Derek Plonka DPT, MTOM, L. Ac., DAOM(RI), Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), SCS, CCI, CSCS

Licensed Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist, Herbalist



Orthopedic, Sports Medicine (Adolecense to Active Older Adults)


About Derek Plonka

Welcome to the official website of Dr. Derek Plonka, a highly skilled and dedicated healthcare professional with a diverse background in physical therapy and acupuncture. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Plonka has been committed to enhancing the well-being of his patients through a comprehensive and integrated approach to healthcare.


Credentials and Expertise:

Dr. Derek Plonka obtained his license as a Physical Therapist in 2000, marking the beginning of a career dedicated to promoting optimal physical health. Recognizing the value of complementary therapies, he furthered his qualifications by becoming a licensed Acupuncturist in 2014. Holding dual licenses in both California and Rhode Island, Dr. Plonka is a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), demonstrating his commitment to excellence in acupuncture practice.

His commitment to excellence is further highlighted by his status as an APTA Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and NSCA-certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Dr. Plonka is also an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor, showcasing his dedication to educating the next generation of healthcare professionals.


Educator and Scholar:

Dr. Plonka's passion for education extends beyond clinical practice. He serves as a professor at Emperor's College in Santa Monica, CA, contributing to both the Master’s and Doctoral programs. Specializing in Acupuncture Orthopedics and scholarly writing, Dr. Plonka guides students toward academic success and has played a significant role in getting numerous students' work published in reputable journals.

He has also contributed to the literary endeavors of his colleagues, reflecting his commitment to advancing knowledge and sharing expertise within the healthcare community.


Legal and Consulting Work:

Dr. Plonka's expertise extends to legal and consulting realms, where he serves as an expert witness in Acupuncture and Physical Therapy. His keen insights and extensive experience make him a valuable resource in matters related to healthcare practices and standards.


Balancing Act:

Beyond his professional commitments, Dr. Derek Plonka finds joy in a variety of activities. He is an avid Sabre fencer, actively participating in regional and national tournaments. Additionally, he enjoys the thrill of snowboarding and volunteers as a national ski patroller at Big Bear/ Snow Summit Mountain.

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