Instructor Spotlight: Susan Falsone

Instructor Spotlight: Susan Falsone

Susan Falsone is currently the owner of Dr. Ma’s Systemic Dry Needling and S&F: Structure and Function. Sue worked as the Head of Athletic Training and Sport Performance with US Men’s National Soccer Team. Sue worked at Athletes’ Performance for 13 years, last serving as the Vice President of Performance Physical Therapy and Team Sport. She worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 years, holding the distinction of being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA).

She’s a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS), a certified athletic trainer (ATC), certified orthopedic manual therapist for the spine (COMT), a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a registered yoga teacher (RYT) through the Yoga Alliance.

What inspired you to become an instructor?

I did a teaching practicum in grad school and just loved it. Learning about teaching seemed like such an oxymoron, but it is an art for sure! I loved connecting with a teacher, professor, or mentor via their passion for whatever we were discussing. Their passion fueled my interest, and I wanted to pass along that same passion for what I did to others.

The best part about teaching is how much you learn. To teach a subject, you have to really know the subject, which forces you to learn more. It is a never-ending cycle that I truly enjoy. The other great thing about teaching is it continues to fuel your own curiosity. When you look at a subject a certain way for so long and then a student’s question makes you think about it differently, you have to rethink your answer. You have to look at it from a different perspective. Teaching requires constant “shoshin” – the Japanese concept of a beginner’s mind.

Tell us about a memorable moment in your career

One of the most memorable moments was walking into Athletes’ Performance for the first time in 2001. Seeing the amazing facility, meeting Mark Verstegen, Brandon Marcello, Darryl Eto, and Luke Richesson for the first time, watching them all work together, and thinking, “I want to be a part of this. This is special.” This experience set the tone for my career in professional sport. I will always be grateful for that time.

What is the most rewarding part of being a physical therapist and athletic trainer?

For me, being a physical therapist, athletic trainer, and strength coach go hand in hand. I am all three, all the time. The best part about that is getting guys back out onto the field. After someone was injured, you go through such a long rehab process together. You spend a lot of time looking at movement, studying what they need to get back, looking at things from every possible angle to make sure they return to sport as efficiently and safely as possible. You work with other disciplines, learning about the injury from their perspective. It is a collective effort of time, energy, brain power, heart, soul, and emotion that culminates into the athlete getting back out onto the field. And when they do, it is the best part about our job!

What excites you the most about working with MedBridge?

I am new to MedBridge and am so excited to be a part of it – what an amazing system to deliver high-quality education worldwide! The quality of their system, their educators, and their topics is impossible to beat. I was drawn to what they bring to the table: their organizational system and learning format. I am excited to start this relationship and grow it over the years.

What is the best advice you have for physical therapists and athletic trainers?

My best advice is to always maintain “shoshin,” a beginner’s mind. Even if you think you know a topic inside and out, there is always something to learn. If you approach things with a beginner’s mind, you will always elevate yourself and those around you.