Embarking on the Journey of Pelvic Rehab Certification: A Personal and Professional Commitment

Blog Erika Darbro PRPC 1.30.24

Erika Darbro PT, DPT, PRPC (she/her) is a Physical Therapist and founder of Envision Pelvic Health & Wellness in Chicago, IL. She graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Midwestern University in 2017. As a wife and mother of two children, Owen and Adalynn, Erika knows first-hand the need for work-life balance. Active within her professional community, she is a member of both the American Physical Therapy Association and the Illinois Physical Therapy Association. Beyond her clinical expertise, Erika is a weekend warrior playing slow-pitch softball and indoor volleyball. She loves to travel and has a personal goal of visiting all U.S. National Parks. Erika was awarded her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) in November 2020.


My journey into the realm of pelvic rehabilitation began during a clinical rotation in my third year in physical therapy school. It was a pivotal moment that sparked a passion within me to bring about meaningful change in an often overlooked area of healthcare – pelvic health. This blog post delves into why I chose pelvic rehab and the significance of obtaining certification, a decision that has shaped my professional trajectory.

Choosing Pelvic Rehab as a New Graduate:
Upon completing my physical therapy education in 2017, the decision to specialize in pelvic rehab was a natural progression. I was drawn to the prospect of contributing to an area of healthcare that is often shamed and brushed aside. This decision marked the beginning of my commitment to providing patient-centered and holistic care for pelvic health.

Discovering the Need for Inclusive Pelvic Care:
Upon entering the profession, I became acutely aware of the necessity for pelvic health providers who could help individuals of all genders. It was disheartening to hear about patients facing rejection or enduring extended commutes in search of a provider willing to address their concerns, solely because a specific pelvic therapist would not treat their gender. Even in the urban city of Chicago, these situations persisted. This further motivated me to become a resource for these patients, aiming to close the gap in care.

Establishing Envision Pelvic Health & Wellness:
Since graduating, I have worked in various settings, ranging from large chain corporations to an outpatient hospital clinic. While I learned valuable lessons that shaped the provider I am today, I was disheartened to witness a shift from patient-centered care to approaches solely based on metrics. This realization became my 'why' for taking a leap of faith and opening my own private pelvic health clinic in the Fall of 2023. My goal was clear to create a safe and inclusive space where individuals of all genders could receive expert one-on-one care for their pelvic health concerns. This endeavor allowed me to align my professional aspirations with my commitment to breaking the stigma surrounding pelvic health.

The Continuous Journey of Learning:
As a perpetual learner, I recognize the importance of staying up to date with the latest advancements in the field. Each year, I actively participate in numerous continuing education courses, a practice that reflects my dedication to providing the highest quality of care. It was a natural next step to take my commitment a step further by pursuing the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) in 2020.

The Decision to Pursue PRPC Certification:
Choosing to become certified was not a decision made lightly. The PRPC certification stood out as the perfect fit for my clinical ethos – to treat all genders. Unlike some certifications that focus solely on women's health, the PRPC encompasses pelvic health topics for all populations. This alignment with my values was a driving force behind my choice, emphasizing my dedication to being an inclusive pelvic health practitioner.

Expertise and Passion Unveiled:
Obtaining the PRPC certification was not just about acquiring a credential; it was a statement of my commitment to being an expert in the pelvic health field. It serves as a recognition of my passion for treating the pelvic health population and reinforces the idea that I don't merely dabble in pelvic health.

Challenging Myself and Inspiring Others:
The pursuit of certification was also a personal challenge. It pushed me to elevate my skills, deepen my knowledge, and continually evolve as a practitioner. By challenging myself, I hope to inspire other healthcare professionals to embrace continuous learning and strive for excellence in their field.

Impact on Patient Care on my Community:
The impact of my journey extends beyond personal and professional growth. With Envision Pelvic Health & Wellness, I've been able to witness the positive effects of inclusive pelvic care on my patients. I’m fortunate enough to own a practice in the community where I live. This has enabled me to become an active member of the community and create relationships with other health and wellness providers in my area.

Looking Forward:
As I reflect on my journey, I see a future filled with opportunities to contribute to the evolving profession of pelvic health rehabilitation.  My commitment to continuous learning, patient-centered care, and inclusivity will remain unwavering.

In conclusion, my journey into pelvic rehabilitation has been a purposeful and transformative one. From recognizing the need for inclusive pelvic care to establishing my private practice and pursuing certification, every step has been fueled by a passion to make a difference. The PRPC certification symbolizes my commitment to expertise, inclusivity, and continuous growth – values that will continue to guide my journey in pelvic health and contribute to the well-being of individuals across diverse communities.

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