Who is Dr. Adam?
First, I would like to thank you so much for choosing Access Physical Therapy & Wellness for your physical therapy needs. Your trust in our excellent care has allowed us to thrive for over 5 years in Pomona. Now on to business: who is this “Dr. Adam”? Allow me to introduce myself:
My name is Adam Barga (pronounced “bar-jee” rather than ”bar-guh”), and I have taken the reins as director of Access Physical Therapy & Wellness in Pomona as of January 2020.
I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and post-concussion specialist, and I have been with our wonderful company for over 2 years. Prior to my position in Pomona, I was a staff Physical Therapist in our New City office, where I gained incredible experience under the mentorship of Dr. Tracy Urvater and Dr. Amanda Staffiero. And prior to my time with Access, I started my career as a contract physical therapist at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where I worked rehabilitating the Army cadets of the Academy and learned from the same brilliant minds who teach Baylor University’s Sports Medicine PT fellowship.
But enough about my career path, who am I, really?
Well, I was born and raised outside of Union City, Indiana, a rural community of about 3,000 people in eastern Indiana. I grew up an only child in a farmhouse that exudes “rural,” although many of my patients describe it as “gorgeous.” It seems that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! I value my upbringing in that it taught me not to take anything for granted and to appreciate the things that matter most.
But my upbringing also cultivated an ambition to achieve so much more than my town could offer. So, I went to college and PT school at the University of Evansville, in Evansville, Indiana, where I was fortunate enough to be able to travel for some incredible clinical rotations. One was in an ICU at a Level 1 Trauma Center in Salt Lake City, and another was in a neuro hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Both experiences took me decidedly out of my comfort zone, but in the best way. I learned that I can travel across the country, or the world, and make a difference in people’s lives and thrive while doing so.
Having these experiences in the Midwest and in Taiwan, how did I end up in New York?
Following my graduation from PT school and while studying for my board exam, I was contacted by a recruiter regarding a contract position at West Point, with the cadets at the US Military Academy. At the time, I had fully intended on moving to Nashville and had been intensely job and apartment hunting all summer. They gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and just like that, I had 3 weeks to plan my move to New York!
My first stop was in New Windsor, where I lived during the first part of my West Point position. During that time, I quickly decided that I loved it in New York and wanted to stay beyond the end of my contract at West Point. And here is where we come full circle, because at this point is when I was offered a position at Access Physical Therapy & Wellness in New City. I was thrilled by the opportunity, and specifically by the culture of the company, so I jumped on board right away.
Finally, I would like to finish up with some FAQs about me and about my home state of Indiana, as asked by my current and previous patients:
Q: How is the weather in Indiana? How is it different from New York?
A: Indiana weather is similar to that of New York, with snowy winters and hot, humid summers. The main differences are bigger extremes of temperature, particularly with cold weather, and much more severe weather, like thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding.
Q: What, tornadoes?! Have you ever seen a tornado?
A: I’ve seen three tornadoes in my life! Two in Indiana, and one while traveling in South Dakota.
Q: What is the cost of living like in Indiana?
A: It’s definitely lower than in New York, especially in the rural areas such as where I grew up. But, in my opinion, the quality of life is also not as good, so I feel that the higher cost of living in New York is somewhat offset by the better quality of life. In many ways, I feel like we get what we pay for. I do realize that this can be a subject of debate, though.
Q: Did you know anyone in New York before you moved here?
A: Nope, it was a total shot in the dark! I didn’t have any family, friends, long lost cousins, or even sworn enemies here before I came. And prior to moving here, I had never even been to New York. New York, and particularly NYC, felt like one of those magical places that you would see portrayed in movies but that is not a place you could actually go to and see.
Q: Do you miss home?
A: It’s a little complicated. I definitely miss my family and friends back home, but they are very proud of me for making the move, so I feel comfortable being away from them in that regard. And I do get to travel home a few times per year to visit. But beyond my family, there isn’t much else that I miss because the available opportunities are few for a physical therapist, at least in the area where I grew up.
Q: So, you’re a Midwesterner. What makes you different from a New Yorker?
A: Well, apart from the usual things (like my accent when I say words like “coffee” instead of “cawfee”), Ranch dressing is kind of a staple in the Midwestern diet. So, I’ve been known to put Ranch on many of my foods (like pizza, which I’ve since learned is scandalous here. Live and learn!). Beyond Ranch dressing, I was once called out for ordering chicken and waffles during an Access staff outing when everyone else was ordering salads or sharing a charcuterie board. In conclusion, my diet is weird by New York standards. (Edit: I’ve fallen in love with New York bagels, and particularly a good bacon-egg-and-cheese with salt, pepper, and ketchup. Bagels in Indiana are garbage.)
Thank you for reading and learning about me, and I am excited to be able to take the reins and lead our office to make sure that we can provide you, our patient, with excellent care and an awesome culture of warmth and healing. As a member of our Access family, you will be guaranteed a wonderfully pleasant environment among therapists you can trust and other people who will share your goal of healing. So, as important as the destination of feeling back to normal is, my promise is that you will enjoy the journey toward healing as much as reaching your destination (okay, almost as much).
Adam Barga, PT, DPT, AIB-CON