Meet a Member

Rick White, SPT

Meet Rick, Co-Director of our Student & New Professional Subcommittee’s Career Chats and an emerging leader with a unique background!

I started my journey to become a physical therapist for reasons–that I am sure–resonate with most students.  A strong desire to serve others, a transformative PT moment, and the understanding that it is necessary to treat the whole person and not just a condition.

But I was coming from a place in my life that is less universal among students.  I had a background in Group Processes research, I was running a martial arts school, and I was taking on an increasing family role with my significant other and her daughter.

Within my program, I found other students who also had diverse backgrounds, families, and responsibilities beyond school. We were able to come together in small groups and share how we would incorporate our existing abilities into our future practice as well as strategies for balancing life and school.

The first year of my program I was exposed to oncologic PT and it just clicked.  This was how I could use my unique skillset to do the most good. However, there is not much space allotted for oncology rehab in most DPT programs and even less to career development. 

The APTA Oncology Student and New Professional Subcommittee has been a critical resource to orient myself towards the goal of oncologic physical therapy. I was privileged to be part of the team to develop the Career Chats Initiative and serve as a Co-Director. Career Chats is an online interview series designed to educate physical therapists and physical therapy students on the opportunities available within oncologic physical therapy. Every other month we interview experts in the field of oncologic physical therapy and our guests share their personal and professional journeys, offer advice, and field questions from the audience. Our goal is to help PTs and PT students connect to others and find their path to do the most good within oncology rehab.