Meet Dr. Curme

Divergent Team
May 26, 2021

Get to know our Physical Therapist, Dr. Henry Curme, PT, DPT!

Question: What is your favorite thing about your career?


My favorite thing about my career is the joy I get from helping other people find out how to heal themselves. Physical Therapy requires the patient to be invested in their health, to recognize patterns that are holding them back, and to use movement as a tool to help the body heal itself. I'm not a surgeon. My treatments are not necessarily something that I do "to" a patient, but something that I do "with" a patient. I get a combination of pride in myself when my interventions work, but, more importantly, pride in my patients because their efforts with my guidance empower them to heal themselves. It's a back and forth, and that's the heart of it. The relationship. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to get into the outpatient field. In some other fields, you see patients briefly until they are ready for the next level of care, whether in a hospital or rehab facility. In outpatient, I'm the last stop. So, I've wandered a bit, and I'm going to wander, but that's my favorite thing.

Question: Who is your hero?


One of my heroes is Carl Sagan - an astronomer, scientist, writer - who did amazing work in both the field of science as well as in popularizing science. He recognized that a brilliant mind and worldview should be shared and that the wonders of the universe that he was discovering if delivered in more easily understood language could improve the world for all of us and inspire us to ask questions. I think his impact was most felt, not by the scientists he mentored or the space programs he contributed to, but by average people who watched his shows or read his books and had their worlds expanded. Cosmology, in his view, is not for us to dominate the universe but to improve our lives by better understanding our place in the cosmos - how we fit into this universe. I drove through Ithaca, NY a few years back (where he taught and was buried) and made a point to stop by his grave site to say thank you. I've got a picture somewhere.

(We found the picture! See below.)

Question: What is your go-to song for karaoke night?


I don't know if I want to share that! What is my go-to song? What do I end up doing? Honestly, probably anything by Rush. I've been known to deliver a mean "Whisky in the Jar" performance as well. It really depends on the catalogue.

Question: What is the best gift you have been given?


Probably my 30th birthday present, actually. Right when I was turning 30, I was also planning a move away from the East Coast, where I grew up, to our very own Bellingham. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had taken it upon herself to set up a secret surprise send-off soiree for me - wait, add summer in there because it was summer - a secret surprise summer send-off soiree, and invited all of my family and friends. It was my last chance to see them all before the big move, and I didn't find out until the day of the surprise. I was  touched by how so many of the people that I cared about in my life were there to celebrate this milestone with me and wish me well on my journey. Plus, it was space-themed, so my geeky self was thrilled! Wait, can we change "send-off" to "blast-off"? Perfect.

Question: What's your favorite family recipe?


My go-to breakfast growing up was egg sandwiches - scrambled, cheesy eggs on buttered toast. My mother took to calling it an "eggy-weggy," and I'm not ashamed to admit I've gone along with it to this day. More eggy-weggy, please!

Question: What is your proudest accomplishment?


I don't really give myself a lot of credit for things, so it's hard to for me to say, honestly. I think the thing that I'm trying to focus on more is allowing myself to feel a normal amount of pride for the things that I accomplish and to neither diminish them with false modesty nor inflate them for comedic value. What I'm most proud of is my ongoing growth in taking myself just as seriously as everybody else, and I know that it's a common struggle, but one that I'm taking repeated steps in addressing each day. Thinking about it more, I might also say living in China for 2 years in my early twenties. After college, I moved to Kunming, Yunnan, China and lived, worked, and travelled there. That's actually where I met my wife. It was difficult at times to be so far away from everything familiar, and the experience tested my language and communication skills. I learned how to really communicate with people beyond just language. So, I'm rather proud of myself for making that leap and grateful for the opportunity for personal growth.

Question: If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?


You're really flexing those aspirational muscles with these questions! Okay, hmmm...I'm leaning toward taking a flight in a wingsuit. When I was young, I loved the Rocketeer, and I think my inner child would love the opportunity to fly. Of course, this is all contingent on my magically having the skills, training, and abilities of someone who has put in the time and effort to prepare. But, sure, daredevil for a day sounds pretty great. Better yet, could I be the Rocketeer for a day? I'm going to dream big here.

Stay tuned for more interviews in the future!

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