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Renato Sanchez, DPT22
"I want to be a PT who changes someone’s life, like the PT who changed mine."
The Tuft University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs will prepare you to be a mission-driven physical therapist so that you can improve others' lives and create healthier communities. Hear from current student in the Boston program, Renato Sanchez, DPT22, about his experience.
Why did you choose to pursue this degree?
"Believe it or not, I didn't know what a Physical Therapist (PT) was until I was in college. I was a student athlete playing soccer in undergrad when I got a concussion that put me out for the rest of the season. I met with different medical staff over the course of eight months, and it was our team PT that helped me the most with that injury. His initial evaluation dictated my entire treatment. He spoke to me as a person rather than a "concussed soccer player." The first conversation I had with him changed the trajectory of my health and my life. I knew right then and there that I wanted to pursue this career."
Why did you choose Tufts?
"The hybrid accelerated model was a no brainer for me. I get to stay in California and witness the East Coast blizzards from a distance, all while jumping into the profession a year earlier than the traditional brick and mortar programs. After attending the informational session, I knew Tufts was my top choice. I got to see firsthand how down to earth the faculty were. They take the program seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s the perfect balance. I’m extremely fortunate to be a fellow Jumbo."
What has your experience it the DPT-Boston program been like so far?
"I've got to give it up to the DPT Faculty—Tufts really brought in some top-tier individuals to the program. I've met really amazing people here and have made friends that will last a lifetime (shoutout MD). You wouldn't think you'd get as close as you do with students in the cohort since you don't see each other as often as you'd like. We see each other weekly on Zoom, but only have a handful of visits together in Boston every year. You quickly learn to appreciate the time you have together in person because it's short lived. I think that’s why we all get along so well."
What is your favorite aspect about the program?
"There are a lot of things I love about the program. My favorite one has to be the lab immersions. The camaraderie everyone shows with one another is something that can’t be explained. The entire cohort is supportive of one another and everybody wants you to succeed. The worst part is that these trips always tend to fly by. As soon as one immersion is over, you're immediately looking forward to the next one."
What is your proudest personal accomplishment while at Tufts?
"Performing "Take It Easy" by the Eagles with the Papi Chulos & Chula (PCC) at our Pinning Ceremony in front of the entire cohort and everyone's families over Zoom. We had just finished our last practicals when Dr. Donaldson reached out to me about performing at the ceremony. We have a few musicians in our class, so it's known that we usually have instruments on hand. After some recruiting, PCC was born. We didn't know what song we were performing until an hour before the ceremony. The band met together 30 minutes before to rehearse a couple times, and luckily it came out pretty dang good. We also kept it a secret so hearing everyone's reactions when we first got on stage was fun to be a part of. Looking forward to our next performance... graduation maybe?"
What do you wish to accomplish upon graduation?
"There’s a lot I want to do post graduation. Being a Sports Physical Therapist for a professional soccer team and working with youth athletes is where I see myself in this field to start. I want to give athletes at all levels the right tools to perform optimally, prevent injuries as much as possible and speed up recovery while making them stronger than they were before. I want to be a PT who changes someone’s life, like the PT who changed mine."
What do you want a prospective student to know about Tufts?
"Know that you will be in great hands. The faculty are there for you as soon as you receive that acceptance letter. Whether you're smooth sailing at the top of the class, or have a few hiccups along the way, they all want you to succeed. They're not here to just teach. They're here to guide you to become the best version of yourself and challenge you to think critically so you’re not "just another PT." The program wants to create PTs that will make an impact on the healthcare system and change the world for the better. We’ve also got rockstar faculty that are at the forefront of the latest research in the field, including development of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for various pathologies. That’s something you won’t find in a lot of programs."