Dr. Zachary Cohen graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University in 2011 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He also became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). While at Northeastern, he worked as a Physical Therapy Graduate Assistant for the New England Patriots and served as a strength and conditioning coach for Northeastern University athletics. Prior to moving to Maryland, Zac was a Performance Physical Therapist with EXOS (formerly known as Athletes’ Performance) in Dallas, TX, where he treated and trained the world’s most gifted athletes from throughout the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, and various Olympic teams.
1. Career Influences
I began my career working in professional sports when I noticed a large discrepancy between the quality of care that elite athletes received compared to the normal active public. This inspired me to create Cohen Health and Performance, a place that treats everyone as if they are a professional athlete!
I suffered a back and neck injury in college that ended my college football career. After that I continued to struggle with back pain. I saw doctors, physical therapists, and was even told that I would need surgery. It wasn’t until I saw an amazing physical therapist who truly understood my struggles and my goals that I got better. Soon I was lifting weights and enjoying the active life I was used to. That experience made a huge impact on me and I hope to do the same for others.
2. Biggest Career Success
Building Cohen Health and Performance into a place that has helped so many athletic people wishing to return to their active lifestyles is my biggest career success. More specifically, building the company from a place that depended on me to work with every patient into a place with other amazing physical therapists that make an incredible impact in our community.
3. Recent Lessons Learned
I have learned that my time is my most valuable commodity and the best investment that I can make is buying more of it. This time allows me to be more present, to better lead my team, and to better evaluate potential opportunities. Getting my own time back is only possible by surrounding myself with amazing people and trusting them to do their job. I’ve recently had to teach myself to provide my team with clearer expectations and then allow them the freedom to reach them.
4. What inspires and motivates you?
The opportunity to change the physical therapy profession for the better. The standard PT clinic treats 2-3 patients an hour, while health insurance dictates the treatment they are allowed and not allowed to provide. Ultimately, the patients suffer. At CHP we refuse to be this run of the mill PT clinic. We want to prove that it is possible to build a successful physical therapy while working for patients, not insurance companies.
5. Share a leadership story.
I recently promoted one of our physical therapists to our clinic director. His job is to direct all daily operations of our clinic, while also serving his role as a physical therapist. Initially I struggled to let go of the management duties, which limited his ability to take ownership of our performance. Finally, I allowed myself to be uncomfortable and set clear expectations for our entire team that he is the manager of our clinic (not me). Since then, I have focused on mentoring him to be the best leader possible, providing him with clear processes/systems in addition to clear expectations. As such, all our productivity metrics have significantly increased and the growth that I have seen in our clinic director’s competency and confidence has been incredible.
6. Your Top Two
Be obsessed with getting incredible results for every person that you work with and provide a great patient experience. If everything you do is in your patient’s best interests, the business takes care of itself.
“Undervalue and overdeliver.”
7. Contact Dr. Zachary Cohen PT, DPT, CSCS
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