Ravi Bates is a native New Orleanian and St. Augustine graduate. After earning his B.S. in exercise and sports medicine from Tulane University, he attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he earned a master’s degree in physical therapy.
After stints as a physical therapist at West Jefferson Medical Center and as the director of physical therapy at Deep South Orthopedic and at the Bone and Joint Clinic, Bates decided to start his own practice. As the co-owner of Star Physical Therapy, he enjoys getting to focus more on patients, he says.
Bates says the biggest difference between working for a large healthcare provider and operating his private practice has been the ability to focus more on his clients.
“I love New Orleans, its culture, the people and everything that makes it unique. After working in this industry, I noticed there were many areas in the city that needed quality, professional care and I knew I could deliver. I did work in many hospitals, and I am thankful for everything I learned. However, the biggest difference from what I do now compared to hospital work is the ability to make decisions without all the corporate scrutiny. This allows me to focus on what really matters—the patient.”
Bates’ interest in physical therapy was piqued when he injured his own shoulder playing high-school football.
“It ended any dreams of playing in college,” says Bates. “My initial rehab was unconventional and time-consuming while trying to balance my studies as a freshman in college. I found myself doing a lot on my own in between classes to recover. When I finally found time to work with a therapist my recovery was amazing. I knew this was something I had to pursue and I decided to take the necessary coursework to become a physical therapist.”
Bates says he sees patients in need of physical therapy for a number of reasons.
“I see a lot of orthopedic cases involving muscles, joints and bones,” he says, “But most people don’t know we have a lot of training in neurological problems. A typical day for me could start with an 18-year-old recovering from an ACL surgery and end with an 89-year-old trying to learn how to walk again without falling.”
In addition to his degrees, Bates has earned a numerous professional development training certifications to stay current on latest practices in the PT field.
“My field is constantly evolving with different professional standards and insurance mandates,” he says. “It’s important for us to show validity in what we do to meet the needs of patients and insurance agencies. It’s also important we make sure all our therapists are trained in the latest techniques to keep our competitive edge.