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Holden Thomas, an MCPHS DPT student.

Student Spotlight: Holden Thomas, DPT

  • From an early age, Holden Thomas, DPT, always knew that she wanted to help others.

    Now a third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, Holden is actively pursuing that passion by way of an MCPHS education. Over the course of six combined years as an MCPHS pre-medical and DPT student, Holden has focused on how she personally wants to impact the greater field of healthcare.

    “Since beginning the program, my goal became to improve healthcare for patients everywhere,” says Holden. “I’ve started to see the flaws that we have in the healthcare system, and the repercussions that our patients face because of it.”

    And Holden isn’t waiting to improve the healthcare system — she’s already taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way.

    “We have interprofessional education (IPE) experiences set up almost every semester, which allows us to work closely with different programs in the school and discuss current issues in healthcare,” explains Holden. “One of the most recent IPE experiences that I participated in discussed the problems we’re facing in America regarding the opioid crisis, and how we as professionals can help to address the problem.”

    We sat down with Holden to hear her thoughts on her program, the physical therapy field, and how she hopes to improve healthcare as a whole.

    You’ve always been passionate about helping others. Why did you choose to pursue that passion at MCPHS?

    I chose MCPHS mainly because of their accelerated PT program. I knew that completing my degree in six years would allow me the opportunity to accomplish everything that I wanted to after graduating. I also fell in love with the city of Boston when I first visited.

    Physical therapy is a booming field. What sets our PT program apart from programs at other universities?

    Our on-campus clinic, the Balance, Movement, and Wellness Center, allows first-year students to work under the supervision and guidance of the second-year students, and in their second semester, work more closely and one-on-one with the patients.

    Outside of your time in the Balance, Movement, and Wellness Center, what clinical or real-world experiences have you participated in at MCPHS?

    We had clinical experiences every week for the first two years of our program that allowed us to see different physical therapy sites. Then, in our third year, we went out on three full time, 10-week clinicals.

    Tell us more about how the MCPHS DPT program has prepared you for a real-world career in the field of healthcare.

    The program has given me a firm knowledge base and skill set that will apply in any setting. And as I mentioned earlier, the hands-on opportunities were vital.

    What do you like most about transitioning to the Worcester campus?

    I like being in Worcester because I feel like I’m getting the advantages of being in the city without being overwhelmed. I am originally from a small town in Vermont so going to school in Boston was great because there was so much to do. After spending 3 years in Boston though I was ready for a change and for something smaller, so Worcester was the perfect transition city.

    As you reflect back on the six years you’ve spent at MCPHS, what have you enjoyed most?

    I truly value the people and connections I’ve made at MCPHS. I have made friends that I will cherish for a very long time, and have mentors that I will always look up to. I held several on-campus jobs both on the Boston and Worcester campuses, and that allowed me to meet a variety of people and really learn about the university’s past, present, and future.

    Tell us about your future career aspirations.

    I still haven’t decided exactly where I want my career to go. I’m hoping to do a bit of travel PT initially after graduation to see the country and see a variety of PT clinics. Following my travel time, I hope to know where I want to settle down and where I want to work. The big dream is to someday own my own clinic with my girlfriend who is also a physical therapist.

    The three-year, full-time Doctor of Physical Therapy program on our Worcester campus empowers students to build on their bachelor’s degree and begin an exciting career as a PT.