Physical therapy (PT) is a healthcare specialty used to evaluate, diagnose, and treat physical problems or disorders of the human body. The goal of PT is for people to be able to go about their normal daily activities as they did before an injury or surgery. Therapists use exercise, manual skills, and functional training to help patients return to their prior level of activity.

PTs teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition or injury so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. When a patient begins PT, their physical therapy care team will develop a plan, using treatment techniques, to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and/or prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles. 

Patients are referred for PT when their provider thinks it will be beneficial. People of all ages can receive PT and it is useful in treating many different medical conditions including sport and orthopedic injuries, neurological and muscular illness, and cardiopulmonary diseases.

Caring for Patients

Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed healthcare professionals with a master’s or doctoral degree in physical therapy. They develop the physical therapy treatment plan, customizing it to each individual’s needs. PTs help patients reduce pain and improve or restore movement that may have been affected due to an injury or disease. Physical therapy (PT) can prevent the need for surgery and reduce the need for long-term use of prescription medications.

Patients may also receive care from a physical therapist assistant (PTA). PTAs are licensed healthcare professionals that deliver care by following the PT patient care plan. PTAs may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy provided.

Contact Us

732 Harrison Ave Boston, MA 02118
Preston Family Building
Monday-Thursday - 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Friday - 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Specialty Clinics

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Recovering from an injury or learning to live with a physical disability or limitation can be challenging. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) can help patients regain strength or mobility, relearn skills, or find new ways of performing everyday tasks.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients recover from injuries, trauma, and neurological or musculoskeletal disorders to regain the skills needed to resume the highest level of function for daily living and tasks. Occupational therapy helps people participate in the things they want and need to do every day, such as dressing, bathing, and getting around. At a first OT appointment, a therapist and the patient will set goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.

Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery

The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery is the first center in New England to provide such a comprehensive program and is a leader nationally in delivery of gender affirming care.

Medical Oncology

The Cancer Care Center at Boston Medical Center cares for patients with malignant and non-malignant blood disorders and cancer. The Center provides diagnostic services, innovative treatments, and comprehensive care to patients by an outstanding, nationally recognized, multidisciplinary team of hematologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, social workers, and dieticians.

Orthopedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Boston Medical Center, one of the most outstanding in New England, provides comprehensive, exceptional orthopedic care to every patient, without exception.

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program offers consultation, expertise and comprehensive care to individuals with neurological movement disorders. Ongoing, long-term care delivered by an interdisciplinary team of specialists provides patients with individualized care and access to the newest developments in treatment. Our team includes Neurologists who are Movement Disorder Specialists, nurses and rehabilitation specialists. 

Pediatrics - Pain Clinic

The Pediatric Pain Clinic at Boston Medical Center manages acute, complex, and chronic pain in children from infancy to age 22. Our team of experts work closely with each patient's primary care physician, striving to help children regain normal lives and participate in typical age-appropriate activities.


The Department of Rheumatology provides a full range of services - including joint injections, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and infusion therapies – for arthritis and systemic rheumatic autoimmune diseases, including scleroderma, lupus, inflammatory arthritis, spondyloarthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. For all conditions, our rheumatologists work closely with providers in other departments to ensure you receive the best care possible, for all aspects of your health.

Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center

Boston Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center offers a full spectrum of clinical and academic services to provide contemporary treatment for patients with brain, carotid and spinal vascular diseases.

Our Team

The Physical and Occupational Therapy Team

Karen Mattie, PT, DPT, MS
Senior Director, Clinical Operations

Kara Schworm, PT, DPT, CCS
Director, Rehabilitative Services

Jeffrey Merritt
Operations Manager, Rehabilitative Services

Kathryn Ferrari, PT, MS
Manager, Outpatient Rehabilitative Services, Boston Medical Center Campus

James Sherman, PT, DPT
Manager, Outpatient Rehabilitative Services, Winthrop Neighborhood Health

Julie Murray, OTR/L
Manager, Inpatient Rehabilitative Services

Patient Resources


Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Logo

As the principal teaching affiliate of Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center is devoted to training future generations of healthcare professionals.  Learn more about Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.