My name is Julia Madison, and I am a sophomore in the 3+3 Doctorate of Physical Therapy dual enrollment program with Thomas Jefferson University. A little more about me: I am from Bethlehem, PA; I am majoring in Interdisciplinary Health Services; and on campus I am involved in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Relay for Life, Intramural Softball, and Work Study at the Admissions Office.
But enough about me! I am sure you want to hear about why I chose this program. For starters, Saint Joseph’s University offers small class sizes, averaging 23 students per class. This was a huge factor in my decision because of the personal relationships that I am able to form with my professors and classmates. This is especially important for science classes and labs as I do not feel like I am a number in my classes, so I really feel like I get a one on one experience. Another reason I chose the dual-degree program here is because Philadelphia is one of the country’s best cities for medical professions, due to the rigor of the medical school programs and the number of hospitals in the area. Thomas Jefferson University is a well-known medical school that will prepare me for my career as a Physical Therapist. Also, in the Thomas Jefferson program, I will get my Doctorate of Physical therapy in 6 years, which is a year shorter than most other programs. Finally, one of the biggest reasons I chose the SJU/Thomas Jefferson program is because of the rotations I will be doing at Jefferson. I will have the opportunity to do 4 rotations at different physical therapy locations that will allow me to get hands-on experience in the field with the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. This will allow me to build connections with Physical Therapists and that may eventually turn into a job opportunity at the end of the rotation.
As for the classes I have taken at SJU, through my Interdisciplinary Health Services major I have taken discussion based classes in which we reviewed case studies and explored the healthcare system and insurance policies, human participant protection in research, how illness and disease affects our society, and explained the different types of diseases and how to approach caring for all kinds of patients. These classes will definitely help in preparing me for my career as a healthcare professional.
To gain more experience, I have shadowed at two physical therapy locations. I shadowed the Physical Therapist for athletes at SJU, which gave me a lot of experience in understanding the many different types of injuries and how he went about treating each unique athlete. I also shadowed at an outpatient location that treated patients of all ages and level of function. Both of these locations allowed me to ask questions and gain insight from Physical Therapists regarding how they go about treating their patients.
I am incredibly happy with my decision to go to Saint Joseph’s University and be a part of the 3+3 Doctorate of Physical Therapy dual enrollment program with Thomas Jefferson University. I hope this helps in giving you more information about the program!