“As a physical therapist, I view myself along the same lines as a teacher or coach.”
“My job is to educate, guide and encourage patients while they’re on the road to recovery,” Tom Merchant says. “Education is vital to the process so they understand their injury and how the body heals and recovers.”
Tom’s goal is to get his patients to become active participants in their recovery. “I help them take responsibility for getting better.” It’s a treatment philosophy that gains results. Being faithful to an exercise program is also a key to rehabilitation. “It improves a vast majority of the types of conditions we treat,” Tom explains.
Tom treats general orthopedic conditions including neck, shoulder and back pain and injuries and specializes in work-injury issues. He’s coordinator of the work-injury program for the department and has given on-site presentations on preventing jobsite injuries. Additionally, Tom provides functional capacity evaluations, pre-employment screening and ergonomic analysis of working environments.
Prior to joining the clinic in 1996, Tom worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee for 10 years. He and his wife of 25 years have three teenage sons who keep them busy with sporting events. He enjoys running, hiking, kayaking and spending time up north with his family.
Tom’s interest in science, the human body and exercise led him to a career in physical therapy. He earned a degree in physical therapy at UW-Madison.