Rachel Parker, PT, DPT
- Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Stockton University (2017)
- Bachelors in Biology with Emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy from Stockton University (2014)
- Associate of Science from Burlington County College (2011)
- Baptist Regional School (2008)
What made you pursue physical therapy as a career?
Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to do something with my life where I could serve the people around me in the world. As the oldest of a big family, I never lacked opportunities to take care of my siblings. Whether it was putting a Band-Aid on a skinned knee or pulling out my pretend stethoscope from my toy medical kit, I always loved comforting those in pain. The year I turned eleven, my family went through some major health issues, which is what ultimately peaked my passion for a medical career path. I was able to witness first-hand the importance of rehabilitation in the journey back to health and wellness. During my undergraduate education, I was able to spend time working as an aide in a physical therapy clinic, which solidified my desire to pursue a career as a physical therapist. Throughout my clinical education in PT school I gained a special appreciation for working with people of all different ages and backgrounds. I love the diversity within the practice of physical therapy and the daily opportunities afforded to each therapist to truly make a lasting difference in each patient’s life.
What do you feel are the most important qualities in a physical therapist?
My personal belief is that the one of the greatest qualities a physical therapist can possess is the ability to connect and empathize with patients. It is my goal to make every patient I come into contact with feel “heard,” connected, and understood. The simple act of listening can go a long way towards forming lasting relationships and fostering an environment with open lines of communication. I believe it is important to retain a holistic view towards treatment and not simply view each person as a specific body part or condition. A physical therapist should strive to create a plan of care that is goal driven, personalized, and geared towards achieving the most successful outcome for each patient. This will create a powerful mindset of positivity and personal accomplishment.
What are your interests outside of work?
- I love to run outside and previously competed in half marathons. My hope is to begin competing again and train for a full marathon in the next year or two.
- My happiest place is at the beach, no matter what the season. It is where I find the most peace.
- Since graduating PT school I have rediscovered my love for travel and different cultures. In September I was able to visit Italy for the first time, and have also had to opportunity to visit Canada, Poland, and Brazil. One day I would love to travel to another country and provide physical therapy services to a patient population lacking medical attention.