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Beyond the physical

  • UMES’ Dr. Tyler Logan shares his physical therapy journey

    Friday, October 9, 2020
    Dr. Tyler Logan, DPT

    Dr. Tyler Logan, a 2020 graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, is preparing for a rewarding career as he equips himself for the national licensure exam this month. During this time, the Washington, D.C. native shed light on healthcare disparities and ignited a discussion about stereotypes, attracting followers and questions after a post on social media. 

    “I had no idea that my post would have the response it did from people who weren't already following me,” said Logan, a former college basketball player with an athletic build and long locs. 

    His Twitter post, accompanied by graduation photos, says: “If basketball the only thing I had to offer, I'd be doing the world a disservice. Only Black male of my graduating class at my HBCU. Doctor of Physical Therapy.” Responses ranged from “We love to see it!” to inquiries from individuals who are pursuing the profession.

    With a bachelor of science degree in Human Movement and Performance (2015) from Florida Southern College, Logan was encouraged to apply to the Physical Therapy program at UMES by 2003 alumna Jennifer Buchanan during an internship at Forestville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Prince George's County, Md. The DPT program's student to faculty ratio (approximately 15:1) and its 100% pass rate for the national licensure exam were qualities that stood out to Logan.

    UMES' Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program constitutes the initial professional preparation for students desiring to become physical therapists. Graduates of the program will be prepared to carry out the expanding responsibilities as autonomous health care providers practicing in a variety of clinical settings and in educational and research environments. 

    Logan embraced his graduate school experience and held on to his athletic background by starting an intramural men's basketball team consisting of physical therapy students.  The games were played in the Tawes gym and provided the faculty, staff and program students with opportunities to socialize and connect outside the classroom.

    “As UMES is located in a rural and underserved area, the DPT program plays a very active role in addressing health care disparities by exposing students to numerous service-learning projects and community service activities throughout the curriculum,” department chair Dr. Michael Rabel said.

    “The DPT program is regularly involved with Fall Prevention screenings at senior centers throughout the Eastern Shore region, including the Maintaining Active Citizens Center in Salisbury, Md.  Wellness screenings are performed at the Senior Center in Westover, Md. and on Smith Island, Md.,” Rabel said. 

    Other service activities included safe exercise, healthy heart and fall prevention programs for local stroke survivors support groups and injury prevention as well as health & fitness programs have also been developed and provided to students at high schools in Somerset County.

    Logan's last clinical affiliation as a student was at KConway Physical Therapy, a minority-owned outpatient practice serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's counties. A patient Logan worked with expressed to faculty her appreciation for Logan's ability and work in the DPT program, which allowed him to encourage her to successfully complete her physical therapy plan of care. 

    “Tyler gained a greater understanding of how to communicate with patients in order to establish a good rapport and an effective patient-physical therapist relationship.  He also developed an interest in higher level exercise training and has plans to pursue a certification in strength and conditioning after graduation,” said Rabel on Logan's growth as a DPT student.

    “It's kind of my duty now to be an advocate for minorities to play a bigger role in healthcare. This includes getting more minorities to apply to these programs. There is work to be done on the student and admission side,” said Logan. 

    Although his interest has shifted from wanting to work in professional sports, he is considering the right professional fit amid interviews for physical therapy positions. According to the U.S Department of Labor, the 2019 median pay for Physical Therapists was $89,440, or $43.00 per hour.

    October is National Physical Therapy Month. UMES' DPT program has a rolling admission process. Per the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, the 2020-2021 application cycle is now open. 

    By Tahja Cropper