Hi! I’m Dr. Albert Pannone. I have been been a physical therapist since 2014 graduating with a Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University. I also am a Certified Athletic Trainer graduating from Frostburg State University in 2012. I completed a residency in Functional Manual Therapy through the Institute of Physical Art in 2019 and passed my Certified Functional Manual Therapist certification with distinction in 2020.
You might sometimes see my name written as Albert Pannone PT, DPT, CFMT, ATC (I joke with my wife that I’m always on a quest for more letters behind my name) here’s the breakdown of what those mean: PT stands for Physical Therapist, that’s my license. DPT stands for Doctor of Physical Therapy, which is my degree. CFMT stands for Certified Functional Manual Therapist, which is a certification I hold. ATC stands for Certified Athletic Trainer, which is my Athletic Training license.
In addition to treating patients, I am also active in the educational community. Currently, I am the mentor for 10 physical therapists and the residency mentor for one more. I am teaching faculty in an American Physical Therapy Association approved Orthopedic Physical Therapy residency. I’m a passionate learner and a voracious reader of research & theory of physical therapy. Teaching is one of my passions and I really enjoy teaching in an academic setting as well as teaching my patients more about how their bodies work.
I originally became interested in therapy after seeing my mom go through it growing up. She had a foot fracture from falling down stairs that was misdiagnosed. After undergoing multiple surgeries she was on crutches for a long time and used a boot for years. I felt that at the time what I saw helping her the most was going to Physical Therapy (PT). The surgeons were great, they reconstructed her foot and kept it from getting worse. The PT was the one that got her walking and able to function again. To me this was the most meaningful part of her recovery.
Once it got time to go to college I was originally enrolled in a Computer Science program. This is when I wanted to become a game designer and thought my passion was behind a computer. I then tore the cartilage in my knee doing martial arts and had to undergo a cartilage reconstruction. My knee was in a brace that kept it straight for almost two months. I remember when I first went into my own Physical Therapy I remember looking at how small my leg was. The therapists weren’t worried. They knew exactly what to do to help me to get back to normal again. I thought they had the coolest job in the world! They took people who couldn’t do things and made it possible again.
It’s been a long time since then and I have learned many things. The biggest lesson that I learned was that people like my mom need my help. When I was a patient any PT could have got me better. Post operative rehabilitation is usually pretty straight forward. My mom needed more specialized care. She needed someone who was a problem solver. Now that I see patients and help them, the ones that really struggle are those with problems that are too complex for most people to solve. They need someone who is able to figure out the multiple steps to recovery. They can peel back the layers of problems that are holding them back from function.
I have worked hard to find ways to help patients with complex problems. They are the patients who stand to lose the most. I have tailored my study and continued training to understand the body from every possible angle. I want to use any and every possible method to help patients that haven’t found relief elsewhere.
I am also passionate about my field and I love to see my field grow and develop. Physical therapists are gaining autonomy and becoming independent practitioners. We are the movement experts, but I don’t think we are living up to our fullest potential as a profession. I want people to talk about their physical therapists for movement the way they talk about their primary care doctors for their medical health. I want PTs to be the trusted experts for any kind of movement dysfunction.
When I am not a physical therapist my next biggest passion is spending time with my family. It’s actually what drove me to start my own business, to have more time with them. There isn’t much in life that is more important to me than spending regular and quality time with my wife, my daughter, and our dog.
I love exercise (I mean come on I am a PT after all). I particularly enjoy weight training and gymnastics style body weight exercises.
In what spare time I have left I enjoy reading fantasy novels and playing video games. My current favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, and Brandon Sanderson. I also quite like to read anything by Malcolm Gladwell. I have played almost every game in the Final Fantasy series, I’m a big fan of old school CRPG games, and I still regularly play Halo with my best friend from high school.
Hopefully this puts some humanity behind me and all that I’m working toward with Synaptic. I think it’s important to know and trust your therapist. If you have any questions I’m always happy to answer them!