Robin Saunders, PT, MS, MBA

Robin Saunders Ryan, PT, MS, MBA


Clinic: All Clinics

Education: MS Physical Therapy from University of Indianapolis, 1986; MBA from St. Thomas University in 2005.

Started the Clinic: 1989

Robin is the founder and CEO of Saunders Therapy Centers and the developer of its Work Hardening and Functional Capacity Evaluations. Robin has authored and contributed to many well known works, including Managing Low Back Pain, 3rd Edition, edited by Dr. William Kirkaldy-Willis and Dr. Charles Burton, (Churchill-Livingston 1992); Work Injury, edited by Susan Isernhagen (Aspen 1994); and Work Hardening, State of the Art, edited by Linda Ogden-Niemeyer (Slack 1991). She edited and coauthored the 4th edition of Evaluation, Treatment and Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Part I: The Spine (The Saunders Group, Inc.)

She is the author of three books on worker rehabilitation: Industrial Rehabilitation—Techniques for Success, Functional Capacity Evaluation—The Saunders Method, and Back Pain and Activity—Striking the Right Balance. Additionally, she has co-authored two research papers on industrial rehabilitation and functional capacity evaluations, both published in Physical Therapy Journal, and is the author of several other articles in various publications.

Robin loves spending time with her husband and adult kids, traveling to warm places in the winter, and is constantly trying to improve her tennis game.


Q&A with Robin

Why did you become a Physical Therapist?

Throughout my childhood, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but changed my college major to physical therapy when I learned more about the profession from my father, who is also a PT.

What can patients expect when they see you in the clinic?

Although I am not currently treating patients, my focus was always very much on each patient’s goals – what is it that THEY NEED to get out of therapy? I listened carefully and always make sure we were both on the same page with the plan of care.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

I love playing tennis and eating at good restaurants – not necessarily in that order!

What are your favorite ways of staying healthy?

I try to cook healthy meals. I exercise at least 3-4 times a week.

Where is your hometown?

Great Bend, KS

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a farm veterinarian. One factor in switching my career to physical therapy is that my family moved to the Twin Cities, and I fell in love with the city!

What is your favorite thing about living in Minnesota?

There are so many good restaurants, parks, art scene. Most of my family lives here. I don’t like the winters, though, I must confess!