Faculty Spotlight

Valerie Moody

Sue Ostertag, PT, DPT, NCS

Dr. Sue Ostertag, faculty member in the UM Physical Therapy Department, was recently was awarded the Excellence in Neurologic Education Award from the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association. Each year the Academy picks one of their members to acknowledge and honor who is a gifted and creative clinician. The awardee must spend a majority of their time in an academic setting, but continues to treat patients and develop strategies for intervention that directly affect patient care. 

Learn more about Dr. Ostertag!

What do you like most about the field of physical therapy? 

I think that one of the greatest things about this health care field is that it provides many options for a career -- be it working with a particular age group, certain medical conditions, various types of facilities and venues as well -- all providing options for the therapist to pursue their own passion and interests as well as to make a change if they wish to.

What have been some highlights of your career thus far?

There are so many!  I think that if I had to whittle it down to a few....first I have to say that there are so many moments that stand out with patients which happen most every day in some way in clinical settings that are truly the highlights of being a PT. The other moment that truly stands out is when I came to UM and was immersed in student instruction-- both clinically and in the classroom-- combining patient care and teaching was a dream come true for me. Other than patient care and student instruction, receiving a national award this year from the American Physical Therapy Association for Excellence in Neurological Education was definitely a highlight. Being recognized by my peers and my national association for something that I enjoy so much was truly an honor and surprise. 

Is there any advice you would give students interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy? 

I would strongly recommend they begin observing early and in a variety of settings, not only with PT but also with other health care disciplines. There are many options for careers, and they will want to be sure PT is for them. And don't forget to study and keep your grades up!

What do you like most about living in Missoula and working at the University of Montana? 

I absolutely love that the University is such a diverse and active community in and of itself with a strong influence on Missoula, be it through things like the arts, music, student activities or athletics for instance. Taking advantage of all that campus and the Missoula area has to offer makes living and working here a pleasure!