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Feature Friday- Get to Know Steve Merema, PT, DPT, CKTP of Ogle County Physical Therapy

Steve Merema, PT, DPT, CKTP Clinic Director OCPTThis week we are happy to feature Steve Merema, PT, DPT, CKTP, clinic director and staff physical therapist of Ogle County Physical Therapy.  We sat down with Steve this week to learn a little more about him. 

Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from Rochelle, Illinois.  I currently reside in Cherry Valley, Illinois with my wife, Rachel and our new puppy Lennox.

On April 5th, I will be celebrating my one year anniversary with my wife.  We lived more than two hours apart for about four years before we were finally able to settle in the area and start our lives together. 

I am a graduate of Northern Illinois University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in 2008, a Master of Physical Therapy degree in 2010, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2012.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I enjoy what I do because not only do I get to meet new people, I get to be part of the process that improves the quality of their lives. Knowing what I do and how it can make a lasting impact on someone's life is a very rewarding feeling.

What do you like to do for fun?

Athletically I enjoy playing basketball, soccer and tennis.  My newest past time is training (and occasionally being trained by) my seven month old Bernese Mountain Dog Lennox.  He is 60 pounds of fur and energy.  My wife and I have really enjoyed watching him grow and develop his goofy personality (he must get that from his mother…). 

What is the best part of your job as a physical therapist?  What is the most difficult part?

I like being able to get to know the different people I work with.  Everyone has their own unique story and it is amazing what you can learn if you put yourself in the backseat for an hour and just listen to their stories. 

The most difficult part of the job is knowing that you cannot help everyone.  There are times when a patient says that they feel as if they are not improving and that can break your day.  As a therapist, it can really hurt when your best isn’t enough.    

What is something that people are surprised to learn about you?

I have a friend who lives in Switzerland that I was fortunate enough to go visit.  While my wife and I were visiting we got to tour a few castles, eat all the chocolate we wanted at the Nestle headquarters, and visit France and Italy. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

To this day my idol is Michael Jordan because of his pure refusal to lose.  I wanted to be the starting power forward for the Chicago Bulls.  I’d still take that job if they called. 

What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced?

Balancing a full time job, doctoral classes and a long distance relationship with my now wife.  I don’t miss those days at all.

If you could take two weeks off from all your responsibilities, where would you go and what would you do?

I would go back to St. Lucia with my wife.  I know as a health care provider I have a responsibility to promote health and wellness, but nothing beats sitting on a beach all day eating and drinking whatever you want.  Maybe I’d take a jog or two.

What is your motto in life?

A job half done is a job never finished.

For more information on Steve Merema, PT, DPT, CKTP or Ogle County Physical Therapy, you can learn more, here, on our website or call the clinic directly at 815-234-5561.