Why did you choose UE for your DPT education?
Initially, I chose UE DPT because they offered a Direct Entry option. I was attracted to the idea that I was able to complete my undergraduate degree at UE and already have a spot in the DPT program as long as I remained in compliance with the requirements. After touring UE and researching more, I decided to choose UE because I also loved the campus, had the opportunities to join a sorority and be involved in multiple student organizations (including Ace CARE), and learn from some of the most genuine and intelligent professors.
What has been your favorite PT class so far?
I love all of the orthopedic classes, but my favorite was the first year ortho class. I remember it being the first class that made me feel like a “real PT”. Sure, we had plenty of other classes that were important in shaping us to be well rounded physical therapists, but in this class we got to learn manual therapy, practice palpation, learn special tests, use critical thinking for practicals, and get creative with interventions.
How is PT school different from your undergraduate education?
In my opinion, the intensity of the curriculum is the biggest difference. In undergrad, there was this fantastic period called “syllabus week”, but this is not as common in PT school. Typically, the professors will go over the syllabus at the beginning of the first day of class and then jump right in to the content! In addition, in undergrad, there were classes that we were required to take, but that weren’t necessarily applicable to our field. In PT school, even if a class does not exactly feel like it is directly related to physical therapy, it is! Therefore, it is important to internalize the content of all your classes because it will come up again later and the information will need to be all tied together.
What do you see as the strengths of the UE Physical Therapy Program?
One thing that makes this program so great is that the professors are so knowledgeable and are trailblazers in the PT world. Many of our professors have conducted countless research studies (of which they typically ask for student assistance), created functional movement screens, and have presented information at various conferences. As if this isn't remarkable enough, it is also noteworthy that our professors are very humble and that they don't act like they know everything, just like they don't expect us to know everything. In fact, they encourage us to feel comfortable making mistakes and to make every experience a learning opportunity. Finally, one of my favorite strengths about the UE DPT Program is that we are all a family. Our professors are very approachable, accommodating, and compassionate. On more than one occasion, professors brought in cookies for classes during a stressful week, celebrated acceptances of dream jobs/residencies, made us laugh until we were crying, and were there for encouraging words during times of uncertainty. UE DPT is one of a kind.
What has contributed to your academic success in the program?
I would not have been successful in this program if it were not for my support system. My parents kept me relatively calm and reassured me that everything would be okay when I was struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My best friend and boyfriend were two of my biggest cheerleaders and would help me escape from the stress that is graduate school. Finally, my cohort was a key contributor. We helped each other study, we practiced being each others' patients for practicals, we celebrated the highs and helped each other get through the lows. Most importantly, we made sure to have A LOT of fun outside of class.
What advice do you have for high school students who are right now selecting a university for Pre-PT?
CHOOSE UE! Not only will this university expand your knowledge, but you will also form lasting relationships, further your personal growth and development, and have countless opportunities to make a difference on campus and in the Evansville community. Take advantage of the opportunities on this campus, get involved in organizations, and step out of your comfort zone! Most importantly, don't wish time away; live in the present and enjoy every experience that presents itself. I have loved being a Purple Ace, and I think you will too.
What advice do you give to incoming PT students, starting this summer?
Be prepared to work hard! It is important to get good grades, but it is also important to have fun!! Take a break to go hang out with your friends, go out with your cohort to celebrate an exam being over, watch a couple episodes of Netflix, go to the gym, or do whatever helps you escape. In addition, start off feeling comfortable with making mistakes and understand that UE DPT does not expect you to be perfect; just do your best! Finally, enjoy each day. It is so easy to count down the days until the semester is over or until graduation. PT school is really hard and at times you will want it to just be over, but I urge you not to wish time away. It isn't until you are sitting in your last class that you suddenly realize how much you will miss your professors and their quirks, how much you will miss studying with some of your best friends, and how much you will miss the learning about the profession you love.
What are your plans post graduation?
I have accepted a position as Rehabilitation & Performance Institute’s next orthopedic resident!!! I can’t wait to get involved in the Owensboro community and to improve my knowledge/skills from a fantastic group of people!! In addition, I still get to collaborate with UE DPT and assist with some of the classes! I can't wait to see what this next chapter has in store.