B.A. in Biological Sciences with a minor in psychology, Quincy University
“ I am a first-generation college student for both undergraduate and graduate studies, and receiving a doctorate in physical therapy feels like such an accomplishment for both my family and me. ”Tayler Ruppel
Physical Therapy Student, Class of 2025
What inspired you to pursue a healthcare career?
I wanted to combine my love of science with my love of physical activity, and what better way is there to accomplish that than to become a physical therapist? During my sophomore year of undergraduate studies, I asked my sister-in-law what I could do to combine my interests, and she told me I should go observe physical therapy. I am so glad she did because I got to see how much of an impact a physical therapist makes in all people's lives at every age and stage in life. I never wanted to leave my observation visits. I truly enjoyed watching the physical therapists create such strong relationships with their patients and help people by getting them to move their bodies.
How did your background and history factor into your career choice?
I am a first-generation college student for both undergraduate and graduate studies, and receiving a doctorate in physical therapy feels like such an accomplishment for both my family and me. I believe if you are going to work every day, then you need a job where you feel like you contribute back to society. My dad was a brick laborer, and he would take us to his job sites. You could just feel how much pride he took in his work. Knowing he was making something beautiful for other people was everything he needed to feel he did a great job. I feel that with physical therapy, I will get that same feeling that my dad experienced, and I'll feel satisfied with my choice to pursue a career in healthcare.
Why did you decide to attend Midwestern University?
I decided to attend Midwestern University due to the resources they provide for their students and the warmth I felt from the faculty and staff. Graduate school is supposed to be challenging, but Midwestern University ultimately wants you to succeed. They surround you with people who want the best for you and are going to help you get to that finish line.
What about a Midwestern University education do you want to carry forward in your career?
One thing that I feel is constantly reiterated, is that physical therapists are lifelong learners. I have always loved learning and educating myself about multiple subject areas. In the physical therapy realm, everyone is always trying to research and figure out the best way to treat patients for whatever diagnoses they may have, in order to be the best practitioners and provide the best care for their patients. I am proud to be part of a profession that works so hard to heal patients with movement, and I will be a future physical therapist who is constantly increasing knowledge to be an expert in this field of healthcare.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I come from such a rural area of Illinois and want to be able to give back to my community as well as advocate for the profession of physical therapy. Since the closest hospital for me growing up was 30 minutes away, I felt as though my community did not have all the resources or education they needed about the different healthcare members on their teams and their expertise. I feel there is so much that physical therapy can help with, and I would like to educate anyone I come across about this wonderful profession, especially in rural communities.
Tayler Ruppel is a Class of 2025 student from the Physical Therapy Program on the Downers Grove Campus.