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  • Mark Austin

physiobox is (and Always Will Be) a Family-Based Practice.


A lot of my patients here in Calgary are often surprised when I tell them where I’m from. "Newfoundland? I hardly hear an accent!"

(That said, catch me in the right situation and your opinion on that might change.)

I grew up in Baie Verte, a very small rural community on the north coast of our country's easternmost island of Newfoundland. It was back in my small hometown where I first began working as a physiotherapist shortly after graduating university. There, my patients were my neighbours, my parents’ coworkers, former school teachers, and the now-grown kids who grew up down the street from me. If someone didn’t know me firsthand, they knew someone who did. In this small, closely-knit community, patients seemed to care about my well being just as much as I cared about theirs.

To say I felt like a fish out of water when I left the island puts it lightly. I found myself in big, busy clinics, where the world around me suddenly felt like a numbers game. Even though it was in private practice, it wasn’t what I expected at all for myself as I entered a career in healthcare. Suddenly I was expected to see upwards of twenty patients a day and was expected to hit targets that seemed to totally miss the point of what we were doing.

At one point, an employer insinuated that I was too friendly to my patients, as if I didn’t understand personal boundaries and professionalism. This just did not sit right with me-- it went against everything I knew and what I was all about. In all my previous experiences, employers had praised my ability to connect with others.

As I opened my practice in the middle of a global pandemic, I knew it was more important than ever to connect with my patients, and to make them feel well cared-for when they came to see me. I could have been a little bit more cold, and maybe quickly filled my schedule up with lowest-common-denominator marketing and sales tactics, but that would never have felt right to me. I opted for slower, but more worthwhile growth by marketing my practice as something I authentically believed in: a human-to-human experience based in evidence-informed, quality care. In taking this approach, I saw my own business, based in a small room inside an often-closed closed gym during a pandemic, grow. Today, I have a wonderful client-base of people from all walks of life who appreciate a more personal touch when it comes to their health and well-being. I feel like they support me just as much as I support them.


Having a sense of community matters. Human connection matters. Most of us realize that this is more important than ever. People from all walks of life and from every place on the political spectrum are collectively exhausted from feeling taken advantage of at every turn for the sake of someone else’s attempt to maximize profit.

My marketing may never draw in numbers comparable to the larger and more slick-looking physiotherapy operations, because I refuse to over-promise on too-good-to-be-true quick fixes or deliver treatments that at-best offer only temporary relief. I refuse to squeeze unnecessary visits out of my patients. I refuse to shut down inside when someone shows up in my space looking for guidance.

What I do offer is a pragmatic, evidence-informed approach that has developed out of over ten years of research and clinical experience—an approach that offers you your best shot at feeling better. It may be less flashy, and at first seem to require more effort on your part, but above all it puts you in the driver’s seat of your recovery and maximizes your chances of success, rather than taking advantage of your time and money. Let’s focus on making each visit as helpful as possible.


You and your well-being matter. We all deserve to be cared for as living, breathing, feeling individuals-- not as a number or metric used for the primary goal of turning a profit. Profit should be the secondary by-product of delivering genuine quality care. This is how honest, authentic, and truly successful businesses operate, and something I know we all wish we saw more of in the world-- we desperately need it. If you are dealing with a sports injury, ACL tear, MCL tear, rotator cuff tear, arthritis, concussion, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, or so on, we are here for you! Get in touch at mark@physiobox.ca or book in online.

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