As a member driven organization we are proud to celebrate the many voices of WVPTA. This month we would like to highlight Scott Davis PT, MS, EdD. Scott is the current WVPTA president and the acting Chair of the Marshall School of Physical Therapy. Follow along below to gain an inside perspective on Scott’s PT journey.
What piqued your interest in Physical Therapy?
Like many young, aspiring physical therapists, I became interested in PT because of a personal injury as a High School sophomore. At the ripe age of 15, I became singularly focused on a career in physical therapy. It has been a remarkable 32-year ride so far.
Where did you earn your degree, and what occupational backgrounds do you have?
I earned a BS in Physical Therapy from WVU in 1988. I practiced full-time for ten years at WVU Hospitals before transitioning to academia. My clinical practice included one year of full-time acute care practice, followed by nine years of practice in the outpatient orthopedic/sports setting. I have moonlighted in skilled nursing and home health. I have done a considerable amount of consultative work as a legal expert witness. I am excited to get back into some clinical practice in the Marshall University Volunteers in Therapy (MUVIT) pro bono clinic.
What leadership positions do you currently hold?
My current leadership positions include Chairperson/Program Director of the Marshall University School of Physical Therapy. I serve as the Vice-Chair of the Marshall University Graduate Council. I am a Director on the board of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), and I am the President of the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association.
What interested you in participating in the WVPTA?
As a physical therapy student, I was selected and financially supported by the WVPTA to attend the National Student Conclave (1987). This experience was a sentinel moment in my professional development. I knew at that moment that I wanted to go beyond merely being a member of the association. That experience showed me the importance of becoming actively engaged in the APTA. It is a bit cliché, but John F. Kennedy’s words apply as much to association membership as it does to being a US citizen. Ask not what the APTA can do for you; ask what you can do for the association. I often talk with therapists who see the APTA as a building in Alexandria, Virginia, or a Board of Directors that meets a few times per year. We are APTA, and the APTA is only as strong as our engagement. As I get older, I think more and more about the importance of the next generation. We need to foster and encourage students and young professionals to get involved.
What type of leadership do you lead with?
This question is probably best answered by those that I serve. Having said that, I strive to follow and model servant-leadership. I have always aspired to emulate the standard set by John Wooden (legendary UCLA basketball coach). In leadership circles, John Wooden is known for his leadership pyramid. The pyramid has five (5) foundational stones (industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and enthusiasm). The cornerstones of Wooden’s model are industriousness and enthusiasm. As such, I try to make sure that I lead by example. I try to work hard and be the biggest cheerleader for the organization. The top of Wooden’s pyramid sits “competitive greatness.” Like Wooden, I am competitive, and I want to always strive for competitive greatness. Some may see West Virginia as a small chapter that only follows the larger components. I see the WVPTA as a leader and hope that other chapters will look to West Virginia for innovative and creative ideas.
What are some of your personal hobbies and interests?
To be perfectly honest, I am a workaholic and a PT nerd. I spend a lot of time working or thinking about work. In reality, I have never worked a day in my life. I have to laugh when I hear people talk about work-life balance. My life includes work, and my work includes life. They are so intertwined that I do not see them as distinct. As Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I do have a hard time sitting still. Whether it is mentally or physically, I like to be on the move. I enjoy a variety of active hobbies, including walking, running, hiking, biking, and yard work, that help to balance out the time that I sit at my desk or in a meeting. I also love spending time with my family (wife, children, and Golden Retrievers).