On the job with Brad Corr

by Nicole Lindquist, UNMC public relations | November 22, 2011

One recent afternoon in the Motion Analysis Lab at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, Brad Corr and 13-year-old Guin played catch with a basketball and chatted about American Idol, a Chicago trip and puppets.

An appointment with Corr is more like an hour-long conversation with a friend than physical therapy. He doesn't talk down to his pediatric patients or ignore them in favor of their parents. His easy-going demeanor helps people open up to him.

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Brad Corr's easy demeanor helps him quickly connect with patients on a meaningful level.
The appointment with Guin, who has cerebral palsy, started with a fist pound. She confessed she sat out of a recent kickball game at school. Corr encouraged her to go for it next time.

"You can kick the ball hard," he said. "You should definitely try it."

"I will try it next time," she told him, and meant it.

Pushing the right button

"Working with kids is a unique challenge as it's tricky to determine what motivates them," Corr said. "Most adults I work with had something, and then lost it, so they already have a goal in mind whereas children with disabilities don't. It's my job to spark a drive in them."

Corr's interest in physical therapy stems from a high school experience of his own. He was diagnosed with spondylothesis -- a defect in the lower back -- as a freshman in high school. He spent a considerable amount of time in a body cast and even more re-strengthening his back. His PTs left strong impressions.

A change of focus

After he graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Corr earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at UNMC's School of Allied Health Professions. His clinical experience in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program at MMI changed his interest from sports medicine to children with disabilities and their families.

"Working with families opened my eyes to their ability to persevere through difficulty," he said.

Tailored therapy

Corr learned quickly not to set the bar for his patients. He constantly reassesses their goals and how he can help reach them, while incorporating real-life challenges like grabbing a sock off the floor.

One of Guin's goals is to walk faster. When she's distracted, she tends to walk slower, so Corr constantly engages her in conversation while he pushes her to push herself.

Her next goal: to become a famous singer/song writer. Wonder how Corr will help her with that?

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Greg Karst
November 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Brad is a great example of one of our UNMC graduates doing excellent work in multiple areas. While not mentioned in this article, in addition to his clinical work Brad is involved in clincal research and recently took on some teaching responsibilities in the UNMC DPT program. We look forward to seeing Brad's continued contributions on many fronts here at UNMC.