Physician’s Corner: Dr. Earl W. Brien

Meet Dr. Brien, who is co-director of orthopedic oncology in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai, in Los Angeles
By Lily Beltran
Physician’s Corner: Dr. Earl W. Brien

Dr. Brien is a member of our Advisory Council, a partnership between Luna and leading physicians dedicated to improving the overall patient experience—including greater satisfaction and better clinical outcomes.


When you hear about Luna, what resonates with you?

Luna does one thing—physical therapy—and they do it well. Home health, on the other hand, must do everything from wound care to medication management in a small window of time. These caregivers are unable to give patients proper PT treatment. Luna’s on-demand service fills the gap by delivering focused, one-on-one physical therapy that patients need to heal.

What do you value the most from an outpatient physical therapy delivery service?

For me, the greatest value is helping patients get better. Patient satisfaction tells the tale—they need to feel as though they’re receiving more than just treatment. As physicians, we need that validation, especially in terms of patient satisfaction and healing. If I see a patient who is unable to walk well, for example, I’ll tell them they need physical therapy, and I know they’ll listen. That’s important.

Patient satisfaction is essential! So, what are your concerns about outpatient physical therapy?

Some patients think that outpatient physical therapy won’t work for them, that they need to use machines or be at a clinic to receive excellent treatment. I tell them that outpatient PT works well, particularly during the preoperative period. After eight weeks of at-home treatment, the PT may perform an assessment and say it’s time to move on to the clinic. Patients need to know that they can do a lot at home, such as doing wall slides, strengthening the core, working the upper body, and using small weights or TheraBands.

Once you’ve referred a patient to Luna, which types of information would you like to hear from the PT?

It depends on how long the physical therapist is seeing the patient. If it’s for six weeks’ worth of treatment, then two updates about the patient’s progress would be ideal. Of course, I want to hear immediately if there’s a problem. And once the course of PT care has been completed, I would like to know how far the patient has advanced toward healing. I would also like to see how their progress is benchmarked against the standard.

How would you describe Luna to your peers?

Luna is a company dedicated to providing physical therapy in an outpatient setting. Their physical therapists are highly accessible and are skilled in helping patients return to health. They spend time really working with patients—they’re not just punching the time clock.

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