A New Frontier
When I look back on being one of the first students in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at Walsh, I think I was shaped well by the faculty. They really preached professionalism. I had excellent experiences in the clinics and was able to treat some really great patients. I was taught by some of the best PTs in the field, so that helped me tremendously to hit the ground running when I graduated.
It was a lot of hard work and a lot of hours in the classroom, but my biggest memory comes from my classmates. The nice thing was that we were with the same group for three years so we were all very close. I still speak with many on a weekly basis. We kept things light and had a lot of fun and enjoyed what we did. Graduation day was special as well. I was able to graduate with 20 people who'd been there for me. It was nice to go up there and receive a doctorate and be part of something that special.
The program presented good opportunities for my clinical experience. A lot of my classmates traveled to attend PT clinics around the country and spent 8-12 weeks away to learn on the job. So when I did a clinical at a VA hospital in Dayton, OH, I wasn't sure what I was in for. When I got down there, I felt comfortable and I really enjoyed working with veterans. It's very rewarding. You get to give back to a lot of men and women who gave a lot to us. It's challenging at times. You have to be a people person. But, when you're able to help people feel better, it really affects their daily lives. It's a pretty special job. I'm glad I picked this field. I think I'm going to be happy for years to come.
Clay currently works at the >Akron community-based Outpatient Clinic, a branch of the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and was named Athletic Trainer of the Year at Mount Union. While at Walsh, Clay received the Peer Recognition Award, an award voted on by Clay's classmates in Walsh's DPT program, and also received the Academic Excellence Award.