PT School of the Week: University of Florida

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Congratulations to the University of Florida on being selected as the PT Pintcast School of the week. If you would like to nominate your program, fill out the form here.

Why is your program the best?
The University of Florida offers a strong generalist approach to prepare students for any care setting, and provides students a range of learning opportunities from acute care to sports within the UF Health system and Shands Hospital. Whether you want to go into the ICU or onto the football field, the University of Florida is for you.
What’s a strong point of your program? What’s something that makes it stand out from other programs?
The University of Florida is a leading program in research areas such as pain science, chronic low back pain, stroke hemiparesis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and weaning from mechanical ventilation. For me, our pain science education particularly excites me, since it prepares us to be a new generation of physical therapists who are the bright future of our profession.
What’s cool about your program?
One of the coolest things about our program is our community involvement. We are all involved in several outreach programs that provide important benefits to Gainesville. For example, we run a free clinic that offers physical therapy to those in need. We also run a community walking program in which we can help educate participants about health while we walk with them. On top of that, we have an approved sports residency and a dual DPT/MPH option that give us unique opportunities.
What are the (approximate) stats, class sizes, # of faculty?
Our class size is around 70 each year with 24 faculty. Many of our students are from Florida, but we have students from all over the country.
What’s the area around school like? Social scene? Recreation?
Gainesville is a college-town that lives for Gator sports and student-friendly social life. There’s plenty of amazing food that fits a student’s budget, and the cost of living is better in Gainesville than in any other place that I’ve ever lived.
What’s the school’s mascot?
Gators!
If you had a PT student who was on the fence about coming to your program, whats one thing you would point out to let them know why coming there would be a good choice?
It’s not just that the University of Florida is a leader in physical therapy research and education. It’s also a state school, which gives us students the chance to pay lower tuition. When you combine the lower tuition with the reputation of the UF Department of Physical Therapy, then I can’t imagine passing up on opportunity to come to UF.
Best local beer:
There’s a strong local beer rivalry between Swamp Head Brewery and First Magnitude Brewing Company. I’m on Team Swamp Head, and my favorite is the Big Nose IPA.
Freestyle: Tell us anything else the PT world should know about your program.
You can find many of our students at CSM in San Antonio in February!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where you’re from, year in school, what setting you want to practice in and anything else you want to add…
I’m Zach, and I’m a 3rd-year student from Sarasota, FL, by way of Louisville, KY. I am passionate about physical therapy, and I plan on taking that passion to a residency in orthopaedics and/or fellowship training. As someone with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, I love psychologically-informed physical therapy, and I’m excited to see how our profession will grow from its embrace of psychological science.
And, what made YOU specifically want to go there?
When I toured the University of Florida, I noticed the tight community of students who were passionate about the DPT program. After seeing the students’ enthusiasm, I did some research to find out more about the program. I could see why they would be so happy to students at UF. Now, it’s an honor to say that I, too, am one of those happy students.

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