Lake Burien PT - October 2019


October 2019


Keeping you current on all things LBPT


I t’s kind of amazing that it’s been 10 years since we opened our doors. When I opened Lake Burien PT in October 2009, I just wanted to practice physical therapy the way I thought it should be practiced; that is to say, I wanted to see patients one-on-one for a full hour. As I was getting ready to open, I had no firm plans, no referrals, nothing. I was opening my doors because I thought there was a need for high-quality therapy care in our community. I had an “if you build it, they will come” mentality. I had no idea if it was going to work, but I had a certain amount of confidence. I knew what I wanted to do, and I didn’t see failure as an option. To add to my stress, I had decided to rent a 2,000-square-foot space. It was a scary thing to lease such a large space when I had no idea how I was going to pay for it or how the business would turn out. I jumped headfirst into the deep end. I had heard about clinicians who rented tiny spaces then eventually moved into larger spaces as they grew, but I wanted to skip that step. I just wanted to be in a space I could grow into. So, on that first day, it was just me and a person manning the front desk — and my first patient! Only one person made an appointment for our first day of operation. Of course, that meant they had all of my attention! Thankfully, grow we did! Within six months, we had our second (part-time) clinician! I did work pretty long hours that first year and a half before we had a second full-time therapist on stage. But that’s expected when you’re first starting out and working to grow your business. But once we did really start growing and bring on new physical therapists, we started practically tripping over one another in the 2000-square-foot space. So, what do we do? We took over the area right next door! We knocked down the wall, remodeled, and before

we knew it, we were working out of a 4,000-square-foot space!

Today, we’re up to 4 1/2 clinicians. It’s been wonderful getting to this point! I look back and think about all the people in my field who thought I was crazy. “You can’t make money if you only see one patient an hour!” they said. Well, I proved them wrong. You can dedicate time to patients and have a successful business at the same time!

I was a firm believer that this was the right way to run a clinic in 2009, and I’m still a firm believer in 2019. We wouldn’t be here if it didn’t work. It’s impossible to treat people who suffer from persistent pain if you don’t spend time with them. I couldn’t have gotten here without my amazing staff. They put in so much work to make Lake Burien PT an amazing part of the community. I’m also thankful to my wonderful husband, as well as my son, who have both stuck by me as we’ve navigated this wild ride. I’m looking forward to the years ahead. I have a lot of ideas I’m excited to turn into reality. For example, I’m excited to see our newest programs grow and flourish, like our aquatic therapy program. I’m also ready to learn even more about treating pain. The next year, and the next several years, will be amazing — and I can’t wait to share them with you!

–Dr. Orit Hickman • 1

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