Leigh Langerwerf graduated with his DPT from USC in 2004. In 2007, he opened Butte Premier Physical Therapy in Chico, CA. He began his Fellowship training in 2011, passed his OCS exam in 2012 and completed fellowship training in 2014. In 2015, Butte Premier Physical Therapy expanded from a 1800 square foot clinic to a 3800 square foot clinic employing 6 physical therapists (3 of which are certified as Orthopedic Specialists). The focus of the clinic is on manual therapy, quality exercise (including aquatics) and sound clinical reasoning. The clinic will be expanding to a second location in 2017. In Leigh’s spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife (Cassi) and four children (Mel, Dan, Lexi and Cora), as well as watching baseball and other sports.
What made you decide to pursue fellowship training?
I had started my own practice and wanted to get my OCS. So, I didn’t pass the first time and called John Childs and asked him about what I could do to pass this exam and if it was worth pursuing it, since I’m not a great test taker. He told me that the EIM Fellowship program could help prepare for the exam. Little did I realize that it was a test prep on steroids. To this day, I am so thankful for the fellowship training because after opening my own clinic, I didn’t know what differentiated me from other clinics. Since completing the fellowship, I now know what I bring to the table and that this training is definitely a differentiator for the care that I provide compared to the care that I used to provide.
What fellowship program did you attend and why?
I completed the Evidence In Motion Manual Therapy program because it didn’t require relocation, while receiving the training. As a practice owner, husband and father, it was essential to provide quality care for my family, friends and geographic area without having to move away and then come back later. The caliber of the faculty also played into that decision.
What did your fellowship program entail (as far as specific training, etc…)?
The fellowship program had so many different aspects. It had a strong focus on research and patient management, as well as pain sciences and clinical reasoning. These were the three areas that I felt were the primary components of the program.
Are you trained in any specific areas of manual therapy (i.e. Maitland, McKenzie, etc…), if so, why did you choose that area?
The fellowship program had a Maitland focus. I had a little bit of experience with Maitland in PT school but didn’t realize the depth that it would add to my ability to manage patients and improve the quality of care that I can provide for my patients.
What advice would you give to new grads aspiring to pursue residency/fellowship training?
I would tell anyone considering this option that they need to be prepared to work very hard and have their boundaries tested as far as their knowledge and abilities. Sometimes the feedback is difficult to take, but all of your instructors want you to succeed. At the same time, it is important to maintain the standards of the Academy, so sacrificing the quality and values of the organization are not in the best interest of anyone.