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MEET A MEMBER: Mark Kaufman, PT, ATC, President of Athletico Physical Therapy

Tuesday, September 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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MEET A MEMBER: Mark Kaufman, PT, ATC, President of Athletico Physical Therapy

The IPTA is proud of our fascinating and influential members who are working hard towards advancing the physical therapy profession.

Mark Kaufman, PT, ATC has been a proud APTA member for 28 years. Kaufman also owns and operates Athletico, one of the largest physical therapy companies, with over 380 locations in 10 surrounding states.

Athletico Physical Therapy has been a valued PT Partner of the IPTA since the launch of our PT Partner program back in 2015. PT Partners of the IPTA support the ethical and professional best practice of physical therapy, helping to make Illinois healthcare safer for the patients for whom we care.

We got to know the man who started Athletico a little better by asking him a few questions.

"You began your career as an athletic trainer, what made you decide to pursue a degree in physical therapy?”

Kaufman: "I was certified as an ATC after completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa. After which, I went to the University of Arizona and also worked with their athletic teams earning my Masters of Science. Both of the head athletic trainers at Iowa & Arizona that I worked under were physical therapists who encouraged me to consider applying to physical therapy school, which I did, and was accepted at Northwestern University."

From owning and operating one outpatient clinic to being the CEO of one of the largest physical therapy companies in Illinois, what words of wisdom do you have for the new physical therapists looking to start their own private practice?

Kaufman: "A few things come to mind: First, focus on your clinical skills early in your career as when the various demands of your position change which requires other skill sets, you will only have so much time in the day to apply to these opportunities. Here at Athletico, we have a toolbox of tools/resources like Athletico University and specialized program tracks to advance your career and continuously improve.  Use the tools and resources offered to you or seek out those opportunities on your own.

Secondly, be fearless about leveraging those around you to ask the questions that will lead to improvement where you have opportunities for growth. Mentor programs and being a part of specialized programs allow you to learn from those around you while applying what you like to your own experience.

Lastly, a direct line can be drawn from focusing on quality service to a healthy bottom line for a business.  Companies such as FOTO, MedBridge and EIM are doing some remarkable work and Athletico has seen a positive result of physical and occupational therapists working within these systems to improve their skillset that directly results in improved patient care."

What do you consider the biggest challenge(s) facing the physical therapy profession today?

Kaufman: "Getting the recognition we deserve (along with the payment) for what we can and do deliver to the health care system. Getting the patient into the hands of a therapist early in the course of care will lead to a better outcome at a reduced cost for the entire episode of care."

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