Accredited Education

Physical Therapist Profile – Daniel Brauning, PT, MPT, MTC, ATC

Bachelor’s in business management, minor in athletic training from the College of Mount St. Joseph, 1994

Master’s in physical therapy from Andrews University, 1998

Manual Therapy Certification from the University of St. Augustine


Daniel Brauning knew he wanted to run a physical therapy clinic. So when he went to school, he got a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in physical therapy. Both experiences have led him to Ideal Physical Therapy, which has multiple locations in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz. As vice president of clinical operations, he has the best of both worlds ? helping run a business and treating patients.

Question: What drew you to physical therapy and how did you enter the field?

Brauning: “I was always very active in sports growing up, all the way through high school and college. I [did] athletic training in undergrad and started working in a PT clinic right after graduating. I loved doing sports coverage and working in the clinic but I liked the PT/rehab aspect of things a lot better so I decided that I needed to go to PT school to further may career and make me a more complete clinician.”

Question: What is it about your job that keeps you at it day in and day out?

Brauning: “I have the best of both worlds. I love treating patients and I equally love running the business side of things. My goal is for us to have the absolute best most ethical company in town. I love that we create great careers for a lot of people in Phoenix and Tucson. But basically at the core I am a physical therapist and I really enjoy helping people get better.”

Question: How do you stay up-to-date in the field and maintain professionalism?

Brauning: “At Ideal Physical Therapy we have the best professional development program. Each year we bring in three to four high-quality continuing education seminars. These allow all of our clinicians to work together and stay current on the latest physical therapy techniques. We also provide a generous amount of ‘external’ professional development money so everyone can take additional classes that they are interested in. We also have an in-house management development program to groom out people who want to move up the ranks and eventually run their own clinic.”

Question: What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had, either as a student or in your professional career?

Brauning: “When I decided to move here from Cincinnati where I was partnered in a very successful physical therapy company and start over all on my own. The day that the Mesa Riverview clinic (Soma) opened was one of the most exciting and scary moments of my life. Everything turned out to be the best professional decision of my life.”

Question: What advice do you have for people just starting their education or their professional career?

Brauning: “Work hard and stay focused. Physical therapy school is very difficult and a little long.├┐But physical therapy is a fantastic profession and I am thankful every day that I am in it.”