Finding Your Match: Things to Think About When Applying to DPT Programs

It’s application season and most of you will have your list of schools picked out already. I, however, am indecisive when it comes to choosing schools. I can see the benefit to both sides of everything -- small vs. large cohort sizes, city vs. suburban, lecture vs. team based learning styles, you name it and I’ll say “I can see how that would be great”. I was also a bit attached to the “idea” of a school because I had heard it is great program from one person, or because it has a great reputation, or is located in a wonderful sounding place. Being drawn to the idea of a place is a definite plus, but I realized I should have the evidence to prove to myself that these schools would be a perfect match. These thought patterns resulted in my being rather indecisive about selecting a concrete list. So, I spent A LOT of time researching what I want. What it has come down to is this: although all schools offer many great things, there are ultimately...

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5 Reasons to Have Confidence Going into a PT School Interview

PT school interviews can be a daunting experience for even the most confident Pre-PT students. They can be even more overwhelming if you don’t have previous interview experience in these types of settings. The latter was myself as I was applying to PT schools and hitting the road for interviews. I really hadn’t experienced a tough interview to that point so when I received an email informing me of the interview day I was to attend, I definitely got a pit in my stomach. 

I applied to eight schools if my memory serves me correctly and I had interviews for two of them: Methodist University in North Carolina and Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. I was really interested in Wheeling Jesuit as it was one of the closer schools geographically. My first interview was at Methodist though and although I wasn’t super interested in going there, I took the interview to get some experience dealing with some of the tough...

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The Importance of Having a "Why"

"..find out what is driving you to pick yourself back up after you fall over and over and over again."

There is always a reason behind everything. A reason behind why the sky is blue and the grass is green. Why the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around. There’s a reason why we blink, why we talk, why we breathe. Of course I can go on and on about why this and why that. It’s a 5 year old’s favorite question, and as annoying as it may be, WHY can it be so hard to answer the question why?

I have been pursuing physical therapy since high school, stemming from a passion of sports and an inquisition on my multiple injuries I acquired throughout my high school career. Does this story ring a bell? Something had to happen in your life to bring you here, right now, reading this blog on the Pre-PT Grind. If you were anything like me, you have tried to apply to PT school and got rejected. Maybe, you are even more like me and failed to get accepted for...

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The Infamous Gap Year(s): Will It Make or Break You?

"You are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be, and you have the amazing gift of navigating where you’ll go next."

The quick and cliché answer? The years spent between obtaining a baccalaureate degree and pursing your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is what you make of it. The circumstances by which one finds themselves hanging in the balance can be nerve-wrecking and discouraging. Watching friends begin their graduate programs and careers inspires a unique type of anxiety when our own lives are punctuated by a question mark. Do I have what it takes? Did I miss my window of opportunity? Will I get accepted this third time around? The truth is there is great power in uncertainty, and the unknown represents boundless opportunities for growth and transformation. I’ve learned my greatest lessons by veering off the path my family and peers expected me to take.

The Pressure to Be Pressed 

American culture is obsessed with productivity, and social media makes...

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The Importance of Working on Yourself as a Pre-PT

If I could go back in time, I wish someone would have told me about this. About how important it is to work on yourself as a person. In this career field you are about to enter, you are dealing with people who are in pain and wanting your help. Working on yourself as a Pre-PT student will set you up for success in not only your future career, but also your future friendships and relationships. 

Okay, so you're probably thinking, as many pre-PT students ask me.. how can I work on myself? There are many ways you can do this. Reading self-help books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and attending other conferences are one of many ways you can do this. 

In order to effectively engage in personal development, you must engage in something you either have a weakness in or an area of interest. For me it was confidence as a pre-PT student, but for you it may be leadership, honesty, communication, business, relationships or persuasion.. the list goes on and on. 

"..start...

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How to ROCK the Application Process

I remember the happiness I felt when I finally received that acceptance email from my top choice program. After practically stalking the Student Doctor Network Forums daily (pro tip: don't do this), and constantly refreshing my email, the moment that I had been working toward for so long was finally here. All of the hard work that I had put in for the past 4 years had finally paid off. Now here I am almost nine months later preparing to start PT school in just a few short months, and it still feels so unreal.

I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) last year (May 2017) with a B.S. in Kinesiology (Sports Medicine concentration). Since my senior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to become a physical therapist. I am a very organized and determined individual, so once I put my mind to something there is no stopping me. As I reflect on my PT school application process, there are so many things I did to become the best applicant I could be.

"I can...

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The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview

High grade point average? Check!  High science grade point average? Done! Volunteer hours in varied settings? Word! Letters of recommendations? Swoosh! Applied for PT school? Locked down! Invited for interviews? Yup! Ready for interviews? Ehhh.

I am assuming that the majority of the people reading this article are in a similar place to where I was a few years ago. In October of 2016, I received my first interview for a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Because I applied the year before and did not get any interviews, you can only imagine how excited one would be to get a chance to prove their potential. Well that was me! I told my family, close friends, and even the Physical Therapist for whom I worked at the time. I ended up finding reasonably priced round trip tickets to Texas. I had a few weeks to prepare for the interview, so I read several different articles online, received guidance from the Physical Therapist who I worked for, practiced interviews with my family...

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Manage Your Time to Dominate Your Future

It’s amazing how much time we can “make” in order to complete our laundry list of daily/weekly tasks. With a bit of focus, organization and determination, anything is possible. I didn’t utilize those qualities quite as efficiently in my early undergrad years, compared to now as a full-time post baccalaureate student. Currently, my time and focus must be split between being a mother, wife, full time student, massage therapist and a physical therapy technician. It’s an interminable juggling act, but one that I have become more proficient at over the years. I’m hopeful this newfound mindset and time management will also serve me well to dominate as a future PT student.

1. Know your why

This is statement you may have heard a few times throughout your Pre-PT journey. It relates to more than knowing why you want to become a physical therapist. It also refers to knowing why you’re grinding in every course, in your observation hours, when...

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The 3 Dangers of "Arriving"

What if I told you that achievement is never the end game?  It almost seems like yesterday when my peers and I gathered for the first time as classmates in our Doctor of Physical Therapy program with many of us having never met before. Each individual came ready to embark on a journey with a common goal to change countless lives for the better. Despite the individual obstacles each one of us had to face just to make it into this particular program, there we were, together in one room, at the starting line of the race to being physical therapists.  It was the beginning of one of the biggest hurdles we would face as students, but it would be faced together. As much as I would like to say that I am close to achieving my goal now and “making it,” it strangely feels like I’m only at the beginning, as if I’m just getting started.

Graduation

In a recent conversation with my little brother, who is currently in 8th grade, about his personal...

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5 Facts You'll Learn in PT School

You’ve made one of the most important decisions of your life: you’re going to PT school. If you’re like me, you just walked across the stage to grab your diploma (classic right hand shake, left hand snag) and are well on you way to a highly anticipated summer break prior to starting your program.

To get to this point, you’ve likely meticulously researched schools and have read countless blogs (like this one! Hey, everyone.) to best prepare for the impending transition. Let me iterate that nothing can really prepare you for the big upheaval that is a doctorate level physical therapy program. That being said, here are a few facts and tips that I wish I had known before starting PT school. 

  1. You’re not alone…ever

Reassuring? Maybe. Creepy? Slightly. Baseline message: you will likely be spending a LOT of time with your cohort members. I know that, when it came down to choosing PT schools, I ended up going with my gut as to which program gave...

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