MRU Clinic's dynamic duo

They bonded over biomechanics.

And a shared passion for physical therapy.

Barb Taxbock and Lee MacKenzie fell in love with their profession first … and then each other.

Now they’re married with two children and work side-by-side at Mount Royal University’s Injury & Prevention Clinic as a physiotherapy-pedorthist power couple.

“If you’re experiencing pain in your musculoskeletal system, we can help — from headaches to foot pain and everything in between,” Barb says, who is a senior physiotherapist.

“From a professional point of view, she had a biomechanics degree before she became a physio, and biomechanics is what I do. So we like to talk about biomechanics together,”  Lee explains, and who is a pedorthist, athletic therapist and massage therapist.

“We have the same sort of education, so we agree with each other, which is kind of nice! We didn’t start off wanting to work together — in fact, we probably didn’t want to work together — but then the opportunity to work here was so good.

“It’s convenient. Sometimes we commute together, and referring is certainly easier. Most of our clients know we’re married.”

Lee, who met and starting dating Barb when they worked at the same clinic earlier in their career, has been working at the Injury & Prevention Clinic since 2012. An MRU alumnus, he specializes in orthotics and helping patients with foot pain.

“I deal with biomechanics — not fungus and bacteria!” he says. “I deal with muscles and bones and joints. My patients typically have pain anywhere in the feet related to overuse — often standing or walking too long or too much.

“I see teachers, nurses, professors. Anyone who has to stand on their feet for work would be a classic client. I went to school here and I love it here. I love the ambience, the gym, I like the clientele being staff, faculty and students.”

Lee is well known throughout Calgary as a skilled builder of custom orthotics.

“For some people, I give them orthotics and tell them, ‘You’re going to use them for sports only,’ but it’s a spectrum from those people to those who can’t get out of bed in the morning without putting orthotics on. They take every single step with them,” he says.

“I’ve made them for almost every type of footwear that exists. Sometimes they’re specialized if you’re putting them into a skate or hiking boot. An orthotic is made to the foot but if you’ve got a shapely foot, you can’t necessarily wedge that into normal footwear.”

Lee uses a grinding wheel to custom-fit orthotics into any kind of footwear. But his craft is experiencing a revolution of sorts.

“I generally use polypropylene plastic, but my new orthotics are being 3D printed,” he says. “The future of orthotics is all 3D printing.”

Barb, who has a biomechanics degree from the University of Calgary and studied physiotherapy at the University of Alberta, followed her husband to the Injury & Prevention Clinic in 2019.

“I spent most of my career working downtown and when an opportunity came up here it was just too good to turn down,” Barb says, a former ski racer who has a special interest in pelvic floor therapy. “I love the dynamic here — lots of interesting people and patients who are keen on exercising and getting better or prioritizing their health.

“Typically, someone comes in with shoulder or hip pain. I figure out what’s going on and give them exercises to make them feel better. The thing that I do that other physios don’t do here is dry needling — intramuscular stimulation.

“I don’t tend to treat individual body parts. If someone comes in with an ankle injury I’m going to look up and see what else is happening. I don’t tend to specialize — I’m always looking at the whole body.”

Working side-by I’m-side in the same clinic as a husband and wife team isn’t as glamorous as it might seem.

“Every once in a while, there’s a logistics question — like, who is picking up the kids? — but we probably talk to other people more than each other,” Barb says, who has a 12-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. “It’s definitely not romantic.”

Although they met while working at the same clinic, Lee said they recently realized their connection probably goes back even further.

“We were looking back recently and realized we both took biomechanics, in the same semester, at the University of Calgary,” he said. “We didn’t know each other back then but we were there, in the same place, at the same time. We ended up meeting later because we did a similar job.”


Read this next

Event: Wellness Wednesdays

Wellness Wednesdays features physical activities, group gatherings, team building exercises and more. Taking part in Wellness Wednesdays is about learning new skills, building physical and mental resilience, connecting with community members, and gaining a new perspective on life and health. 


Connect with us



4825 Mount Royal Gate SW
Calgary, AB T3E 6K6
U216, Wellness Services



Hours of operation

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday: Closed


Subscribe to our newsletter