Jacob Hamilton-HSU Doctor of Physical Therapy featured student

"The fact that our professors are still involved in a clinic really showed me how to keep up my strong work ethic."

When I came to Hardin-Simmons, I felt that my interview was very personal. The program director talked about how missions was an important aspect of physical therapy and the benefit of a small class size. After the interview, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be.

Once I was in the program, I really bonded with my classmates. We went to church together and attended a small group Bible study together. It was good to get away from school and pour into each other spiritually. Even though graduate students aren’t often as involved in on-campus life, we did make an intramural team and win a few championships. I really grew and bonded with my classmates, and we will be friends for the rest of our lives. The Physical Therapy program can be very mentally challenging, so it has been helpful to have that small group to fall back on. For me, Hardin-Simmons is family.

The faculty takes each individual seriously. They have an open-door policy, so I was never hesitant to contact them. Even when I’m away from the campus for clinicals, I still email them to ask questions. Our professors still want to be involved with us. That’s a difference that you won’t find at a bigger university.

Another thing that stood out to me was that the professors have clinical jobs outside of their teaching responsibilities. They work hard to stay up on the most recent evidence-based practices. At a lot of schools, when professors get tenure, they stop their clinical job and go fully into teaching. The fact that our professors are still involved in a clinic really showed me how to keep up my strong work ethic.

We do medical missions on Fridays which both serve the community and allows us to practice our skills. We also went to Haiti on a mission trip. That was a great opportunity that I don’t think I would have gotten in any other program. As a physical therapist, I want to make an eternal impact on my patients. I can try to fix their movements, but I hope that I can touch them on a deeper level too. Hardin-Simmons has taught me how to treat people physically, but also serve them spiritually.