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What is your hometown?
I am from Griswold, a small town in southwest Iowa.
What interested you to pursue a career in physical therapy?
I spent several semesters volunteering in the physical therapy department at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), both in the outpatient and neurology departments. I had always known I wanted to work in some sort of health profession, and these experiences helped me realize that physical therapy was the profession that allowed me the best opportunity to explore my interests and develop close relationships with the patients I would serve.
Is there a teacher or mentor who helped you decide on this career path?
A couple of people were very helpful throughout the process of deciding on my career. In undergrad I majored in integrative physiology, and my adviser in the department was Clay Peterson. He was very helpful and always willing to discuss my career options with me as I took various classes within the major, some of which he taught. Mike Shaffer was also a big influence on me choosing physical therapy as my career path. He is a PT at UIHC and always did a great job of teaching volunteers about the profession while keeping us involved in the treatment process whenever possible. My interactions with Mike and Clay were definitely among the major influences that led me to choose physical therapy for my career.
How or why did you choose the University of Iowa for your education?
My family has been coming to Hawkeye football games at Iowa for as long as I can remember, so I was already very familiar with most of the campus. Combined with the excellent reputation of the programs I was considering in undergrad and the physical therapy department later on, Iowa has been the best place for me to pursue my education.
What are your career objectives?
At this point in my education, I am most interested in pursuing a career in pediatric physical therapy in an inpatient setting. I think it would be amazing to work in a children's hospital somewhere in the future and have the opportunity to work with children with a wide range of diagnoses to help them reach their potential!
What are some of your outside interests?
I enjoy playing and watching sports, reading for fun when possible, and spending time with friends and classmates.
What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student?
Try to get experience in several settings of physical therapy as early and as often as you can. Volunteering is a great place to start and can help you gain valuable experience to help you feel comfortable developing relationships and providing care for patients. This will allow you to focus on applying what you have learned in the classroom during patient interactions early in your education. It can also help you figure out where your specific interests are and what classes you might take in undergrad to help you address areas you are more curious about.
Why would you recommend students to apply to the University of Iowa DPT Program?
The University of Iowa DPT Program is a truly top-notch program. I applied to several schools, but none of the others combined an excellent academic reputation along with a fantastic environment and faculty as well as Iowa did. The faculty members of the physical therapy program here are incredible. All of the faculty are very knowledgeable and help us reach for our potential in the field, but do so while maintaining a friendly environment where you can voice your concerns over an office visit or just spend a few minutes chatting in the hallway. On top of all that, Iowa City is a great place to go to school, with plenty to do and lots of athletics and other activities to take part in!