Dr. Francis McDonald, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Francis earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy and his Bachelor of Exercise Science degrees from Saint Louis University in Missouri. He is experienced in manual therapy and currently working towards becoming a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through OPTIM.

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Licensed Physical Therapist by the State of Missouri
  • APTA/MPTA Member
  • APTA Orthopaedic Section Member

Institute of Physical Art:

  • CoreFirst® Strategies
  • Functional Mobilization 1

OPTIM Manual Therapy:

  • Foundations I
  • Foundations II
  • Cervicothoracic
  • Lumbar Manual Therapy
  • Lower Quarter Manual Therapy

Saint Louis University

  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2017
  • Bachelor of Exercise Science, 2015

What Francis Has to Say

What aspect of physical therapy do you find the most fascinating? 

It is rare in healthcare that a practitioner gets to spend a concentrated period of time working with each patient. This one-on-one time throughout the course of treatment allows me to really get to know each patient’s story and body mechanics. This style of therapy makes it so much easier to help people get better.

What sparked your interest in physical therapy?

I grew up hearing stories every night from my dad who’s a physical therapist about how much he loved his job and the ability to spend quality time with each patient, helping them to feel better and achieve their goals.

Where did you earn your physical therapy degree?

I earned my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Saint Louis University. I received a very balanced education with exposure to many different treatment philosophies and a focus on evidence-based practice. My favorite aspect of the program was the patient-centered focus that every professor tried to instill in their students. I truly believe this is what set my education apart and made me a better therapist.

What certifications are you working towards?

I am in the process of becoming a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through OPTIM by November 2018. After I achieve this, I would like to become an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. I am also very interested in the Institute of Physical Art’s philosophies and courses.

Why do you work for Body Gears? 

Body Gears truly values their therapists and patients. We offer wonderful mentorship and strongly encourage continuing education. There is even a policy in place that if a patient is not seeing improvements after 3 visits, we need to reach out to our more senior therapists for additional support and consultation. This is something that is rare to find in other practices and why I love working at Body Gears!

How do you stay active?

I love hiking, running, biking, and dancing.

Do you have any hobbies?

I am a musician and enjoy playing the guitar, banjo, ukulele, and mandolin.

What Patients Have to Say About Francis

“My surgeon suggested physical therapy following a herniated disc. Unsure where I go, I went with someplace that seemed to have good ratings and was close to work. I could not have been happier with the care, organization and help that Body Gears provided me. Francis helped me gain back my confidence following my surgery, and now I’m able to work out again, pain-free. The rest of the staff was also very helpful, knowledgeable and very well organized. Clean, open space for physical therapy or other body strengthening programs. I already referred a friend!”


-Maggie S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Francis

“Frances was amazing! They were informative, friendly and made it fun for my 12-year-old son. My son left sweating and happy he went. Highly recommend!”


-Jessica S. (Body Gears Graduate Mother)