My father always says, “The success of a parent is the success of his children.” It was January 2009 – high school graduation was approaching slowly- and I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. A cultural Nigerian pushed for absolute excellence clashed with the chiller vibes of sunny Southern California; he figured I could become a pharmacist. With his help I got into a top notch school in Ohio and started down the Pre-pharmacy track.
How did you get into PT?
I spent four and a half years at The University of Toledo. There is something special about being away from family for such a long time at such a young age. A year into the pharmacy coursework, I decided I hated chemistry and changed my major to Exercise Science. I fell in love with the idea of being a Physical Therapist. They say the journey is the best part about getting anywhere, and God always has a plan. I couldn’t have picked anything that I would really enjoy more than Physical Therapy. It puts me in a position where I can positively affect people who have generally mechanical pain, in mechanical ways that require very involved human interaction. I will always enjoy learning how to help people reach their own quality of life goals in all of these creative ways.
What are your “must haves” during the week while you’re in school?
During the week? ahh I would say, that I couldn’t survive without basketball, going to the gym, a little Seinfeld or any of the other really good sitcoms, two bags of Hot Cheetos, and some Chick-fil-A on Friday afternoon. I also make time to talk to family and stay updated on the world.
How do you balance all that with your course load and still manage to do well?
What keeps me on the straight and narrow during the school week is my phone – creating task lists and such. But since I never look at my phone, I have post-it notes everywhere. The colorful ones.
What’s your advice for aspiring physical therapists?
If you want to be a physical therapist, you would need to know that it is 51% people skills, with the other 49% being the anatomy and overall knowledge of how the body moves. In this field, as with many others in health-care, there are many therapists who don’t provide people with the absolute best care that they should be receiving. This inversely can put the patient in an even worse position than they were when they came in. You should want to change that. The Physical Therapy profession is trending in a very positive direction, but there is still some work that needs to be done. If you are willing to contribute to advocacy, health & wellness, self-promotion, and allowing people to use their body – the most efficient machine known to man – in a pain free manner, for as long as possible – You will be very, very happy. KNOW YOUR ANATOMY!