Why did I become a PT?

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Other than “Did you have to go to school for this?” the most common question I am asked is “why did I want to become a physical therapist?” I really wish I had a perfect response for this because I don’t have some of the usual reasons that PTs have, such as:

“Oh PT helped me when I was injured in the past”

“Someone in my family was injured and PT was very helpful”

“I just love helping people” (people who say this in high school are liars)

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When I was a senior in high school (which is when I deciced to pursue physical therapy), I had not been seriously injured or had a family member who was injured. Of course I liked to help people, but this was hardly at the forefront of my mind as a teenager. Instead, this was the thought process that  went through my head:

What am I good at? Science and math

Maybe I could be a doctor, but do I want to go to medical school? No

What else requires science and math skills? Psych, physics, physical therapy, athletic training

Which one can you actually get a job doing? Physical therapy and athletic training

Maybe I’ll be able to just work with athletes (Ah, I was so young and so naive)

Whoa, look you can get a doctorate doing physical therapy. Everyone will respect me with that!! (see first quote above to see if this has been realized)

 

So I applied to college, and after being accepted into a few PT programs, and settling on one that allowed for 6 years instead of 7 years, I began the trek to discover what this physical therapy thing was all about. This included three years of prerequisite courses, before even starting a PT course

Finally after spending time in classes and in actual clinics, I liked what I saw and realized I made the right choice. I discovered that I really do like helping people. However, there are still several selfish reasons I am glad I chose physical therapy.

  • It allows me to stay on my feet and out of a chair, and with all this new research showing that sitting is like smoking 30 packs of cigarettes a day, I feel like I struck gold.
  • I also love the challenge of it, it is certainly not a mindless job, every day is unique in some what. Plus it utilizes those skills that I am strongest at (science/math)
  • Every once in awhile, I get to work with an athlete. Or at the very least try to help someone become more athletic.

So anyway, I am still trying to figure out why I decided to become a physical therapist. Maybe I never really will understand the reason, but I am very glad that I did.

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