We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrian Cantu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adrian, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Throughout my education and preparation to become a physical therapist, I always had the thought in mind of opening my own practice. While I was in Physical Therapy school, direct access to physical therapy services was a big item being pushed in the legislature. I even went to some meetings to meet with state representatives in hopes of gaining their support. On September 1st, 2019, Texas physical therapists finally gained a form of direct access.
Now that physical therapists had direct access, the ability for anybody looking for our services became a little easier. No longer did we require a physician referral to see a patient initially. This helps save patients time and money in the long run. Granted our ability to see patients under direct access is still limited, we are at least moving in the right direction towards a more autonomous profession.
I filed for my PLLC shortly after Texas physical therapists gained direct access and on September 13th, 2019 ACE Physio & Performance, PLLC was formed. ACE Physio & Performance, PLLC is a 100% out-of-network physical therapy clinic specializing in returning everyday athletes to their active lives without pain medication, injections, or surgery. Being an out-of-network provider allows me to work for my patients, NOT insurance companies.
My passion to serve my patients over an insurance company and the newly gained direct access is what led me to create ACE Physio & Performance, PLLC.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I always knew I wanted to help people, so being in healthcare was always something I had considered.
Shortly after high school, my uncle Dr. Fred Perez Jr., allowed me to shadow him in the operating room. This is where I quickly realized I did not want to be a physician. The thought of having a person’s life in my hands was too much for me.
While working on my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, I had the opportunity to work at Shea Physical Therapy in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dan Shea, the owner of Shea Physical Therapy, was a huge influence in my career. His mentorship in business and personal life helped guide me in the creation of ACE Physio & Performance, PLLC.
When I was not working at Shea Physical Therapy, I was a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, cross country coach, and track coach. I always wanted to be in an active form of healthcare. One of my professors, Dr. Brenda Boucher would say, “Motion is lotion”. I certainly agree with her and am thankful for her role in my Doctorate studies.
After finishing my Doctorate, I decided to go straight into Fellowship training through the Institute for Athlete Regeneration. This education helped me fine-tune the knowledge I gained in PT school and expand upon it. My Fellowship training is one of the things I am most proud of as not all PTs further their knowledge base after graduating. Yes, we are required to do continuing education, but going beyond that is not too common.
All in all 4 years of undergraduate studies, 2 years of graduate school, 3 years of PT school, and 2 years of Fellowship training brought me to where I am today. It was certainly not easy, but I am thankful for all of the knowledge and experience I have gained.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is there will always be moments where we fail at something. Turning these moments into learning lessons is more beneficial than beating oneself down for that failure. Keep pushing towards your goals and as a mentor once told me, “lean into fear”.
I’m on a mission to prevent 100,000 people from having unnecessary medical procedures.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The benefit of the DFW metroplex is you can do almost anything here. It just all depends on what a person enjoys doing really.
Some of my favorite spots are going to Bass Performance Hall, the Fort Worth Stockyards, Rangers games, and Six Flags Over Texas.
Food-wise: Piranha Killer Sushi is one of my wife’s and my favorite places for sushi and martinis. If looking for a great steak The Capital Grille is hard to beat.
Drinks: Grand Cru Wine Bar if you are looking to explore some wine. Thompson’s Bookstore is one of my favorite places for a great Old Fashioned.
Shopping: The Shops at Clearfork are a fun area to explore with family and friends
If you have never been to a rodeo or seen a cattle drive, then the Fort Worth Stockyards is a fun place to explore.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have had a huge impact on my life.
I have to thank first and foremost my wife, Dr. Elise Cantu, for her support and love. I could not have taken the leap of faith of starting ACE Physio & Performance, PLLC without her support.
I would also like to thank my family, especially my parents for their endless support. I would not be where I am today if it were not for them constantly pushing me.
Photographs by Matthew Redden at Vitae Photography