Top 5 Fridays! 5 Things You I Bet You Didn't Know About Me! | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Things You I Bet You Didn't Know About Me!

Here are 5 Professional Facts about me and my career, I bet you would not have guessed!

These are in chronological order from the time of my last year of PT school to current. Here we go...

1) I almost became a chiro!

(No offense to all the great chiros out there btw!) My former college roommate and I were really interested in spinal manipulation and manual therapy after having an excellent ortho prof, Dr. Ron Schenk, who eventually became my fellowship mentor. I told the head of the rehab department at the time of my last clinical internship my plans to become a chiro (which would've killed my parents as they are MDs and at the time said they would disown me). He replied, "Have you ever heard of Stanley Paris?" I said, "Who?" He showed the full page ad of the University of St. Augustine and their upcoming "DPT" program in 1998. I called the next day, put together a portfolio, asked my ortho prof to be my mentor and applied for the program! I always wonder if I would have taken all the con-ed I did if I had gone on to chiro school!

Also, that head of rehab dept 10 years later mentored under me for his fellowship, then told me he was opening up a practice. I eventually opened my consultant model practice within his practice so now we're business partners at Rose Physical Therapy!

2) I failed my MTC exam the first time around

At the time, I thought this was a very challenging exam... I wasn't used to failing things. Hell, I absolutely was not ready. Most of it was probably because I took 2-3 years of courses starting the Monday after I graduated and finished in about 9 months. I just did not have enough experience to answer questions that I could not learn from a textbook or lab manual. Granted I only got "questioned" on 3 parts of the exam, and did not outright fail any of the 13 parts, but you're only allowed to get questioned on 2 parts. One part was Catherine Patla's practical extremity test. The other was....


Oh yeah, I got questioned not only the oral but also the practical myofascia component of the exam. This really isn't a 3, but thought it was ironic enough considering what I teach now. That long ago, it was all based on pathoanatomy, fascia deformation etc... but we did not know any better. Somehow, I made it through PT school and had never heard of ITB Friction Syndrome, so I didn't know more than 1 technique for it (it was open).

It was the only day I've ever felt like I was punched in the stomach 100 times after taking an exam. I guess my gut was right, literally! I doubled down on my studying, did a few phone calls with Bob Cantu, the MF instructor at the time.. flew down to St. Augustine two months later, took the exams and flew home less than 12 hours later.

It's actual a valuable lesson I now teach to my fellowship mentees. You WILL pass, it just may not be the first time! Hard work pays off!

4) I used to be a MDT naysayer!

After finishing at the University of St. Augustine with my DPT and MTC, I was adverse to MDT. Traditional OMPT programs teach you about the need to specificity, biomechanics, palpation for position, etc... To my understanding, USA still teaches this... that may be ok for some, and they may still produce great clinicians, it's just not in line with the modern mechanisms of manual therapy.

Anyhoo... back to the story. So I decided to just get credentialed in MDT, just for the hell of it. I took all the courses in 5 months and took the credentialing exam 1 week after my last course. At the time, I didn't appreciate the simplicity, reliability or the classification system. In other words, EVERYTHING I promote now. That changed about 5-6 years ago, but I was all in with the pathoanatomical approaches for years.

5) I've only been in PT Social Media for 1.5 years!

One and a half years ago, I had never heard of the FMS, SFMA, Gray Cook, or Mike Reinold. A lot of blogging later, and I'm doing google+ hangouts with Mike, and set to interview Gray in his clinic when I find the time to travel down there (and he's there as cool as it will be to hang with Don Reagan). I'm also all in with the SFMA and FMS approach, because it compliments MDT so well being systems.

If you readers have learned a tenth from me as I have from others via social media, then that is quite a bit and we are living in very exciting times with all of the many ways to get the information we do today.


  1. Awesome! Hard work truly does pay off. Before PT school I considered going the Chiro route as well ;)....

  2. You make 1998 sound like it was centuries ago. But for sure it is, in the light of social media. I finished taking McKenzie courses A,B,C,D back in 1992, though didn't want to spend the $500.00 it cost back then to take the credentialing exam...I figured it would be tuition for another course! But even back then, I still felt I was missing something, though McKenzie's system is elegant. So, I did the COMT route after McKenzie, through NAIOMT, finishing that in 2009. And I just heard of the FMS screen 2 years ago, then took a weekend course in October on Y-balance, SFMA and FMS. Which do you think would be smart to get certified in first, the SFMA? These things all cost bucks you know....I wonder how you managed to do all that stuff in one fell swoop. Have a rich uncle?

  3. Really enjoy your site -- as someone who always questions everything I'm taught, it is encouraging to see practicing clinicians taking the responsibility that other fields would leave for "researchers". Keep up the great work, I'm looking forward to taking your spinal manipulation course at DYC this spring.

  4. Looking forward to meeting you! Bring your question A game!

  5. SFMA first, it's for clinicians and more relevant. It is a perfect compliment to MDT as a system and makes looking for dysfunction along regional interdependence lines very streamlined!

  6. Another gem post Erson! As someone who is taking his first big manual therapy practical exam in April I was very interested to here about your experience with yours. Like I've said before, you're site is fantastic and you've done a lot for our profession!

    and I too was VERY close to becoming a chiro (my dad is one). But after I shadowed a couple of quacks I realized Physio is where I want to be (no offence to the many amazing DC's I learn from daily). I think you made the right choice haha

    Thanks for writing this!

  7. Good luck Jesse! You seem right on top of things and I bet a lot of what you learned in the last year moves you beyond the traditional fellowship thinking, am I right? You're the fourth PT that has contacted me after writing this saying they were thinking of being a chiro first. In chiro defense, at least all their patient get some one on one.