Alex Ray_resizedAlex Ray ‘07 and his wife Nicole, own North Area Physical Therapy in Carmichael, California. I recently visited Alex where I toured the clinic and asked a few questions:


Susan: You take Pacific Physical Therapy students as a Clinical Instructor (CI). What is that like?

Alex: I have been pleased with the students from Pacific that I have worked with. Pacific students seem to have a broad range of what they have been exposed to and bring some new ideas and current physical therapy education to our more experienced staff.

What advice would you give a new grad as they enter the profession?
I would advise students to think of the first year of school as another step in their education and to absorb as much as possible, by year three out of school I think you tend to feel much more comfortable with whatever rolls through the door no matter what area of expertise you have begun to develop.

You and your wife Nicole purchased North Area Physical Therapy in 2012. Do you have advice for PT grads or students who would like to own a private practice?
For students thinking about owning private practice, I would advise taking a basic business management class, possibly interning with an owner as your CI. Getting exposure to as much of the billing and insurance authorization seems tedious but it is part of making PT a viable resource for patients to have access to.

NAPT has a great therapy pool! How does aquatic therapy benefit your patients?
Aquatic therapy has been an invaluable tool to utilize in the clinic. Most of the people we see have multiple co-morbidities or injury history other than what they are being referred for, the pool often gives people a chance who do not know how to get started on an exercise program.

Tell us about your family.
I married my wife Nicole during PT school and we have a three and a half year old son named Carson and a three month old daughter named Evelyne. I play some softball and am set to go to SF Giants baseball fantasy camp in January for the second time with my Dad and younger brother. I can’t wait to coach Little League.

Your clinic specializes in PT and sports medicine. Can you explain the difference? What type of athletes do you treat in your clinic?
Our clinic specializes in sports injuries which are usually the weekend warrior type or the high school soccer player. I love training an athlete with a specific goal to return to and really apply these concepts to our patients whether they are eight or eighty-eight years old.

What was your favorite class during PT school?
I really liked Neuro and Ortho labs and our Neuro professor Peggy Roller and Orthopedic professor Tamara Little (Phelan). Christy Wilson was my advisor when I first walked onto campus and she made me feel comfortable with my choice to attend grad school and deal with the outside stress of life.

Any words of wisdom for our current Physical Therapy Students?
I miss school and urge my students to enjoy that time in their career that they can never really replicate. You will always band together as a group to complain about tests, schedules, and presentations, but in the end you will really appreciate the experience at Pacific.



By Susan Webster
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