By Kate Hunger
Associate Professor Bradley Tragord, PT, DPT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT, was five years into his military career when he decided to become a physical therapist.
“I had more of an inclination to interact with patients, and when I learned I could still stay in the Army and do that, it was a slam dunk,” said Dr. Tragord, who recently joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy after retiring from the Army with more than 22 years of active-duty service.
He joined the Army as a commissioned officer after graduating from Missouri State University, where he majored in chemistry and biology, played Division I tennis and participated in Army ROTC. From 2002–2004, while working as the budget officer for a health clinic at the Pentagon, Dr. Tragord volunteered with wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to gain the clinical practice observation hours he needed to apply to PT school.
Dr. Tragord specializes in outpatient orthopaedics and most recently served as an associate professor on faculty with the Army-Baylor Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. He is excited to be part of the UT Health San Antonio community and is looking forward to sharing his own experiences as course director and primary instructor for the Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction course he is teaching this year.
“That is my No.1 priority — to deliver as cleanly as possible the material the students need and to share some experiences I’ve gone through,” he said.
Dr. Tragord’s experience is an asset not only to students, but also to the department, school and institution, said Department Chair and Associate Professor Greg Ernst, PhD, ECS.
“His extensive experience and fellowship training in the management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders will greatly benefit our students,” Dr. Ernst said. “His leadership experience as a U.S. Army officer will enable him to have a great impact in the department, school and university, as well as providing meaningful mentorship to our students.”
With interests in clinical education, direct-care orthopaedic physical therapy, bone stress injury management and manual therapy mechanisms, Dr. Tragord is particularly interested in understanding the optimal dosage of hands-on movement for improved patient outcomes.
“We need to be really good at dosing both manual therapy and exercise therapy,” he said.