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'Kinesiology, orthopedic hospital ..' - PTCAS- Physical Therapy App Essay!

hlyons25 1 / 1  
Oct 25, 2012   #1
Hi all, I am applying to Physical Therapy programs and have been reviewing my draft so often the last few days that it is driving me crazy, any advice would help! Thanks!!

Question: Describe your decision making process in choosing Physical Therapy as a career choice vs. other health care careers.

As a child I remember questioning the scars that covered my fathers legs, and the limp that was characteristic of his gait. He had been in a terrible car accident before I was born and continued to suffer the consequences for many years, making daily tasks wearying. It wasn't until I was thirteen that he underwent hip replacement surgery. I vividly remember watching him wide-eyed with amazement as he took his first steps towards recovery through outpatient rehabilitation, how was it possible that he was able to walk three days after surgery? Something inside me sparked. As I drilled the therapist with questions on how the body worked to recover, I saw the dedication she had to improving my fathers life, I wanted to be just like her. The dedication, intelligence, and passion exemplified by my fathers therapist was truly inspiring and demonstrated many characteristics that I possess. With this new found curiosity and inspiration my fascination with the resiliency of the human body began to unfold.

In my teenage years I rencountered the benefits of physical activity and its ability to elicit positive changes in an individuals life. I was seventeen and instructing swimming lessons when I was asked to work with a young girl suffering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a girl who lacked the ability to swim without dislocating a joint. Over the course of that summer I worked to improve Emily's range of motion through kicking and stroke drills. By the end of the summer Emily had undergone a tremendous transformation, these new skills had strengthened her muscles to the point where she could not only move independently around the pool but was able to walk with ease. It was at this moment that my ambition to become a pediatric physical therapist was solidified and I was overwhelmed by a sense of empowerment for I recognized that I, myself have the ability to positively change the lives of others on a daily basis. To this day my relationship with Emily has been one of the most rewarding and is a reminder of what has consistently motivated me towards my dream of becoming a physical therapist.

After attaining my Bachelors of science in Kinesiology I decided to further explore the field and took a volunteer position at New England Baptist Hospital, an orthopedic hospital located in Boston, Massachusetts. Working alongside various physical therapists I was able to experience the reciprocal relationship created between a patient and a therapist, an element of the profession that truly intrigued me. The constant one-on-one interaction the therapist has with the patient allows them to not only facilitate the improvements necessary for the patients full recuperation, but to see their progression down the road to recovery, a factor that a nurse or doctor might miss out on. My experience at the Baptist has truly resonated within me. Being able to watch an individual overcome obstacles such as taking the first few steps after a double knee replacement or a spinal surgery is truly an amazing and fulfilling experience, something I know I will enjoy for the rest of my life.

Most of what motivates us to travel down a particular path in life stems from experience. My father and Emily are only two examples of events in my life that set the foundation for my desire to become a physical therapist. Through these experiences I was able to witness the long term relationship that is cultivated between a therapist and a patient, a component of physical therapy that I find to be most valuable. Physical therapy is a versatile career, one that almost each of us, at some point in our lives will benefit from. Whether you suffer from limitations due to a car accident like my father or a debilitating disease like Emily, physical therapy allows individuals to lead the most functional and comfortable lives as possible. Through work as a physical therapist I hope to establish meaningful relationships with my patients and look forward to growing both intellectually and personally through the experiences in my future.
kyoon525 1 / 2  
Oct 27, 2012   #2
You have a very strong way with words! I particularly like the opening paragraph. It's very strong.

I noticed that most of your essay doesn't address the prompt until the very end. Maybe a few sentences here and there about why PT INSTEAD of other healthcare professions would be good. LIke in the first paragraph you talk about

"The dedication, intelligence, and passion exemplified by my fathers therapist was truly inspiring and demonstrated many characteristics that I possess. With this new found curiosity and inspiration my fascination with the resiliency of the human body began to unfold."

how is that different from maybe a doctor or optometrist or pharmacist?

It's actually something I'm having a bit of a difficult time with myself.I think the tendency is to write your story instead of answering why you chose pt over other professions.
OP hlyons25 1 / 1  
Oct 27, 2012   #3
Thank you for your insight! I agree I need to address the prompt more throughout the essay!

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