PT Spotlight — Getting to know Kristen Dunlay

physical therapist Kristen Dunlay

Therapeutic Associates

Whether she is helping someone get back to biking after a hiatus due to injury or pain or guiding someone in learning how to move efficiently while gardening, Kristen Dunlay finds joy in being a resource for the Meridian community. As a physical therapist, Kristen strives to ensure every patient feels empowered and educated by the time they finish their PT journey, so they have a level of self-reliance and independence when it comes to their body.

While she is passionate about her ability to positively impact other people’s lives, she never loses sight of the things that she loves outside of the clinic, which happen to mostly be outside. For her, while her bucket list items may take her to faraway places, the Treasure Valley area provides endless opportunities for adventure on her days off.

Q&A with Kristen Dunlay

Q: What inspired you to be a physical therapist?

So, I decided to be a PT when I was in high school. I had a knee injury, went through PT, and I realize this is a pretty cool field. And that was more just coming from an athletic background, but it wasn’t until I started working in clinics and going to school that I realized it’s so much more than just an athletic atmosphere. It’s patient relationships. It’s education. It’s knowing the human body and the strategy and the mechanisms that go with it. I found all that really fascinating.

Q: What do you love about being a PT in Meridian?

So, it’s really fun working in Meridian where so many people are active. It’s nice being able to educate people about how they can be more functional so they can do all the things they like to do, whether it’s gardening, whether it’s hiking, whether it’s biking … being able to help people overcome an injury or pain and to give them the resources to be able to keep doing all of that. This community has been really receptive of what we have to offer as physical therapists in Meridian, so it is been really fun.

Q: What else do you love about Meridian — a favorite place?

I love going to Hyde Park. They have a lot of cute little coffee shops and breweries, some nice restaurants, and it’s just a very fun, friendly, family-friendly environment, which I really like. Especially in the fall — it’s really pretty in the fall.

Q: So, do you have a favorite restaurant?

My favorite restaurant in my community would be Wilder. I love their pizza. They also have really fun desserts too, which are really nice.

Q: Sounds like you’re a bit of a foodie! When you’re not out appreciating the local cuisine, what’s a favorite way to spend a day off?

I love going on really long hikes. I love backpacking, hiking, camping, running, paddle boarding, skiing … anything of the sort. I just really love being in the outdoors and it’s nice because Boise has so much of that.

physical therapist Kristen Dunlay enjoys hiking and backpacking
physical therapist Kristen Dunlay enjoys hiking
physical therapist Kristen Dunlay enjoys skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Area

Q: Is one of those activities a favorite stress buster?

My go-to stress buster is definitely either running or calling my mom just to talk it out with someone. Yeah, those are things that really help my stress. Any form of exercise. And then talking to my mom.

Q: You have a lot of adventure right here in Boise, but is there something on your bucket list that you can’t do here?

Something on my bucket list is I really want to hike Kilimanjaro in Africa. My sister and I have been talking about it, and we just need to go do it.

Q: That is adventurous! Sounds like you’d be a good contestant on Survivor! If you did get to go on that show, what luxury item would you opt to take with you?

Survivor is my favorite TV show! If I were to bring anything, it would definitely be a rain jacket because I get extremely cold and I don’t think if I’m wet and cold I’m going to be very good at my strategy. So, I think taking care of that would be really nice.

Q: A dedicated fan … what’s another favorite TV series you’ve ever binged?

Favorite TV series I’ve ever binged would probably be Breaking Bad.

PT Kristen Dunlay enjoys the outdoors, including long hikes

Get moving, with the help of a physical therapist!

Patient goals are what the experts at Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Meridian focus on during each patient’s PT journey — whether it’s strength, whether it’s range of motion, whether it’s a functional activity like going hiking on the weekends. Get back to what you love – schedule your appointment today!

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