As a junior in high school, my parents pushed me to discover a college career path I would enjoy, but also would provide me with funds needed to live a comfortable life. I quickly started thinking about classes I enjoyed and excelled in, and decided on Anatomy and Physiology. I was vastly intrigued with the complexity of the human body and how delicately it is made and put together like a puzzle.
I job shadowed a physical therapist named Katie multiple times in the inpatient setting and quickly fell in love with physical therapy. With black and gold running in the Mercker blood, Purdue University was an easy decision for college. After talking with many physical therapists on what they thought would be a beneficial undergraduate degree, I chose athletic training.
" It was apparent I would get the education that I had looked for, while being surrounded by passionate faculty who made the learning enjoyable. "- Kristin Mercker
After researching and interviewing at multiple graduate schools, Trine University came across my radar. Although smaller than my alma mater, there were many positives that came with Trine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. A few of the strengths that drew me to the program are the smaller student-to-teacher ratios, the diverse backgrounds of the professors, a great facility equipped to foster learning, and personalities of the staff and other current students that complemented mine well. It was apparent I would get the education that I had looked for, while being surrounded by passionate faculty who made the learning enjoyable.
Another unique element that played a large role in choosing Trine University was its take on traditional integrated clinical experience. The program they have instilled, called CARE (Clinical Application and Reflection Experience), is unlike most graduate schools. With CARE, hands-on experience starts within the first month of physical therapy school. Taking the newly learned clinical practice skills and applying them to real patients is exactly the way that I, and a lot of my classmates, learn best. CARE also gives students exposure to a wide variety of physical therapy settings, ranging from the intensive care units to outpatient facilities. Additionally, the CARE program acts as an excellent precursor to the long-term, clinical rotations I am about to enter.
Overall, I could not be more pleased with the graduate school experience Trine University has supplied for me. From respecting the voices of students to proving top-of-the-line educational material, I am thankful that God and Trine University DPT staff members chose me to be a part of this outstanding program!