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I originally became interested in the health care field at a very early age because my mother was a nurse and I spent considerable time in my childhood observing her at work. I was attracted to the idea of helping people with physical problems, although I had no thought about any specific specialty. However, in time physical therapy became the logical focus of my attention for a number of reasons. For one, I have memories from a very young age of my grandfather in Czechoslovakia, disabled by a stroke, his problems unmitigated by any attempts at physical therapy. I will never forget the devastating consequences of this. Conversely, I clearly recall suffering from scoliosis when I was 6 years old and having physical therapy permanently relieve me of the problem. My grandmother, too, was helped by physical therapy after suffering a hip fracture when she was 89 years old. She is 95 now and still quite active. So, even within my own family, I have seen the benefits of physical therapy in a dramatic way and how it can positively change an individual’s life. I have been impressed, too, by the fact that physical therapy provides a non-invasive means of treatment that can yield such long-lasting results.
Until two-and-a-half years ago, my professional background was in the area of mechanical engineering. After a while, though, I decided I wanted finally to make the move into the medical field. Physical therapy represents the perfect choice, a career with definite parallels to the work I have done previously; within it I will be able to draw upon my knowledge and understanding of mechanics and motion, and also use my analytical abilities to resolve challenging clinical problems. Four months as a volunteer and two-and-a-half years as a physical therapy aide have only served to corroborate and enhance my interest in the profession.
As far as my professional goals are concerned, I want to specialize in geriatrics and neurological disorders, and come to be known for my professionalism, effectiveness, and compassion. Currently I work for a hospital group with separate in-patient and outpatient facilities. This has given me a chance to observe patients over long periods of rehabilitation and develop rewarding relationships. It is my goal to do the same once I become a registered physical therapist. I hope to be working then in an acute care hospital with an outpatient facility and participate in research that furthers growth in the profession.