When clinician leads to business ownership, it often means there’s been a road of the right yes’s and no’s along the way. 

After completing nine years of schooling, Anthony Yong (BScPT, FCAMPT, BPE), Director of Innovation Physical Therapy in Sherwood Park and Edmonton, realized that working one-on-one with patients was the priority for him. But it only took a few years into that before he decided to open his first office, in 2004. 

Would he recommend progressing into business ownership that quickly? Not necessarily. He suggests slowing down the business start-up process to better assess opportunities. 

If there’s one thing I could do differently, it would be to not expand as quickly as we did,” shares Anthony. “Of the six clinics we have now, there’s been over 30 opportunities that have come across my desk. Start-ups or acquisitions, it was all about timing. Recently, within 1.5 years we had three new facilities under our name. That was quick! If you want the opportunity to succeed, it has to be given the right time and attention. The appropriate ground work needs to be considered and set in place to nurture the success of opportunities you take on.” 

Now with six clinics in Sherwood Park and Edmonton to direct, 35 clinicians and a combined team of over 65 to lead, Anthony and his team are committed to the patients’ recovery from start to finish. 

Running this many clinics in such a short period of time meant learning to manage stress as well. Anthony starts his day in the gym at 5:30am while holding his three children as the motivation of his heart. 

“I haven’t always gotten my priorities right, but because of them I strive to be a better person, a better father and professional. What they see in me, my character, habits and work ethic will be shaped in them. So, when I look at them, I see a reflection of me.”

While the medical field was always a draw for Anthony, it was the relationship he got with the client – seeing them reach their goals and complete a course of treatment – that drew him to physiotherapy. And though he isn’t working one-on-one with clients anymore, he’s still measuring goals and metrics of the clinics, ensuring they provide the appropriate service delivery and represent the PT industry well. Collaborating with his team as a mentor and colleague is his greatest daily fulfillment. 

The success of business ownership, balanced with a successful life outside of the business, depends largely on time, shares Anthony. Trying to keep work in the 9-5 time-frame can be hard with clinic ownership, but something he strives for. 

“Something that I have strived to commit to is only allowing Innovation Physical Therapy to be as successful as my working 9-5 will allow it to be. I am very fortunate to have an exceptional A-Team to work with and contribute when I am not present.” 

Enjoying good food and friendship allows Anthony to not let it consume him. 

Make sure that the fit is right, and don’t take an opportunity just because it’s presented. One piece of advice I received, that resonates very strongly with me, is that in my career, there will be a number of excellent opportunities that land on my desk, but I don’t have to take them all. The most important decisions you make are the ones you say no to!

With a vision to have all PT clinics relax the competition, facilitate collaboration, and recognize that there’s enough for everyone, Anthony would love to see a networking opportunity at the business level for the PT industry.

"If we had different organizations who could meet, network, share info, and openly discuss any issues or wins in the industry then, ultimately the entire industry wins. We don’t have to be bothered time wise and effort wise with the concept of competition.”

In the meantime, as he manages clinicians and grows as a leader and father, you’ll find Anthony finding his best yes and best no, both in the clinic, and at home.