The path to Pursuit Physical Therapy started more than thirty-three years ago in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Growing up my mother and father were very athletic and emphasized the importance of my brother, sister, and I playing sports and staying physically active as much as possible. Through the years growing up, my favorite sports included: baseball, football, and basketball, as well as tennis—my mother was an avid, skilled tennis player and almost went onto the professional level. At a young age, I knew to always aspire towards working hard for everything I obtained, and to not take the easy path but to face challenges head-on. For instance, I remember being eager to learn the working aspect of my grandfather’s land as well as working as a newspaper delivery-boy to save money and learn the real-world and it’s responsibilities. Looking back, I know that maturing younger than most certainly instilled a work hard ethic and attitude that has carried me through much of my life and into the present day.
Education And Moving Down South…
Despite the long standing tradition throughout my mother’s family of attending Pennsylvania State University, I decided to carve my own path and attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for my undergraduate studies. It was at IUP that I met some of the most influential people and closest friends—to whom I am still grateful to share a friendship with. While attending IUP I was hit with a sudden reality, one which has affected many Americans, my father lost his job, and with it the financial security for both my family, as well as the future of my academic career. Throughout high school and into my first year at college, I had always been perfectly content performing as a straight ‘B’ student, although, once the finality of my father’s job loss became evidentially clear, a flame was lit underneath me and guided me to strive and achieve straight A’s while paying for school myself. It was during my undergraduate that I became conscious of my calling towards medicine; I was completely fascinated with the mechanisms of the human body, and knew I wanted to help care for others. I absolutely enjoyed and valued my time at IUP and in Pennsylvania, however I had a passion and longing for warmer climates, and after graduating, I immediately sought after graduate schools for continued education down South.
By that time, I knew I wanted to study physical therapy and applied to as many schools as possible in an attempt to get into a Physical Therapy program—from the University of Miami to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill—all in the pursuit to follow my dream. Though I worked as hard as I could, I was not accepted into the majority of the programs in which I had applied—I was even given a reply by one university that I did not have what it took to make it in this profession—which added more drive, more inspiration, and more fuel to the fire—thankfully, I was given a chance by the University of South Carolina, whom read my recommendations and accepted me into their physical therapy program. There are a multitude of reasons why I am still so grateful towards USC as well as the state of South Carolina in general—I met amazing people, had wonderful experiences, was able to see beautiful, historic cities like Charleston, but most importantly to me, I found myself and I became a Christian for the first time.
After attending the University of South Carolina, a colleague of mine and I decided to venture out and move to Savannah, Georgia; where we obtained our first jobs at an outpatient practice focusing on orthopedic physical therapy. I learned and experienced a lot during my first year practicing, yet I kept yearning to increase my skill set and my knowledge of physical rehabilitation with the goal of being able to help patients heal and recover with the least amount of delays, setbacks, or lack of expertise—I wanted to give my patients the optimal approaches and greatest techniques available. I sought to not only strive to increase my understanding and knowledge of physical therapy and its abilities to guide the body back to recovery, but also always keeping the patients recovery first and foremost.
Florida (Finally!), Residency, and Match.com
Around this time, a colleague of mine was already practicing in Florida and reached out to me with an inquiry as to whether or not I would be interested in completing a residency in physical therapy in Orlando, Florida. Without hesitation, and only the thought and aspiration of increasing my skills, I moved to Orlando to further my training and abilities and joined an orthopedic physical therapy residency at Florida Hospital. After the completion of my residency, for the first time, I had the confidence and knowledge to undoubtedly characterize and designate myself as an expert in my field, which is supported board specialty certification, with two publications, residency-certification, and accomplishing a respectable as well as reputable—and hard earned—10,000 hours of clinical practice. One thing I was not expecting, but was blessed with and I believe, heaven-sent, was meeting the love of my life—Haley. For the first time in my life, I felt fulfilled—not because I achieved my educational goals, though I was exceptionally proud that I had—I had finally experienced what true love is. Haley and I married two years after our first date, and our love continues to grow and push me to strive and always do my best, regardless of any hardship.
Standard Healthcare…(what is this?)
During this same time, I continued to strive for the best patient experience, and gained additional knowledge and aptitudes while utilizing my profession by working in an outpatient orthopedic setting. Even though I was happy and successfully treating patients, I began to sense a substantial defect throughout the health care system, including patient’s insurances and how they dictated and defined the treatment plan for a patient, despite not knowing anything about the individual patient at all. I noticed my patients not returning at times they should either due to too high of a copayment, or the patients’ insurance stated they ran out of sessions. As a whole, I began to realize that I was unable to treat my patients with the optimal care, not for lack of trying, but due to large, corporate entities’ protocols and insurance hurdles. I was getting double and sometimes triple booked with my patients and often times found myself saying to them, “I wish I had more time with you”. As a result of these protocols and practices, I saw my ability to give the patients my all diminish; the patient outcomes were not being based on their abilities and their tailored care, yet by large corporations and insurance companies. I knew that to challenge this normalcy of ‘routine physical therapy’ would be an exhaustive and at times extensive hurdle—but, I couldn’t continue to sit back and allow outside entities prescribe patient treatment plans—that was supposed to be my responsibility! I had to do what was best for my patients.
Pursuit Physical Therapy – A New Way…
I thought endlessly about how I can change my impact and the routine in which patients just assume they had to take. Suddenly, I realized—a private pay practice would give my patients the optimal care and individual assessed protocols that they need to get better in the least amount of time possible. With patients being more responsible for the out of pocket cost of healthcare with high deductibles now and the ‘middle-man’ out of the way: I am able to resume excellent, one-on-one patient care with positive, quicker outcomes and better results. The decision was made, and my dream of putting the patient first, always, turned into the reality and mission behind Pursuit Physical Therapy. At Pursuit Physical Therapy, it is my goal and my purpose to continue to expand and provide optimal results in the least amount of time. As Pursuit Physical Therapy continues to grow through the community, it is my underlying objective, responsibility, and driven pursuit towards providing patients with a new gold standard of patient care and health. Pursuit Physical Therapy stands by the fact that patients deserve a completely hassle-free and up-front approach, one-on-one individualized care, faster outcomes and better results!
Being Thankful For The Blessings!
I am truly grateful for everyone that has influenced my life, my family, and those who have helped guide me along the way. I look forward to expanding on this story, as I continue to follow God’s path, keeping my priorities God, Family, and then work, to be great husband and father, continuing to work hard to do what is best for the people of Orlando, and strive for a higher standard in healthcare. I am excited for what the future holds for Pursuit Physical Therapy, to help more people in Central Florida with high quality healthcare, to do what is best for the patient at all costs, and get them back to an pain free active lifestyle.
Dr. Ron Miller, DPT, OCS
Owner of Pursuit Physical Therapy