Get to Know Our Therapists: Dr. Joshua Arellano, PT, DPT
Meet Joshua: an LA-based physical therapist providing rehabilitation for both patients and their pets
By Lily Beltran
How did you get into the physical therapy field?
My background is in exercise science and kinesiology. At first, I thought I wanted to become an athletic trainer and later, a chiropractor, but I opted for physical therapy instead. It felt like a better fit for me, so I went to school and graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2008.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
For me, it’s being able to educate and empower my patients to take charge of their own health. I don’t believe in “fixing” them. It’s more about getting them on the right path to wellness. I provide them with the proper direction, tips, and tools to get them back to good health but with the understanding that it's not just me. They have to make rehab a priority in their lives. When they do, it’s very rewarding to see the results of our combined efforts.
What are some of the most significant challenges in your profession?
This can vary a lot, but I would say that one of the biggest is effectively handling your work setting. For example, an outpatient clinical setting may have you seeing three patients an hour, or you may be double-booked, or you may not agree with management on certain things, and then there are the insurance barriers too. These are all things that aren’t in your control. I’ve learned to deal with the challenges as positively as I can. As boring as it sounds, I try to keep up with continuing education, especially on new insurance processes and better ways to bill and complete paperwork. I recommend always being on the lookout for work settings that provide a better fit for your profession and lifestyle.
...and has Luna helped you in that regard?
Yes, it’s been great. Being on the Luna team has made my work life so much easier. I know because I’ve done it all -- in-patient acute and transitional care, outpatient orthopedics, home health care, expert witness consulting, and medical equipment and services consulting, you name it. The headaches of insurance and paperwork with all of these are a big issue -- but not with Luna. It’s fantastic because you don’t have to deal with the insurance aspect and Luna’s Auto-Charting makes documentation a breeze. Also, being an independent contractor allows me the most free time to be with my kids. It’s nice not being stuck in a clinic. Not many other professions allow that level of flexibility.
It’s great to hear that Luna has helped make life easier for you. What’s your favorite part of the app?
Without a doubt, the concierge service -- the clinical support has been amazing. The team is very helpful and timely in responding to all of my requests for assistance. I simply text them, and within a short time, I have all the answers and information I need. I also like that the app automatically keeps my work life super-organized. Everything from appointment scheduling to patient documentation is seamless within the app. It’s almost impossible to be unorganized with Luna.
You mentioned your kids earlier. Tell us more about your life outside of work.
I have two girls, the oldest is nine, and the youngest is four. I very much enjoy spending time with my family, including my dog. I’m a big dog lover. I actually went to school at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and offer professional canine rehabilitation along with physical therapy for my clients. I have several appointments where I cater to both! But when I’m not working or spending quality time with family, you’ll find me on the mat. I’m a competitive martial artist and have a black belt in judo and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Having that particular hobby is kind of ironic considering I’m a physical therapist. My friends like to joke around, saying that I can “break” people just as well as “fix” them. I also enjoy sharing helpful tips and educational advice on my Instagram page, judophysio. I have a pretty good following there and love chatting with others who have an interest in physical therapy and how it relates to sports.
Besides following your informative Instagram page, do you have other helpful advice for PTs, especially for those who might be struggling in the field?
I think everyone struggles. It’s a part of life. But my best advice is to seek help whenever you feel the need. Look for a mentor, go to a therapist, or seek legal advice. Whatever area you need assistance with, there are experts available to help you. It’s just like we do for our own patients, so why not? People are eager to help you.
If you’re a PT, Luna is here to help you too. From mentorship to automatically organizing your work life, it’s worth a try.