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Dean Hazama


Co-Founder & Physical Therapist - IPA Manhattan

Co-Founder & Physical Therapist - IPA Manhattan

What inspired you to get into PT to begin with?
Actually I fell into it. One day on Bruin Walk on the campus of UCLA, I ran into a friend who was headed to volunteer at the VA Hospital PT Department, and asked if I wanted to go along. Right away I knew that this was something I could see myself doing. I enjoy working with people and have always had a passion for helping others. Just so happens that on that day, the director of the PT Department asked if any of the volunteers were interested in a PT Aide job at a private practice. Without any other thought I raised my hand and that set me on the path on my journey to becoming a PT.

Where you were born? what has been your "living" story?
I was born in Los Angeles, California. The City of Angels. Grew up in and around Venice Beach, California and spent most of my life in SoCal. I grew up playing a lot of basketball and competing in judo, and received my black belt in judo when I was sixteen. I attended undergraduate college at UCLA, where I received my BS in psychobiology the same year that UCLA won their 11th National Championship in Men’s Basketball. From there I went to Azusa Pacific University where I received my Masters in Physical Therapy. It was during my time at APU where I was first exposed to the FMT (functional manual therapy) approach. It was during one of my clinical affiliations that I started to see which direction my career path would take after graduation. I was fortunate that my first job was in a clinic utilizing the FMT approach, and it was then that my colleagues encouraged me to sit for the CFMT certification. I sat for and received CFMT certification with distinction in 2003, and was asked by my mentor, Gregg Johnson to start my fellowship training in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 2004. Once completing the fellowship, I was asked to stay on and run the fellowship program and train the new fellows alongside Gregg Johnson. I had the fortune to spend seven years in Colorado, and along with developing my career, I found a couple other passions like, riding in the Champagne powder and flyfishing the Elk river. I have had the opportunity to work with and train some of the most talented therapists in the country. Fast forward to today, I am now part of this amazing physical therapy practice in Manhattan. I continue to serve as a mentor to our staff and enjoy working with the people of New York. I have adjusted well to life in Park Slope and love all that Brooklyn and Manhattan have to offer. Life doesn’t get better than this!

What is your favorite thing about practicing physical therapy?
As cliché as it sounds, I like helping people and getting to know them on a personal level. Getting an entire hour with a person really gives me the opportunity to interact with and get to know the person on a level that I think is rare in heath care today. It allows me to really understand and help people get back to the things that really matter to them. I enjoy the challenge of problem solving and helping people get to the root of their problems.

If you had to give me 1 line of your favorite hobbies or your family, what you think brings your 'life to the fullest' (that's a big part of what we're inspiring :-).
Riding the Champagne powder in the trees of Steamboat, flyfishing the Green River in Utah and playing ball in Brooklyn.


Clinical Director and Instructor of Functional Manual Therapy Fellowship

Program with the I.P.A. and AAOMPT

Completed CFMT certification with distinction and first in his class

Graduated Azusa Pacific University with a Masters in Physical Therapy

Received his Shodan (black belt) in Judo

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