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  • Patterson Physical Therapy takes pride in the one-on-one attention they give their patients.
    Patterson Physical Therapy takes pride in the one-on-one attention they give their patients.

Patterson Physical Therapy Offers One-On-One Service

Gracie Fairfax
Gracie Fairfax's picture
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June 1, 2017

Since 2003, Mike Patterson and his staff at Patterson Physical Therapy have been helping community members get back on their feet.

A high school athlete who realized he was not good enough to play collegiate sports, Patterson decided he needed to take his schoolwork more seriously than his athletics. He found his love for physical therapy when a physical therapist neighbor asked Mike if he wanted a summer job at a nearby hospital when he was going into his sophomore year of high school. A talented senior football player from his high school got into a car accident and Mike was able to help him recover that summer.

“I got to help him learn how to walk on crutches and walk and get better, and he was then back on the football field the next year,” Mike said. “The next fall, the guidance counselor asked, ‘Well, what are you thinking of doing?’ and I said, ‘Well, I’m going to try physical therapy,’ and it’s kind of been tunnel vision ever since.”

Mike and his wife, Beth Patterson, both studied physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh and moved to Maryland in 1987 from central Pennsylvania. Beth joined the practice in 2006 and has worked in outpatient orthopedics for more than 20 years. The couple lives within biking distance of their practice next to Cypress Creek Park, and Mike bikes to work whenever it’s not raining or snowing. The nearby park also acts as an extension of the office, where the Pattersons can take patients during therapy sessions.

The practice prides itself on the one-on-one attention offered to patients. Although insurance companies have tried to force treating more patients in less time for less money, Mike wants his practice to continue to offer a comfortable pace.

“We keep our numbers fairly low,” Mike said. “Patients per hour is one patient per hour per therapist, so having a patient with a therapist for an hour, you really get to know that patient and there’s a lot less running around trying to juggle patients at the same time because when one’s leaving, the other one is coming in next.”

When patients finish therapy at Patterson Physical Therapy, many of them want to show up to an appointment in order to maintain the progress they have made through physical therapy. Others want a place to work out but don’t feel at home in a health club environment. In order to meet these needs, Patterson Physical Therapy offers many exercise classes and allows people to come in and use their facility as a health club. Some patients simply follow a flow sheet of exercises they are given and others prefer more assistance.

Some unique programs offered at Patterson Physical Therapy include AquaFit and water therapy classes at the Severna Park Community Center, as well as a new program for those suffering from Parkinson’s. Three staff members at the practice recently became certified as Parkinson’s therapy specialists. “We are always trying to fill the niche of the greatest need,” Patterson said.

But Mike realizes his practice wouldn’t be what it is without the help of his dedicated staff members, whom he considers overqualified for their jobs. Karen Wiley, an office staff member, is a certified physician’s assistant. Another staff member, Doris Hoelscher, is a certified physical therapist in Germany whose credentials have not transferred to the U.S. She received her certification as a personal trainer at the American College of Sports Medicine and serves as an exercise specialist at Patterson Physical Therapy.

Patterson Physical Therapy often sponsors local runs and recently participated in the arthritis walk at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. Mike also serves as an adjunct faculty for physical therapy at Anne Arundel Community College.

“I think everybody here genuinely loves to work here,” Mike said. “We would like to think that all our patients love coming here. There is no greater compliment than when a patient’s mother comes in to be a patient or a patient’s daughter comes in to be a patient. What that’s saying is they think they’ve found their family therapy office.”

As a physical therapist, Mike feels that he is able to play a role in directly helping members of the local community.

“I get to help everybody that I know that needs my kind of help,” Patterson said. “So I’m now able to walk into the grocery store and see four or five people that have been helped by our office. I feel like I’m very embedded within my neighborhood and that feels pretty good.”

To contact Patterson Physical Therapy, call 410-647-1961, email Mike at mike@pattersonpt.com or stop by the office located in Suite 103 at 650 Ritchie Highway.

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