Staff Spotlight: Melissa Etten

What is your name?

Melissa Etten        

What is your role at ARC Physical Therapy+?

Lead Physical Therapist at ARCPT+ Urbandale and Des Moines Clinics

What year did you begin working at ARC Physical Therapy+?

April 2019

Melissa and Son

Where are you from?

Clarinda, Iowa

Where did you go to school?

I completed my undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science at Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!). Then I went to Des Moines University and earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Who or what inspired you to get into the physical therapy space?

I have always had an interest in science, exercise, and the human body.  Physical therapy provided the opportunity to bring these areas together and use my interests to help others.

What do you like most about your work at ARC Physical Therapy+?

I enjoy working in the clinic. There is the opportunity to learn new things and build new relationships every day! Patients may have similar diagnoses, but every person is different and that brings a new piece to the puzzle every time!

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the body or physical therapy?

There is great research for physical therapy as a first option for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. In many cases, surgery or more invasive treatments can be completely avoided and people can return to an active lifestyle. However, physical therapy is not just for musculoskeletal conditions! Specially trained physical therapists can also provide safe and effective treatments for dizziness and balance problems too.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I play in various indoor and sand volleyball leagues around the Des Moines metro area. I enjoying watching and attending sporting events as well as reading, listening to music, and watching movies.

Melissa and Family

How do you like to celebrate a win or a good day?

Family, friends, and good food!

What is your favorite quote or saying?

Be kind…for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Favorite Sports Team?

Iowa State Cyclones

Sweet or salty?


 Beach or mountains?

Anywhere there is warm weather!

Go out or stay in?

Depends on the day.

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