For Con­way, a ca­reer goes full cir­cle

The Calvert Recorder - - Community - By NATALIE SASSCER Spe­cial to The Recorder The writer is a stu­dent in the Young Jour­nal­ists Pro­gram, a part­ner­ship be­tween The Calvert Recorder and Calvert County Pub­lic Schools.

Life has come full cir­cle for Dr. Kirk Con­way, who owns KCon­way Phys­i­cal Ther­apy, which has lo­ca­tions in Prince Fred­er­ick and Dunkirk.

After he grad­u­ated from North­ern High School in 1987, Con­way did a men­tor­ship through the Calvert County Men­tor­ship Pro­gram.

“I wanted to try to use it to see what I wanted to go into,” Con­way said.

Con­way took part in a dif­fer­ent men­tor­ship each year un­til he worked un­der or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon Dr. Grif­fith, who brought Con­way to his phys­i­cal ther­apy prac­tice to check on his pa­tients. And it was there that Con­way saw what he might be able to ac­com­plish with pa­tients of his own one day.

After see­ing Grif­fith’s hand­son work at the phys­i­cal ther­apy of­fice, Con­way de­cided to in­tern with Randy De­maris at De­maris’ phys­i­cal ther­apy of­fice and for an eight-week stint, learned how to work with pa­tients.

Con­way loved that he was able to see his pa­tients di­rectly and work one-on-one with them.

Con­way al­ways knew he wanted to go into medicine one day thanks to his child­hood role model, and close fam­ily friend Dr. Aris Allen. But his men­tor­ship with De­maris showed him ex­actly what field he wanted to go into.

Though it was dif­fi­cult to get into, Con­way used his ded­i­ca­tion to school that was im­pressed upon him by his teacher par­ents and earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree, and later a doc­tor­ate, in phys­i­cal ther­apy from the Univer­sity of Mary­land at Bal­ti­more in 1991.

Con­way knew that a ca­reer in phys­i­cal ther­apy would en­sure job se­cu­rity, and that it would be es­sen­tial over the next 30 to 40 years to take care of the older gen­er­a­tion.

Fol­low­ing col­lege, Con­way had mul­ti­ple busi­ness part­ner­ships, in­clud­ing one in chi­ro­prac­tic care, and he en­joyed them but he re­ally wanted to one day fully own his own busi­ness, and opened KCon­way Phys­i­cal Ther­apy in 2007.

“This is my home,” Con­way said when asked why he started his busi­ness in Calvert County. “My mother’s fam­ily has been here for over 200 years.”

Con­way said the hard­est part of start­ing his busi­ness was get­ting over the fear of fail­ure of his busi­ness dy­ing, but he was ex­cited about be­ing able to chan­nel his pas­sion and cre­ativ­ity into some­thing pos­i­tive. He’s been open al­most 11 years now, and has helped train and mo­ti­vate phys­i­cal ther­a­pists.

His ad­vice to those hop­ing to en­ter the same field is to “Get re­ally good grades. You’ll need them to get into phys­i­cal ther­apy school.”

He added it’s im­por­tant for kids to work hard and be se­ri­ous in or­der to go far in the field. He hopes to men­tor stu­dents through the Calvert County men­tor­ship pro­gram soon.

Dr. Con­way is ab­so­lutely a suc­cess­ful prod­uct of the men­tor­ship pro­gram,” The Com­mu­nity Men­tor­ship Pro­gram Co­or­di­na­tor Su­san Cross said.

Cross added she be­lieves Con­way is a good role model for fu­ture stu­dents be­cause he shows the value of ex­per­i­ment­ing in your cho­sen field, and that she would be happy to work with him in the fu­ture.

STAFF PHOTO BY DAR­WIN WEIGEL

Dr. Kirk Con­way owns KCon­way Phys­i­cal Ther­apy with lo­ca­tions in Prince Fred­er­ick and Dunkirk.

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