PT Spotlight — Getting to know Brian Weiderman

Physical therapist Brian Weiderman at Meridian Physical Therapy

Therapeutic Associates

For Brian Weiderman, providing physical therapy services in the Treasure Valley area since Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Meridian opened its doors in 2013, has consistently validated his career choice. Having always been drawn to adventure and outdoor recreation — from the mountains to the sea and everywhere in between — Brian appreciates that his role as a PT means he gets to help other people get out and enjoy some of the same activities he loves. And, as he’s watched the community around the Meridian PT clinic grow and evolve from farm fields to neighborhoods bustling with people, he’s found great satisfaction in being able to partner with patients of all ages and abilities as they pursue their health & wellness and movement goals.

Outside of his time working with patients in the clinic, Brian continues to pursue his personal passions, most often sharing his love of the outdoors with his wife and their two kids

Q&A with Brian Weiderman

Q:What hobbies are you passionate about outside of work?

Outside of work, I’m often doing something outside. I do a lot of mountain biking and skiing and back country skiing and snowboarding. I like to rock climb — when my kids were born, I took some years off from climbing just because that’s a busy time and we were running a clinic, but now they’re old enough to go rock climbing with us and so it’s been really fun to see them get into that.

And so, we spend a lot of time camping and rock climbing and getting them out onto rocks. It’s fun for me because quite often before kids I would go and do something really scary. 

And now when we go rock climbing, you’re planning a lot easier events. And so, it’s neat to see these climbing areas that I’ve been to before in a whole new light. Like where can I go that my kids are going to enjoy, not just something that’s going to really challenge me.

My kids are 8 and 11 and it’s a unique thing — they go home and tell their friends about it.

a family harnesses up for a rock climbing adventure in Idaho
a young climber on the rocks in Idaho
physical therapist Brian Weiderman and his kids take a selfie during a rock climbing exursion

Locally there’s something called the Black Cliffs, which is some basalt cliffs that are on a highway heading out of town. And then probably the best local area is a place called City of Rocks. It’s gorgeous — there are these granite domes of rock that you can climb, and it’s really just gorgeous country. It’s a little bit higher elevation and so there’s some Aspen and other trees so in fall it’s just gorgeous. It’s fun camping, and there’s a lot of low angle or shorter rocks that the kids just love climbing on their own and without any harness.

I mean, my hope is these kids grow up and they can then lead all the climbs that I never got to do. And I’ll just follow them up.

Q: Beyond seeing your kids grow up to be rock climbing leaders, what else is on your bucket list?

I’ve been to a lot of places in North America, but I’ve never been to Europe. So, I would really like to go to Europe. And honestly, I’m not even sure where to start.

Q: During all your travels and adventures, have there been any experiences you have had that you would NEVER want to do again?

An experience I’ve had that I never want to do again happened in Alaska glacier mountaineering in the Chugach Mountains. And when you’re doing that, you’re on a rope team. And the idea behind a rope team is that if one person of the rope team falls into a crevasse, then the other people in that team are able to stop your fall and ideally haul you out of the crevasse.

And so, I was leading and going over a snow bridge when the snow bridge collapsed, and I took probably a 60-foot fall. It took multiple hours to coordinate rescuing me and getting me out of there. It was pretty awful. And I never want that experience again.

Mountaineering in Alaska

Q: What’s something you would like to experience if you were able to time travel?

If I could time travel, my first thought was to travel to the 1920s in New York City, because I think it would just be a really happening place.

When I was in undergrad, I got a music degree and I really, really like the music of Gershwin and Copeland and Scott Joplin and Stravinsky … and all these people were just walking around New York City and they were putting on brand new performances of things like Rhapsody in Blue, and I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be there and see that firsthand.

Q: You had a music degree as an undergrad, but here you are as a successful physical therapist — what inspired you to pursue this career?

When I was in undergraduate school, I was really interested in pursuing a medical degree, and so I did. I took the MCAT, and I applied to schools, and I ended up getting in and then decided at the last moment that it wasn’t for me.

And so instead, I started doing outdoor education and worked all over North America — sea kayaking and mountaineering and rock climbing and canyoneering and things like that for people. And it was awesome.

Brian Weiderman enjoys sea kayaking near a glacier in Alaska
physical therapist Brian Weiderman on a rock climbing adventure

In the midst of all that, I tore an ACL in my knee on a remote island in the Sea of Cortez and eventually wound up getting knee surgery and reconstruction for the ACL. I had physical therapy at that point to recover from the surgery. And as we were working together, I thought, you know, as disillusioned as I was with medicine when I decided not to go to medical school, physical therapy seemed like the ideal position for me.

I really like the one-on-one care and the chance that this person had to educate me about what was going on. And so, at one point I asked, ‘Can we talk more about physical therapy?’

So, I was about to start a masters in teaching, and then instead came home and it was like …’Hey, Kate (my wife), I think I want to go to PT school.’ And she said, ‘You better figure that out.’ And so, I did and ended up applying and getting into PT school. And I’m so glad I did. I really think that it’s been a great profession for me and a great match for my skills and my desire to work more or less one-on-one with patients.

Q: How has working for Therapeutic Associates helped you in your career?

One of the reasons why I’ve loved working for Therapeutic Associates is that it’s offered a lot of opportunities for learning. I love that the company has such a focus on education. I think it’s awesome that we have mentors whose dedicated role within the company is to travel and provide one-on-one mentorship. I know personally I’ve benefited from that.

I went through the residency program and found it immensely useful for my personal growth then. But now, running a clinic and working with staff PTs, I’ve seen how much it’s benefited them as well. It’s really awesome to have these experts come into the clinic and work one-on-one directly with real live patients and get great advice about what to do. It’s a little bit harrowing in the beginning — you worry about it — and then by the time you’re used to it, you stack your schedule with all the difficult cases the day you know they’re coming.

From a leadership perspective, Therapeutic Associates has offered a lot for me. I came from a background of outdoor leadership and so I kind of thought I knew what I was doing. And business leadership is very, very different. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a lot of different leadership classes to help me become a better leader within the company.

There’s really a lot of opportunity here, more than just being a staff PT. If you don’t want to become a clinic director, then maybe you’re interested in becoming a mentor for fellow physical therapists or in other roles that might not look like traditional leadership that you could work your way into within the company. The other cool thing is that if you just want to be a staff PT your whole life, that’s great too and there’s support for that.

You know, I know there are other companies that are going to encourage ownership or other things, and Therapeutic Associates does allow for the broad spectrum of PT experience.

physical therapist Brian Weiderman enjoys a family adventure

Find your adventure!

As clinic director at Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy in Meridian, Brian Weiderman understands the value of pain-free movement and strives to ensure every patient gets back to doing what they love. Get started with PT today!

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