Orthopedic Residency Program at CSULB

Meet Our New Resident PT...

Lena Parker

Lena Parker, PT, DPT, is the new resident physical therapist at PT@TheBeach – the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic housed in the LifeFit Center at CSULB. She is excited to return to The Beach, having received her undergraduate degree here in Kinesiology, Exercise Science.

“I have such fond memories of this school, so it seemed like such an easy fit,” said Parker of returning to her alma mater.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree at CSULB, Parker went to physical therapy school in Colorado at Regis University, obtaining her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and started practicing as a physical therapist in San Diego.

Parker says she always has been interested in fitness and movement – she was a classically trained ballet dancer in her younger years – and became interested in rock climbing as a CSULB student, taking part in the rock-climbing program offered at the CSULB Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Her educational journey began by looking into what professions would allow her to be involved in the physical fitness world. She started as a yoga instructor and learned about having a career as a physical therapist.  

“I thought, maybe I can be an expert in movement and teach people how to move and help others,” she said.     

In the few weeks that she has been back at The Beach as a licensed physical therapist, Parker says she has really enjoyed working with the staff, faculty and students on campus as part of her practice.

“PT@TheBeach has a really great exchange and collaboration between myself and the LifeFit Center. I work together with the personal trainers here at LifeFit, and with LifeFit Center Director Ayla Donlin, to continue to build on patients’ strength gains after they have come to a certain point in their physical therapy treatment.”

That collaboration between the LifeFit Center personal trainers and PT@TheBeach is a unique feature of the physical therapy clinic, commends Parker.

“Sometimes working as a physical therapist, you have to get creative. So here, to walk in and have all this equipment at my disposal for patients, is like being a kid in a candy shop. I can really help people get stronger because I have so many resources here.”

Parker also mentions the CSULB Department of Physical Therapy Faculty, specifically Dr. Michael Miller, for their commitment to excellence and collaboration. As part of the Orthopedic Residency Program, Parker is a mentor to the second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy Students in their lab courses.

“I get to help them with their skills and techniques, and reteach myself a few things,” she says. “I was a student for a long time, and now I’m enjoying being on the opposite side.”  

Ultimately, Parker says she would like to be involved in physical therapy as a university professor.   

“This is such a great space for me to be in to start that journey and to really prepare for that kind of career. It all feels in alignment with what I want to do moving forward.”

The PT@TheBeach Clinic is housed under the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and is located on the CSULB campus in the LifeFit Center. In addition to CSULB students, faculty and staff, we welcome anyone in the Long Beach and surrounding communities. PT@TheBeach accepts insurance from various providers and offer cash rates for those choosing to pay out of pocket. In addition, CSULB students, staff and faculty are offered discounted rates. For more information, visit the PT@TheBeach website.

Thank you Edward Fu and congrats on completing your one-year residency at PT@TheBeach!

Ed Fu

Edward Fu, PT, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist who has spent his one-year residency at PT@TheBeach honing his practice, continuing to build his foundation of clinical understanding, and taking genuine enjoyment out of his interaction with patients.

“It’s been great being at PT@TheBeach in the LifeFit Center for my residency because sometimes I have patients who get to a certain point where all they really need is essentially getting back to a gym routine,” Fu says. "Being in the LifeFit Center makes that transition much easier." 

PT@TheBeach, housed on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in the LifeFit Center, located in the Kinesiology Building off of Deukmejian Way, is an orthopedic physical therapy clinic open to anyone wishing to receive treatment. Each year, PT@TheBeach employs a physical therapist to be on staff through its Orthopedic Residency Program.

Fu, who received his undergrad training at UCLA and went to PT school at Chapman University, says what he likes most about the orthopedic clinic at CSULB is the available time he gets with his patients. “It’s a win-win situation for all.” Patients receive in-depth care, and Fu gets to continue to hone his skills and gain experience.

“I get 45 minutes to an hour with every patient and not every clinic offers that,” Fu says. “So that’s been really helpful – having the time to properly assess each patient has been really nice, because I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. I want my patients leaving here feeling better than when they came in, while feeling heard and cared for. We really try our best to get them to where they want to be in life.”

For many, Fu says, that means being able to get back into a routine with their physical fitness. Being at the LifeFit Center with all the gym equipment and technology at his disposal is what Fu really has appreciated throughout his residency.

“The youngest patient I’ve seen here is 15 years old, and the oldest is 86. We treat a wide range of patients -- student athletes and anyone in the community, including retirees. Because we have access to the LifeFit Center, you really have so much equipment and space to work with. We can see first-hand their movements [using the gym equipment] and tailor a specific therapy plan.”

While working for PT@TheBeach, Fu says he also really enjoyed being a mentor for physical therapy students who are in their second year of the 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at CSULB. “The main reason why I chose Long Beach State to do my residency is for the opportunity to work with the students. During fall and spring semester, I get to help out with some of the lab classes and give them advice on how to do things more efficiently, or with better body mechanics, with certain techniques that I’ve learned. It has been a really rewarding experience. It has also been very helpful for me in order to better solidify my clinical understanding and techniques.”

Fu is always wanting to learn more. Upon moving on from his residency at CSULB, he says he wants to continue learning and growing, specializing in orthopedics and has even applied to fellowship programs in neurological physical therapy and sport physical therapy. We wish Ed all the best in the next chapter of his career!