Drew Contreras is a retired Lieutenant colonel US Army physical therapist, former White House PT to the 44th POTUS, and VP of the Federal Section of the APTA.

Drews tells his story on deciding physical therapy as a career and becoming a federal/Army PT. He served for 21 years in the US Army as a physical therapist.

He gives the comparison of his experience as a US Army PT compared to civilian PTs. He refers to himself as a “physician extender” with increased autonomy in the Army.

During the Obama presidency, increased physical therapy services were needed. With Drew’s experience in the Army and conveniently located working in the Pentagon, he was called to perform for the White House. Drew was the in-house PT for the Obama administration for 7 years.

Drew dives into federal physical therapy and how PTs can make a difference on the federal level. If interested in federal physical therapy, check out the Federal Section of the ATPA here: https://federalpt.org/

Drew discusses the increased need for physical therapy in the military and he sees the future of PTs traveling with their assigned units.


“I always try to treat all my military patients the same regardless of rank.” – DREW

“Nothing is a problem until it is a problem.” – DREW

“To have them (the government) say we want a physical therapist with every functional unit. That is pretty validating for our profession.” – JIMMY

“People expect a certain level of performance out of you or a certain level of capability. You should be able to deliver that.” – DREW


“You can do whatever you want on your last day.” – DREW