James Kim is a current student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
Similar to most people who enter the physical therapy field, my interest began when I suffered an injury while playing sports in high school. The therapist that I had worked with at the time gave me a great insight on what PT school is about and all the different facets that comes with it. That initially sparked my interest into entering PT school. While I admit, I’ve had many thoughts of changing that during my undergraduate career, I am very happy with my choice and have absolutely no regrets about being in this wonderful program here at UB!
I visited UB for the first time when I was in high school and I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere that the campus and the city itself had to offer. Despite UB being far from home, it allowed me to become more independent and I have matured greatly because of that. I decided to stay at UB in pursuit of my DPT degree because of the positive experiences and relationships that I’ve established during my time here at UB.
I first started off as an undergraduate student in the Exercise Science program here at UB, graduating with my Bachelor of Science in 2016. My experience in that program certainly helped me make the transition into the DPT curriculum.
The first year of the DPT program sets the foundation and basics of the field of physical therapy. We are taught the principles of assessing and treating patients that will be seen in the clinical setting. You also are provided the opportunity to learn the hands-on practical applications and techniques during the first year. It makes everything more interesting and relevant. You really get the feeling that you are well on your way to becoming a physical therapist.
So far I have completed two clinical rotations in completely different settings, acute care and outpatient. This has provided me with a better understanding of the spectrum that physical therapy is and has provided valuable insight that will be useful when I decide where I want my professional career to go after graduation.
My classmates are undoubtedly my favorite part of the program (Class of 2019!) From late nights in the library, to our trip to New Orleans for Combined Sections Meeting, we are always supporting, teaching and encouraging each other through every obstacle that comes with graduate school. I am forever grateful for them.
I also enjoy the clinical education portion of this program. Being able to apply what you learn in the classroom in a real-world setting is incredibly important. With UB having one of the highest amounts of clinical experience in the country, in terms of number of weeks, they are ultimately what develop you into a confident clinician and it certainly has been extremely valuable to me.
Much like the city of Buffalo itself, UB is slowly on the rise and is setting its sights on becoming one of the premier universities in New York state. Graduating from UB signifies having valuable real-world knowledge, being able to collaborate and think critically in an effective manner in order to be the best at what you strive to be.