James Whitcher graduated from Hot Springs High School in 2006—Go Bison! He enlisted in the Navy and was on active duty for five years. Discharged from the Navy in 2011, James sought to quench his thirst for knowledge by enrolling in college at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. James majored in athletic training. During these years, James provided sideline coverage and sports medicine care to collegiate and high school athletes. During weekends, James provided emergency services as an EMT for an ambulance service in Killdeer, ND. James graduated summa cum laude and became licensed as an athletic trainer. During his summers as an undergraduate, James had the following educational experiences: (1) interned for Senator John Thune in his Washington, D.C., office; (2) worked as a wildland fire suppressor for Wind Cave National Park; (3) attended Marine Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA; and (4) waited tables at a restaurant named Cheddars.

Following graduation from college and Officer Candidates School, James was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. He would spend one year on active duty for training before being released to the reserve component of the Marines. James is currently a captain in the Reserves and drills in Minneapolis, MN, with a company of Military Policemen.

His personal military awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Ribbon, and the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon. 

James attended physical therapy school at the University of South Dakota—Go Yotes! James worked as a graduate assistant for USD in the Student Veterans Resource Center, assisting veterans in making the transition from active duty/combat to the classroom setting. He volunteered for the university, providing pro bono physical therapy services as well as volunteering for the Special Olympics. James served on board the Diversity Health Affairs committee during this time. James continued to seek personal growth while pursuing his graduate degree in physical therapy and became certified as a strength and conditioning specialist. He completed clinical affiliations at the following: Regional West Medical Center (Scottsbluff, NE); Philip Health Services (Philip, SD); Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center (Rapid City, SD); Rapid City Regional Hospital (Rapid City, SD); and the VA Hospital/Traumatic Brain Injury Unit (Minneapolis, MN).

James has a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, and he is a licensed athletic trainer (ATC) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). James continues to pursue advanced certifications in orthopedics and sports medicine.

When not in the clinic, you will find James training for an upcoming Ironman or marathon. You may also find him at drill behind a 50-cal. machine gun.

James is the proud father to his son, Odin James. 

Favorite Quote: “Why does Rice play Texas? Why 35 years ago fly the Atlantic? Why climb the highest mountain? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” – JFK

Therapists Additional Information

Undergraduate

  • University of Mary, Bismarck, ND

Graduate

  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 

Certification

  • Athletic Trainer Certified
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Medical Interests

  • Military medicine
  • Sports medicine
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Back pain 
  • Ankle/foot impairments

Phone: (605) 341-1414

Office: Rapid City, SD

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