Note: Each month, we will feature a different member of the WebPT family in our Staff Spotlight blog series.
With a background in soccer midfielding, it's no surprise that Doug Severson has trouble sitting still. Which is why, after spending the better part of his high school career chasing soccer balls, Doug sought out a career path that would keep him on the field. "I wanted to stay involved in athletics, but I knew I was not going to be a professional athlete," he joked.
So, after graduating from Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona, Doug headed to Northern Arizona University to earn a degree in athletic training. He completed his final internship at Continuum Wellness, a physical therapy clinic in Gilbert, Arizona. They ended up offering him a permanent position, and he spent the next seven years honing his athletic training skills as he worked with local athletes.
Doug even had the opportunity to return to the high school sports scene last year when he took on the role of athletic trainer at Campo Verde High School. “That was really fun, because when you’re working in a clinic, people come in injured and do rehab for a while, and then they go back to whatever they were doing and you might not see them again,” he said. “But I got to see kids go all the way from being injured to winning a state title.”
Even though he found his job extremely rewarding, Doug was hungry for a new challenge. “I had kind of maxed out [with athletic training],” he said. “There just wasn’t a whole lot of room to grow, and I wanted a role that would give me the ability to do some new things.”
Because his clinic used WebPT, he was already familiar with the application and the company, which made it the perfect launching point for his new career adventure. Plus, he still has plenty of opportunities to put his therapy skill set to use.
“The goal is sort of the same—in therapy, or in athletic training, you’re trying to leave your patients with a good feeling; in [WebPT Member] Support, you’re trying to leave Members with a good feeling.”
And speaking of WebPT Members, Doug has another interesting connection up his sleeve: his wife, Kristen—a physical therapist—also uses WebPT. The pair met all the way back in second grade and began dating in high school. They were married in 2008 and are currently trying to adopt a child. Outside of work, they both enjoy the great outdoors. This past June, they spent three days hiking the Grand Canyon—in 110-degree heat, no less.
For a naturally active guy like Doug, working at a desk can be a challenge—especially coming from a physical therapy clinic, where he rarely had a moment to sit down. “That was a big change for me,” he said. “I’m still trying to get used to it.”
Eventually, Doug hopes the experience and expertise he gleans while working at WebPT will allow him the opportunity to get more involved in championing the physical therapy profession. “The coolest thing about PTs is that they truly care about their patients,” he said. “That’s what they got into it for. They care about people. They’re people-people.”
So, he’ll happily trade clinic work for office work if it means potentially having the chance to uplift the industry he cares so much about. “I have lots of PT friends—and of course, my wife is a PT—so I’m very much engrossed with this profession,” he said. “PTs tend to need help on the business side of things, and they need help advocating for themselves...I want to help them be successful, even if I’m not working in a PT clinic.”
Fave Five with Doug
- Favorite food: Pfannkuchen (German pancakes—his grandmother, a native of Germany, used to make them)
- Favorite movie: Full Metal Jacket
- Favorite sports team: Arizona Cardinals
- Favorite musical artist: Toby Keith
- Favorite place: Australia