Reuben Cheng, DPT24

"The journey to becoming a physical therapist is challenging but rewarding. Tufts offers the opportunity to take on a hybrid, accelerated format that is fast and intensive but offers flexibility and support."
Headshot image of Reuben

Tufts' Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs follow a hybrid, accelerated model with a rigorous course load—however, our faculty is here to support students every step of the way. Hear from current student, Reuben Cheng, DPT24, about his experience being in the inaugural DPT-Phoenix cohort. 

Why did you choose to pursue this degree?
"I developed a passion for movement and wellness as an athlete (lacrosse, cycling, rowing) throughout high school and undergraduate studies constantly looking for ways to improve my body and performance. I began working as a physical therapy technician and then licensed as a physical therapist assistant where I was able to make impactful changes to patients of all populations, activity levels, and more. Physical therapy is a special place in which your interpersonal skills and medical knowledge work together to formulate the greatest potential for improvement in a variety of patient populations. I chose to pursue this degree and continue my education so that I can practice with greater autonomy and work on a larger scale to positively impact my patients and community."

Why did you choose Tufts?
"While I was deciding between different PT schools, part of the process was attending open houses to be introduced to the faculty and observe their interactions and passions. Not only is Tufts a reputable university in the fields of medicine and research, but the DPT-Phoenix faculty truly advocates and provides resources for the success and well-being of their students. Another reason is that the hybrid-accelerated model allows for greater personal flexibility; this is a perk that I have utilized to the fullest throughout my first two semesters in the program."

What has your experience it the DPT-Phoenix program been like so far?
"I have had the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural cohort here in Phoenix. Being the first class brings about its own unique challenges with anything new, but the beauty is that our cohort is able to help mold the process moving forward for other classes to come. Our faculty facilitates our well-being and wellness throughout the intense coursework. Our classmates have taken the mantle for each other to find success and truly support one another. The hybrid, accelerated model provides greater flexibility in my personal life and has allowed for a cross-country move and a wedding during my first few months in the program. I continued to find success while enduring those stressful times because of my classmates providing support."

What is your favorite aspect about the program?
"I love the lab immersions that are held at the end of each semester. It is a time to come together and practice with one another and better ourselves as future clinicians. It's so wonderful to see my classmates in person and grow those relationships while cultivating success in our cohort."

What is your proudest personal accomplishment while at Tufts?
"My proudest personal accomplishment is my class entrusting in me and being selected as the Cohort Leader of the inaugural Phoenix DPT class. I am blessed to represent and advocate for my classmates as we navigate the journey that is the physical therapy program."

What do you wish to accomplish upon graduation?
"Upon graduation, my goal is to pursue residency and fellowship opportunities to continue advancing my skills as a physical therapist. I have had the pleasure of spending a few years working in sports medicine and outpatient orthopedic care, and I'd love to be able to step back into that realm. I also would love the opportunity to teach future physical therapists either as an adjunct or taking on students on clinical affiliations. I believe that we have a large role to play in the future success and growth of our profession."

What do you want a prospective student to know about Tufts?
"The journey to becoming a physical therapist is challenging but rewarding. Tufts offers the opportunity to take on a hybrid, accelerated format that is fast and intensive but offers flexibility and support like no other program that I have been a part of. The faculty truly advocates for your success and well-being. They demonstrate passion for their field and challenge you to perform at your highest level to become great clinicians. They're here to help you find support, for you to support your classmates, and work to succeed together. The faculty is stacked with leading clinicians in their specialties and leading researchers. If this model is a fit for you, I highly encourage you to pursue it."

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