Stephen Stockhausen PT, DPT, COO at Ergonautus


Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Briefly spent a few years as a high school teacher in Kentucky before attending and graduating from Physical Therapy School at the University of Kentucky. I graduated with my DPT in 2011 and began working in the outpatient ortho setting for a few years. Obtained my Board Certification in Orthopedics and immediately began travel physical therapy along with my wife (also a PT). Intending to travel for only 2 years, we ended up traveling for around 7 years, the last 3 with our daughter in tow. I am currently the sole Physical Therapist for a local indian tribe.

Q&A with Stephen Stockhausen

What made you decide to become a Rehab Professional in the first place?

I saw my parents getting injured all of the time as runners, and was fascinated that they would come home from PT sessions with exercises that could actually make them feel and move better.

What is your story behind the first sense of awareness that things weren’t quite right with your rehab career?

Like most PTs, mine would be that first day of your “real job” as a new grad. Making the realization that low wages are not the fault of greedy clinic ownership (at least not always) but of our own collective undervaluation of the services we provide.

What was the first sign(s) of traction (and the emotion behind it) with your new career? When did you know this could actually work?

I began as a subject area expert consultant for our ergonomics company. After making some suggestions in various meetings that were outside of the specific domain that I was brought on for our founder began to add small tasks bit by bit. Each time he was impressed and responsibility grew from there, as did the changes in title.

What are the practical, non-obvious skills that make you a great fit for this role as COO?

I think as a clinician, you’re already trained to see patterns and to see, how things connect. I’m not super smart, but I work harder than almost everybody else. I was a kid in PT school who made the study guide for everyone. And I didn’t make it for everyone I made it for myself. And then I just shared because I needed to put in the work right and I needed the attention to detail I think being able to see how those seemingly disparate things, can connect and, possibly bring about something positive.

So I would say that’d be the most non-obvious skill, but I had a background in marketing clinics, I worked with Luna early on and their physician liaison team. I think everyone should have some sales and marketing experience since most of us are gonna be working at private clinics and possibly managing. And that’s one of the areas where physical therapy school just is terror.

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