Philip Punnoose

Pre-physical Therapy


Philip Punnoose
Philip Punnoose

Why study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college?

I chose to pursue physical therapy at a liberal arts college because I understood the value of a holistic education in a clinical setting. It’s a great benefit as a student to have the opportunity to take fine arts classes as it helped me broaden my thought process and improved my problem-solving skills. Being in classes with students outside of my major and path of study also gave me the opportunity to understand the thoughts and viewpoints of those who are not in the same field of study. It has helped develop broader skills and ways of thinking that I will be able to use while dealing with clients of different backgrounds.

What makes the pre-physical therapy program at CSB/SJU unique? 

One of the great things about the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU is that there are many different backgrounds and focuses of study in the program. There are students from different majors and minors but are still interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy. I was also able to take classes that I was interested in, both in my major, as well as in the physical therapy curriculum. I had a lot of flexibility choosing my classes being an IHS major, giving me the opportunity to mold the information I wanted to learn going into PT school.

What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-physical therapy program faculty been like?

Over the years of being at CSB/SJU, I have become very close with the pre-PT faculty through my time inside and outside classes. Transitioning from Pre-med to pre-PT was a very stressful journey, but the faculty made the transition a lot easier with their helpful advice. I was shocked with the amount of knowledge I didn’t know about the application process to PT school and the requirements needed both inside and outside of school. They helped me create a plan that allowed me to be a competitive applicant during application season.

What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced?

One of the greatest challenges that I faced as a student in the pre-PT program is transitioning from Pre-med to pre-PT going into my senior year. I was lucky that I had taken the majority of the pre-requisite class work, but still had some to take my senior fall. I also had to complete my shadowing hours and the GRE test the summer going into my senior year as well as begin the application process. It was a very stressful summer but looking back I am glad I went through the process because I realized my interest and passion for rehabilitation.

What advice do you have for the students considering the pre-physical therapy program?

I would advise those who are considering the pre-PT program to talk to the faculty to get a better understanding of the classes and what your interests are. I would also suggest that students expand their knowledge of PT while in school. I know personally I had little knowledge of PT other than the fact that they rehabbed injuries. Once a student understands what their place in the world of PT can be, and what type of PT they would like to be, they can set individual goals to make it a reality. I would also advise students to keep their classes at a number one priority, but to also gather experiences in things that you are interested in. Graduate schools are looking for a student that makes use of their time in college.

What are your plans after graduation for graduate school? And, what are your plans after completing graduate school?

After graduation, I plan to attend the DPT program at the University of Minnesota with hopes to begin my physical therapy career in an outpatient orthopedic clinic.