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James-Tyler Dodge, D.P.T. Class of 2022, has his Sight Set on Working as a Sports Physical Therapist

Mr. Dodge is pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy With Hopes of Working With Collegiate and Professional Athletes in the Future

March 21, 2022
James-Tyler Dodge, D.P.T. Class of 2022

What inspired you to pursue your degree?

When I was in undergrad I always loved to work out and learn about how the body moved. After graduating, my work was centered around strength and conditioning and loved it, but I was curious whenever one of my athletes got injured and asked me how to rehab it or what to do so they could get back to playing again. That curiosity is what motivated me to pursue the D.P.T. program at NYMC.

What has helped motivate you along your educational journey? Have you encountered any challenges along the way?

My first few years at Scranton were a challenge academically. When I wanted to apply to P.T. school, I had a lot of catching up to do and had to take some courses over to improve some of my grades. The difference really was the motivation behind it all. When I was a freshman and sophomore at Scranton, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I didn’t really put in a lot of effort into studying as much as I should have. But once you realize what your passion is, it fuels a fire in you to continue to work at it and become the best that you can be in that area.

After you graduate, what is your dream career?

Given my strength and conditioning background, a dream job for me would be working with high-level collegiate and/or professional athletes in a private or outpatient setting. Of course, there’s always the option to open my own clinic, which is enticing, but right now my focus is learning as much as I can from my clinical experiences.

What made you choose NYMC?

NYMC was my top choice. The history and reputation that goes along with the name is truly something I am proud of every time I say, “I go to New York Medical College.”

What has been your favorite aspect of being an NYMC student?

For me it has been my classmates and professors. I have made lifelong friendships that began on day one of the program and the passion that our professors have about the physical therapy field is inspiring and motivating.

What faculty or staff member has had the greatest influence on you here?

Two people come to mind. One being Lorena Minnerly, [M.A., digital marketing manager in the Office of Public Relations] and the other being my professional development advisor Dr. Susan Ronan [P.T., D.P.T., PCS, assistant professor of physical therapy]. Lorena helped me believe that I had what it took to get admitted to and succeed at NYMC. She gave me the confidence and motivation to continue to push forward and remain positive even when the stress of school was at its peak. Dr. Ronan has taught me an invaluable amount about the physical therapy field and what it means to be an advocate and professional. She not only taught us one of the most foundational courses in our program, but she also made sure to reach out and check in on our class to see if there was anything she could do to help us. She is truly the gold standard when it comes to professionalism so having her as my advisor has been inspiring in and of itself.

What advice would you give applicants or incoming students?

Stay motivated and believe in yourself. Not everyone gets into P.T. school on their first try, myself included, but that does not mean you should stop pushing yourself. Another thing would be to research the schools before you apply. Schools have different requirements  and emphasize different aspects of your experience. Ask questions when you visit the schools to make sure it is a good fit.

Outside of your studies, what are your hobbies or interests?

I love watching sports, the New York Knicks and New York Giants of course, and working out. These were hobbies and interests of mine that I never gave up during my studies. I always tried to manage my time so that I could watch the games and get a workout in.

Are you a part of any student organizations or interest groups?

I’m one of the class representatives for my cohort, acting as a liaison for my classmates and faculty to help organize courses and make sure the cohort has a voice when there’s a comment or concern.

What is a fun fact about you?

I used to live overseas, having spent four years in Thailand and four years in New Zealand.