Chris Wilson, PT, DPT


Chris Wilson, PT, DPT, is owner of thinkPT in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He can be reached at

Practice, location: thinkPT, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Years in practice: 4

Most influential book: The Like Switch by Jack Schafer

Favorite movie: Gladiator (1992, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.)

Favorite vacation spot: Cinque Terra, Italy

How do you like to spend your free time? Winning (hopefully) at Fantasy Football and engaging in challenging discussions regarding the state of health care when the opportunity presents itself.

What do you like most about your job? The evaluation, education, and exercise components of physical therapy.

What do you like least about your job? The documentation, specifically the EMR’s inability to be a force multiplier.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned? It’s about personality, not skill.

Describe your essential business philosophy: Forging a therapeutic alliance will forever keep the patient at the forefront of health care.

Describe your management style: To consistently challenge the employee but provide enough freedom for trial and error.

Best way you keep a competitive edge: Private Practice Section (PPS) membership and staying involved in the profession beyond the clinic (conferences, open discussions, social media, etc.).

How do you measure your success? Intrinsically based on how I perceive I can shape population health issues.

Goal yet to be achieved: Appropriately leveraging technology (and telemedicine) to open my practice, improve access to care, and demonstrate a different value proposition to influence sustainability.

Best decision: Applying for the Student Business Concept Contest, which I now help to promote and improve upon within the PPS!

Worst decision: Taking a home health position while looking to open an outpatient practice.

Toughest decision: Deciding to move from Ohio, where I was most comfortable, to South Carolina where I’ve been for the last several years.

How do you motivate your employees? Through song and dance (works for patients, too!)

If you could start over, what would you do differently? As I’ve already tried and unsuccessfully maintained a practice . . . The next time I open I won’t do it as a part-time business on the side of a full-time business. It’s got to be all or nothing.

Describe your competitive advantage: It’s definitely hard to get this one across over a piece of paper, but my passion and insight on innovation coupled with leadership skills and a diverse background probably set me apart from other colleagues. Email me or give me a call anytime if you want the full experience!

Describe your marketing strategy and highlight your most successful action: Direct Access with a focus on active engagement via social media and other web-based platforms.

What unique programs do you offer that set you apart from the competition? I’m working on a membership idea that is inspired by insurance but reimagined to include everybody.

What are the benefits of PPS membership to your practice? Networking with other practitioners is absolutely key. I am interested in our Peer2Peer program when I do eventually open. I look forward to attending future Graham Sessions as the laid-back format discussions can really promote promising discussions, but I also think some of our publications are fantastic (in addition to Impact of course). Annual Conference and the Student Contest are near and dear to my heart and have helped shape me and my business mind into continuing to pursue my future practice.

What worries you about the future of private practice? ACOs [Accountable Care Organizations], acquisition and mergers, reimbursements, and the focus is shifting so heavily to proprietary interventions and manual therapy as a primary means that I wonder if we are actually evolving into that which we fight—a “chiropractic model” that requires a hands-on approach or a “you must see me to get better” attitude.

What are you optimistic about? The ability of technology to improve access and hopefully put us top of mind in the eyes of the consumer. I look forward to being on the forefront of telemedicine and what role physical therapists can play within “telerehabilitation.”

What are your goals for the next year? To open my revamped practice. This time, I’ll be all in!

Where do you see the best opportunities for your practice in the future? I have recently learned of a number of private practices thriving in small towns—some less than 2,000 people—and this has led me to a new interest area, especially within population health.

What do private practitioners need to do to thrive in today’s health care environment? Be adaptable and be able to shift and pivot in ways that the big health organizations can’t. Continue to embrace innovation, exploration, and advocacy. I can’t overstate advocacy enough.

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