Jean Darling, PT, LAT

Jean Darling, PT, LAT, is co-owner and vice president of Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Wisconsin. She can be reached at

Practice specifics: Jean Darling, PT, LAT, has been in practice for 27 years in three different cities all located in Wisconsin. She resides in Shawano, Wisconsin, and practices regularly at a few of the locations, including Shawano, Ripon, and three different industry locations. The largest and main campus is in Appleton, Wisconsin. She is currently finishing her tDPT. The practice has 10 different clinical sites, along with prevention and treatment at six YMCAs, and direct access and injury prevention at several industrial sites.

Who is the most influential person in your career? Not directly discussing physical therapy, my mother influenced my decision to undergo a professional career with her endearing guidance and unending work ethic. She demonstrated the ability to singlehandedly run a household, hold down a professional career, and never skip a beat with the love and commitment she had for her children. She led by example and made me believe I could be whatever I wanted to be in life. She taught me to strive for my goals, work hard, appreciate those around me, have empathy for others’ needs, and to give back to the community. This foundation and these lessons have served me well in our physical therapy practice. In addition, my practice partner, Rob Worth, PT, not only persuaded me to enter into private practice but also has continually inspired me with his forward-thinking, caring attitude and business aptitude.


What have been the best decisions in your practice? I believe one of our best decisions was to begin and execute an exit strategy for ourselves. As Steven Covey stated in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we should “begin with the end in mind.” I read that book a very long time ago, but that statement has stuck with me. It was definitely my “take-home message.”

How do you motivate your employees? I believe there is no best way to motivate your employees. I think the answer is getting to know each employee and finding out what makes them tick. Very similar to coaching any sport, the success of the team as a whole may come from making sure each individual part is working well. Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” Through annual reviews, I attempt to comprehend if an individual feels rewarded by the ability for program development, increased time off, flexible scheduling, monetary bonus, and many other avenues. We have all of these available for our employees, and they are utilized at the appropriate time and venue.

What are the benefits of Private Practice Section (PPS) membership to your practice? PPS membership is the educational opportunity most of us do not receive in college: the business end of our practice, the idea sharing with other professionals, and the ability to bounce ideas off our peers. It also means innovation to me as many more ideas are brought forth from this group than I could ever think of on my own! It offers us a resource, a place for professional networking, and an avenue to assist with legislative education to change the way in which we practice.

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