Professional Member Spotlights - Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association -
Professional Member Spotlights

Zach Koepke, PT, DPT - Northeast District


-What inspired you to go into the Physical Therapy profession?
When I was home over the summer after my first year of college my sister tore up her knee at softball. She ended up with ACL, MCL, and PCL tears with some nerve damage resulting in drop foot. I was able to attend some of her PT sessions and watch her progress at home. During the summer, I watched her go from non weight bearing and being on the couch all day, to being able to walk again. After watching that transformation, I knew I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people get back to their regular lives and activities. 

-Please share a synopsis of your PT career, including your formal education.
 I have been a PT since 2013 and earned my DPT from UW-La Crosse. Since graduation, I have worked for ThedaCare in Waupaca and now in Appleton in an outpatient setting. I've also worked some home health and SNF as a PRN physical therapist. When I graduated I knew I wanted to be in orthopedics, but that is a very large area. I went through the WPTA NED Manual professional development course and that helped me refine my manual skills, but it also challenged some of my thoughts about patient care and management which helped me advance my clinical decision making. 
-Do you have a favorite book?  What types of books do you prefer?
My favorite book is How to Brew by John Palmer. It gives a solid overview of the home brewing hobby. I like to home brew because of the technical aspect with sanitation and temperature control, but also mixed with the art of deciding what grains/ hops/ yeast to use for the desired result. This is somewhat similar to physical therapy in that there is evidence for many conditions or groups of symptoms, but the PT still needs critical thinking and problem solving to determine if the individual patient fits into the criteria and would benefit from the chosen treatment.

-What's one of your favorite movies?
I think Tommy Boy is one of my all time favorite movies. Chris Farley was hilarious in that movie.

-If you could learn to do one thing, what would it be?
I would like to learn about cars and engines in general. I know nothing about them other than I put in gas and run the motor, and to go to a mechanic and have my oil changed and tires rotated.

-If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
I once visited Rome and I would have liked to see what it was like when the Roman Empire was at its peak. The ruins are massive and the architecture is amazing for the time period. I wonder what the daily life of someone who lived there would be like.  

-If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I would love to be able to travel super fast. There are many places I would like to visit including the Grand Canyon, New Zealand, China, Tokyo, Hawaii and some others. Traveling super fast would make that a lot easier.

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