Pre-Physical Therapy Alumni Success Stories

Randolph-Macon alumni in graduate school, and those with healthcare careers all agree: their R-MC education paved the way for their success. Through a challenging curriculum, one-on-one attention from professors who truly care, and a dedicated staff, the R-MC experience prepares students for success.

  • Aaron Perkins ’01, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CMTPT, Owner, Physical Therapy of Central Virginia, LLC

    Aaron PerkinsPerkins had a strong interest in anatomy and human physiology and knew he wanted to do something to help other people while being able to personally connect with them. He volunteered with R-MC alumni who work in various medical professions, and he did an internship. “These opportunities gave me a more complete picture of how many different conditions therapists work with and the numerous interventions physical therapists utilize,” he says. “Learning about the various paths a physical therapist can take and the variety of settings a therapist can work in piqued my interest further.” Perkins earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

  • Samantha Block ’11, PT, The Children’s Hospital of Richmond Outpatient Clinic

    Samantha BlockBlock, who majored in biology at R-MC, earned her D.P.T. at The George Washington University. “During my freshman year at R-MC, I tore my ACL during a volleyball match, which required surgery and subsequent physical therapy,” she says. “I went to Ashland Physical Therapy, where I was treated by Matt Pulisic ’87. I experienced firsthand how much physical therapy can help injured patients, and I was inspired to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy.”

  • Meghan Shaw ’08, DPT, First-year Student in the Rehabilitation and Movement Science Ph.D. Program, VCU

    Shaw’s interest in the areas of human neuroanatomy and physiology, rehabilitation, and related research led her to pursue a career in Allied Health. “During graduate school and while practicing as physical therapist, I developed further interest in the areas of chronic and acute myofascial pain and treatment of spinal disorders,” she says. “I realized my desire to pursue a career path as a researcher and professor in the field of physical therapy.” Shaw earned her D.P.T. at VCU and worked for three years as a PT in an outpatient clinic before deciding to pursue her Ph.D. “R-MC prepared me for my career by providing me with the opportunity to participate in SURF,” says Shaw, who majored in biology and minored in chemistry and Spanish. “Performing biological research as an undergraduate helped me gain experience with data collection, compilation and analysis, and presentation. The encouragement of my professors helped me to succeed. I was also one of the first students to complete an internship for the senior capstone project, which solidified my career choice.”

  • Matt Pulisic ’87, PT, DPT, OCS, President and Owner, Two Outpatient Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy Practices

Matt PulisicPulisic always had an interest in anatomy and wanted to tie that into rehabilitation in some way, so he did an internship in a physical therapy clinic during his senior year at R-MC. “I was hooked,” he says. “I decided during the internship that I wanted to be a physical therapist.” Pulisic says R-MC’s small class sizes, which forced him to communicate with fellow students and professors, allowed for an easier transition to physical therapy school. He is a graduate of the School of Physical Therapy at the Medical College of Virginia, earned board certification in orthopedic physical therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and earned his master’s degree in orthopedic physical therapy from MCV. He earned his doctorate in physical therapy from MCV. “Having good communication skills also helped me be more comfortable in my one-on-one relationships with patients,” he says. Pulisic has solid advice for students considering a career in physical therapy. “Take the time to learn as much as you can in all your classes. Take advantage of your non-major classes as well, and by all means do an internship in physical therapy and see if that is what you are passionate about.”