Alumni Highlight: Alexander Suerte

DPT Class of 2016 Alumnus, Alexander Suerte, shares his experience working as a PT with the minor league Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. In his role, he is a part of an interdisciplinary team with a championship in mind. He works alongside many professionals working toward a winning team including strength and conditioning coaches, dieticians, mental performance coaches, baseball coaches, and other physical therapists. Learn more about his exciting career!

Alex Suerte

Class of 2016 Alumnus

Alexander Suerte, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS

Minor League Physical Therapist, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club

What attracted you to Physical Therapy as a career?

I was initially attracted to the opportunity to be able to connect with so many different people and guide them through whatever issue they were dealing with. As I’ve practiced more, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of continuing to learn, acquiring skills, and communicating all that information to each individual patient. Every day I get to solve problems, but also do it in a way that is meaningful to someone else, and I think that makes it all worth it.

How did you land your current position and how did the UF DPT program prepare you for this role?

I completed a sports physical therapy residency in 2018 and felt the drive to continue to apply the knowledge and skills I learned to what I was doing day to day. I applied to the sports physical therapy fellowship with the Blue Jays and was lucky enough to earn the position after an intense interview process. I joined their high-performance department in 2020 as a fellow and was invited to stay on as a minor league physical therapist in 2021. I feel incredibly lucky to work on an inter-disciplinary team geared towards winning a World Series!

Alex Suerte
Alex Suerte with Ace, the Toronto Blue Jays mascot.

UF PT helped prepare me for this role by making me a well-rounded therapist coming out of school. I felt like I had a good didactic education, and it was reinforced with a clinical experience that put me into a variety of settings working with different populations. So much so that I felt comfortable adapting to whatever situation I was in as a new grad. Now I work in professional baseball without ever playing an inning of baseball in my life – I know what skills I have and adapted them to do what I need to do for the team.

What’s day-to-day like as a Minor League Physical Therapist with the Blue Jays?

I work along side 2 other PTs, a strength and conditioning coach, a dietician, a mental performance coach, and 2 baseball coaches every day. We work together every day (sometimes literally 7 days a week) to help rehab a handful of athletes with their injuries and get them ready to get back into the game. Every morning starts with rehab and treatments in the training room. Then we all go outside for the most important part of the day – baseball activities. This is when each player will complete their return to play program which can be throwing, hitting, or running. After that we go back inside for their strength and conditioning program and the day usually ends with more rehab or recovery work for the athletes.

Alex Suerte and his family.
Alex Suerte and his family.

What advice would you give to current DPT students interested in sports physical therapy and/or specifically in baseball? 

Don’t skimp on your development as a physical therapist in school – even if you plan to work in sports, your time spent working on transfers in neurorehabilitation or handling in pediatrics will make a difference in your development of skills as a PT. The breadth of your skills and knowledge is what will set you apart as a sport’s physical therapist.

To work in baseball, I would connect with other students or therapists who are working towards the same goal. Gather as much information as you can and make as many relationships as you can to find out if it’s for you!