We sat down with Maddie - a student in UC's Pre-Physical Therapy (Pre-PT) Program. She shared her experience and gave some advice for Pre-PT's future bearcats.
What do you enjoy doing outside of class, schoolwork, and clinical?
My two biggest hobbies outside of school are weightlifting and painting! Two very different things, I know, but both help me relax and destress from school work. I’ve recently been reading more novels, as well!
Are you involved in any student organizations? What has your experience been in those organizations?
I’m in a few different student organizations- CAHS Ambassadors, Pre-Physical Therapy Club, and CAHS Tribunal. The Pre-Physical Therapy Club has proven to be one of the biggest help on my journey to graduate school. Many meetings consist of learning about observational opportunities, how to apply to graduate schools, and class-specific review sessions. The CAHS Ambassador program has helped me give back to UC! I love giving tours and talking with prospective students about the college, not to mention I get to meet a lot of like-minded people.
When did you know you wanted to be a Physical Therapist?
I actually didn’t know I wanted to be a Physical Therapist until my sophomore year at UC. It wasn’t until I took some hands-on classes and labs at UC that I realized I enjoyed the rehab aspect of exercise science and wanted to make the switch to Physical Therapy. Having access to different types of equipment in the labs helped me find what I was passionate about while also preparing me for my future career.
What types of hands-on experiences have you been able to gain in the program?
The amount of equipment we have access to in our labs is incredible. This past year we used a multitude of different equipment like cycle ergometers, force plates, and metabolic carts. All of which I had no clue existed, but gave me the opportunity to work individually with the equipment and build my understanding of their uses. My favorite class I took was musculoskeletal anatomy- the entire lab we palpated the muscles, ligaments, and bones of our partners.
How have the opportunities at UC helped to shape your career goals or view of the profession?
This program does a great job of giving students a variety of classes that touch on the many aspects of the health science field. Saying this, I found out that I love learning about the nervous system! In the future, I want to work in an outpatient clinic specific to stroke patients. Getting to learn a bit of everything in my undergrad years has helped me decide which direction I want to take my career in.
You are in an early assurance program for DPT (Junior or High school), what has been the value of this program for you?
Being accepted into the JEAP program has taken the strain of applying to multiple graduate schools off my shoulders. It’s relieving to know that I have a highly-ranked graduate program to attend next year! The best part of it is, I’ll be taught by many of my former professors- which will make the transition to graduate school much easier.
UC’s Health Sciences –Pre-PT program is unique in that it is a track specific to students who want to become a PT, how has this improved your undergraduate experience?
The courses I’ve taken have given me a base understanding of different skill sets, equipment, and anatomical knowledge that I’ll need for graduate school and my future career. The labs offered are specifically catered towards the students getting hands-on learning for things they will use in many different clinical settings. While shadowing a current Physical Therapist for observation hours, having these basic skill sets makes it easy to converse and help with treatments.
Anything else you would say to a prospective student that is trying to find the right program for them?
You’ll have plenty of time to figure out what you want to pursue. UC’s Health Science program sets you up for success even if you decide to change majors, just like me! As you explore your interests in different classes, you may realize you enjoy a different aspect of the health science field. It may take some time, but you will find what you are passionate about.