Career goal completed. I officially received my doctorate of physical therapy on August 16, 2013, from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. The week was filled with an amazing vacation with my two daughters, followed by a reunion with one of several brothers and a celebration upon my arrival from vacation.
As I sat in the auditorium listening to several speeches from distinguished professors, I found myself reflecting on the past two years and the amount of knowledge and understanding that I gained from this experience. While many of us graduating have been physical therapists for many years, 28 candidates sitting in front of us were completing a three-year program and were just beginning their careers as DPTs.
What sets us apart from these young, energetic DPTs? The experience and understanding of complex situations certainly gives us an advantage; however, similarities exist in that we can provide a higher level of skill and care to our patients than ever before. We are comfortable with sharing our knowledge of evidence-based care, as well as physical therapy diagnostic patterns and descriptions. Going through my mind is, "What is the next step?" Perhaps looking into my PhD, or becoming certified in an orthopedic specialty. After all, I'll have ample time to spare now that my studies have come to an end.
To top it all off, today I was approached by three of my peers who are going to be applying to return to school for their DPTs. This has absolutely floored me, and I'm very impressed with their dedication to their patients and careers. I've truly been blessed to be surrounded with such amazing people at every facility I've worked at. I will support my newest coworkers in their quest for their DPTs and look forward to mentoring Chris, Estela, and Eileen at Memorial Regional Hospital South. You will not be disappointed, and will gain a wealth of knowledge!