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Spend enough time in any profession and you’ll make a mistake or two. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Each misstep has the potential to pave the way for better decisions down the road.

We recently asked several physical therapists to share one thing they’ve done in practice that they’d never do again. Here’s what they had to say:

Anything (that you care to admit) that you would never do again?


Anything that I wouldn’t do again? I always say no very quickly to this as there is far more value to a mistake than an easy accomplishment. So much more to learn from, and it is truly a gift in a strange package. So while I never cower from any of the mistakes I have made, I always make sure I never make the same one twice.

– Laurie Towers is the owner of Physical Advantage, a New York City-based massage studio that’s focused on rehabilitative massage for athletes and performing artists.

I had a friend who always said, “Good judgement comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgement”. I can’t say that there is anything I would do differently because it would change who I am today and what I’ve learned from the past.

– Dr. Aaron Swanson, DPT, CSCS, FMS, TPI, FRR, received a degree in exercise science from the University of Tennessee and his doctorate in physical therapy from New York University. He offers physical therapy, movement and sports performance enhancement and wellness consultations through his practice, The A&G Project, based in Milton, Ga.


I’ve learned that listening to patients is the best advice one can get. In the beginning we focused on trying things that weren’t 100 percent receptive to what the patients wanted. As we’ve grown we have learned that the secret to success is ensuring that we do right by the patients and accommodate their every need. The rest will take care of itself because our biggest referral source is our valued patient.

– Harris Hafeez is managing member of Advanced PMR, where he oversees all aspects of the practice. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and overseen the expansion of several companies.

One thing I would not do during regular practice is strike up conversations that can potentially become provoking and not therapeutic. Politics, religion, and other ideologies, in my opinion, should stay out of the clinic as they can conjure negative emotions which can ultimately interfere with the healing process.

– Igor Tserlyuk, DPT is the owner and Director of Grasmere Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. Igor is an expert in Orthopedic and Neurological Rehabilitation. In his effort to help others he effectively integrates evidence-based practice and holistic methods to achieve optimal results for his patients.


I am not sure there is anything I can think of that I would never do again. My career and my path to this point has been a massive learning experience as I am trailblazing a way to global realization. I have most likely made many mistakes but most extremely successful people acknowledge that it is the mistakes you make that lead to success down the road. Because of this thought I would expect to continue to make mistakes. I guess the hope is not to make the ones I have made in the past.

– Dr. Mitchell Yass, DPT is the creator of the Yass Method for diagnosing and treating chronic pain; author of The Pain Cure Rx released internationally by Hay House Publishing in 2015 and starred in his PBS special “The Pain Prescription” seen nationally and in Canada since 2015.

As therapists, we are lifelong learners and there will be times where you may not know an answer to a question or may not be sure what is going on with a patient. So another piece of advice I would give is just be humble and honest. If you don’t know an answer to a patient’s question or are unsure how to help them, be honest with them and refer them to someone who may. They will appreciate your honesty in caring for them and the trust that this builds will help you and your practice in the long run.

– William Paranto is the director of physical therapy services at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine. He runs the rehabilitation component of this practice, which provide its patients the latest nonsurgical treatment options for pain and sports.


Last Updated on November 29, 2021

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