Get to Know Your PT: Tony D’Ovidio, Therapydia Portland Physical Therapist
Therapydia Portland Physical Therapist Tony D’Ovidio takes some time to talk about intermittent fasting, the importance of empathy, and how an interest in sports and fitness led to a career in PT.
“We have to be realistic with where we are fitness-wise, find our limiters, and keep working them to reach our goals.”
When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
After undergrad, I hated my job as a research assistant and my Dad was in a pretty severe motorcycle accident. I moved back home to help him and started taking him to physical therapy which seemed like much more fun than what I was doing. I had always been into sports and fitness so it was a pretty natural move.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?
Turning it off when the day is done. Especially being in fellowship and just being interested in strength training, it’s hard to step out of that world and stop thinking about it sometimes. Having other interests that are equally as strong help.
How do you like to stay active?
It changes every few months since I like to experiment. Currently it’s basic barbell strength, cycling, and some flexibility training to prepare for higher level body weight training.
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
“Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?
How much variety and variability there can be. I love my setting working with people with orthopedic injuries, but PTs can work in tons of different settings and with tons of different patients that I didn’t know about until getting involved in the profession.
Are you currently pursuing any further education or certifications?
Too many. I’m currently in a fellowship program in manual therapy and I have my orthopedic clinical specialist exam coming up soon, too. I’m also just naturally curious, so I end up reading a ton about exercise, nutrition, and a billion other topics.
What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?
How much knowledge and training we have. I think there’s still a perception among some out there that we apply modalities and massage people all day. At our best, I see us as consultants for musculoskeletal health who can guide patients through life, training, or whatever else to reach their goals. Our brains are more important than our hands.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Black coffee. I practice intermittent fasting so the only breakfast I have is an occasional meal on the weekends.
What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?
Empathy. It’s a challenge to connect with everyone you meet, but stepping into their shoes and seeing what’s important to them, and trying to think like they think and feel like they feel is what allows us to connect and provide the best possible care.
What do you do to de-stress/unwind?
Cooking/baking or getting out into nature. I also meditate regularly.
Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…
Sipping coffee and reading comic books.
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
“You’ve got to start where you are.” – Dan Jon
We all want to be superstars, but most of us aren’t. We have to be realistic with where we are fitness-wise, find our limiters, and keep working them to reach our goals.
Click here to learn more about Tony and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Portland.