start their own wellness and prevention businesses. Although she still works part-time as a PT in an acute care setting, TaVona’s business has grown exponentially over the past few years as more PTs, OTs, and SLPs explore non-clinical roles that enable them to make a difference in their profession outside of patient care. Check out TaVona’s coaching and consulting business, or give her a follow on Instagram to see what she’s all about!

9. Jeff Moore, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Over the course of his 12-plus years as a practicing physical therapist, Jeff Moore has become intensely focused on changing the conversation around pain in the US. As a result, he founded the Institute of Clinical Excellence (ICE) in 2012. Jeff and his colleagues at ICE are working toward what they call “Physical Therapy 2.0,” which means providing rehab therapists with high-quality, evidence-based educational experiences to help them become more fitness forward, manual-therapy skilled, and psychologically informed. Additionally, Jeff is a faculty member with Evidence in Motion, where he teaches online manual therapy courses with an emphasis on therapeutic neuroscience.

10. Jimmy McKay, PT, DPT

You may know him best as the voice of PT Pintcast—a podcast featuring interviews with noteworthy physical therapists from around the globe—but Jimmy McKay also has more than 15 years of experience in branding and communications. He currently serves as the Director of Communications for Fox Rehabilitation—a private practice that employs PTs, OTs, and SLPs across 16 states—and he has assisted the APTA with branding and communications strategies for the past 15 years. Give the PT Pintcast a follow to stay current on cutting-edge rehab therapy news and trends that will help you boost your confidence and enhance your practice.

11. Josh D’Angelo, PT, DPT, OCS, and Keaton Ray, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, ATC, CSCS

Josh D’Angelo and Keaton Ray are the co-founders of MovementX, a cash-based practice that provides transformative, personalized care beyond the walls of a clinic or hospital. They founded MovementX with a simple goal in mind: starting a movement revolution that enables patients to access physical therapy wherever, whenever. Now with multiple locations in 12 states, MovementX is growing quickly and is always looking for physical therapists in search of a new kind of freedom and autonomy in their professional careers.

12. Stacie Morris, DPT, CSCS, USAW, FRC

As a former collegiate gymnast and current Olympic weightlifter, Stacie Morris has a keen understanding of how detrimental injury can be for athletes at any level—and how imperative physical therapy is in getting them back into the game. After working in an outpatient sports physical therapy setting for a few years, Stacie opened The Physio Fix in 2017 to make PT more accessible to athletes who are either recovering from an injury or in search of exercises and movements to prevent one. If you’re looking to implement online fitness programs and services in your practice, take a look at how Stacie has structured hers on The Physio Fix’s website.

Pro Tip

If you end up following any of the above-mentioned PTs on Instagram, each of their accounts has a “suggested” feature you can use to find a slew of other PTs who are kicking butt in a related field. And it’s easy to find! Just head to the PT’s account and look for the downward-facing carrot button (below the PT’s bio and all the way to the right). Press that, and a carousel list of similar PTs will appear.

Do you have any questions about one of the PTs listed above? Or do you think there’s a PT who deserves to be mentioned? Leave your comments for us below!


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