Episode 74 - Wayne and Jean Rath, part 1: Healthcare IS Prevention

Wayne Rath PT, Dip MDT
Jean  Duffy-Rath PT, Dip MDT

Wayne graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn in 1975 and Jean graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Pittsburg in 1979. Wayne was a founding member of the New Jersey Orthopaedic Section, the McKenzie Institute and is recognized for his contributions to the origins of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. He has been an adjunct instructor of Orthopaedics and manual therapy and a clinical assistant professor for multiple PT programs.  He has provided continuing education workshops throughout North America, Europe, New Zealand and South America. His career focus has been optimizing strategies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.


Jean played an important role as a board member, instructor and journal editor in the developmental years of the McKenzie Institute. She has been the driving force in the development of the Duffy-Rath System© (DRS) for injury prevention in the work environment.  She has numerous publications related to MSD prevention and the programs have won awards and gained special recognition from OSHA as a center of excellence. 

Show Notes


Personal Background

Jean: Her mom was a teacher and her dad was a minister which she feels has led her to go into a “helping” profession. She, of course, is married to Wayne and they’ll celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. They live in down-state NewYork.

Wayne:  Originally from New Jersey, he studied sociology and psychology at West Virginia - Wesleyan.  He enjoys his family, many sports and good food.  



Professional Background

Wayne mentions he feels lucky with very good mentors. He’s spent many years working with the APTA.  The first course he ever took was with James Cyriax, a five day course on manual therapy.  This course strongly influenced Wayne and his professional path. He was most impressed by his enthusiasm.  He also had the opportunity to assist John Mennell on courses.  Robin McKenzie had the most profound effect on Wayne through the years he spent with him.

Jean started out in Pittsburgh, PA.  She was frustrated early on including resolving her own musculoskeletal problems.  She was concerned that since she couldn't help herself she couldn't help others. She says she learned so much from treating herself that eventually helped her in her work with her patients. Jean explains how she and Wayne try to not “put their hands on their patients” for the best results. 




“A quick and effective response is the seed of on-going and effective prevention.”  

“ The presence of a problem is the opportunity for a solution.”

“ An expert is someone who does the basics better.”



Memorable Patient

Jean had a patient from a prevention site that she remembers quite well. She had a woman who was scheduled for surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. She was ready for surgery, however, Jean did a workspace evaluation just to be sure. By doing this, Jean helped the woman get 100% better and she ultimately canceled her surgery. An interaction about 20 years later Jean had with this same woman was most meaningful to Jean.  

Wayne recalls a man who was helping he and Jean during a time they were moving their office, by the name of Al.  Wayne and Jean ended up helping him with a back problem.  Al, remembering what Wayne had taught him, took what he had learned about posture correction and shared that with an attorney he was working with and he received a serendipitous reward for his help.