WOC in PT: Stephanie Beatty, SPT
Welcome! Today, for the Women of Color in Physical Therapy series, we are featuring Stephanie Beatty, SPT. Stephanie is a second year physical therapy student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She hopes to become a pediatric physical therapist and is also interested in inpatient rehab. When she is not busy studying, Stephanie enjoys working out, listening to music, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog. Without further ado, let’s meet Stephanie!
What moment made you decide to pursue PT?
The moment that made me want to pursue physical therapy occurred during my senior year of high school, when I was a patient in physical therapy myself. Back then, all I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and get back to being able to do my regular activities without pain. I had already finished my college applications to major in nursing, I did not know much about PT, and I was not interested in going at all. It was just something else I had to do after school. Little did I know, PT would become one of my favorite parts of my days. My therapist made the exercises fun for me and really challenged me to push myself. This experience sparked my interest in physical therapy and drove me to enroll at ODU as an exercise science major.
Was there a certain challenge you had to overcome as a WOC in PT school and/or at a professional setting and how did you overcome it?
One challenge that I had to overcome was the relatively small amount of diversity in my class. My undergraduate university was very diverse and going from this to my PT program was a big change. In addition to being sure to become close with the other POC in my class, I overcame this by just being myself and gravitating towards people who were like me in other ways and while I appreciate having a diverse group of friends, it is nice to be close with people that I can relate to on another level.
What advice would you give a fellow WOC trying to break into the PT profession?
I would definitely say to just be yourself and go for it! The PT school application process can be daunting but just make sure that your application is as strong as possible and go for it. I also suggest starting the process early (I’m pretty sure I started the day that PTCAS opened lol) and have back up references just in case someone doesn’t come through in time.
What woman/women do you you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my mom, my friends, and other women in the PT field in general. My classmates and the majority of my professors are women and it’s nice to see us all excel in the field.
In addition to being awesome, what do you like to do in your free time?
After I finished my first semester of PT school I started going to spin classes at the gym and I have grown to love it. PT school has made me grow to love going to the gym in general honestly, working out is such a great form of stress relief! Other than that, I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I spend a lot of time studying so I cherish any time that I get to relax and hang out with them.
Where can we find you on social media?
My Twitter & IG are both @_simplyysteph !
Thank you so much to Stephanie for sharing her experience being a woman of color in physical therapy! Be sure to follow her at the social media link posted above. :) Stephanie just got white coated and today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Stephanie and enjoy your day to the fullest, may it be filled with lots of love and laughter!
If you are a woman of color involved in the physical therapy world, whether you are just starting as a pre-PT or a practicing PT, I would love to feature you in my WOC in PT series! Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for the next series feature, we have an amazingly diverse group in the mix!
Peace, love & blessings,