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UF Allows Alumna Amy Bullock to Blaze Her Own Path

Amy Bullock, DPT ’13 knew she wanted to be a physiotherapist when she was in high school. Surrounded by sports and rehab due to various sports-related injuries, Bullock knew she wanted to work somewhere in the world of physical therapy, […] The post UF Allows Alumna Amy Bullock to Blaze Her Own Path appeared first on Findlay Newsroom.

Amy Bullock, DPT ’13 knew she wanted to be a physiotherapist when she was in high school. Surrounded by sports and rehab due to various sports-related injuries, Bullock knew she wanted to work somewhere in the world of physical therapy, fitness, and wellness. She also had encouragement from her oldest brother, who was a physical therapist practicing various manipulation techniques with her.

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from West Virginia Wesleyan College, she immediately began applying to PT schools. With no acceptance offers over a two-year period, she began her master’s degree in adapted physical activity from Slippery Rock University. Upon graduation, she applied to University of Findlay’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. “UF reminded me of my alma mater (West Virginia Wesleyan College), but on a much larger scale. I soon knew that UF was going to be my new home,” said Bullock.

“Upon entering the UF DPT program, I grew a strong liking to anatomy and physiology, engraining my drive to become the best version of myself after PT school,” she said. The clinical rotations required at UF provided her the opportunity to choose where she wanted to complete her rotations and which area she wanted to focus on. With a niche for sports orthopedics, she placed her focus there and would go on to graduate from UF with her DPT in 2013. “I confidently felt overly prepared entering into my first outpatient orthopedic job in Martinsville, Virginia,” she said.

Bullock would spend one year in Virginia before moving back to North Carolina where she had completed a clinical rotation during her third year of PT school. While in Charlotte, she worked at a handful of outpatient orthopedic clinics but soon found herself wanting more. “I decided to go into a postdoctoral fellowship program through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy (AAMT) to obtain my Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) credential,” she said.

The traditional PT lifestyle would soon become “boring.” “I couldn’t see myself continuing to participate in the current broken medical system that unfortunately is not getting any better,” she said. “Becoming my own boss and striving to help others realize that health, wellness, fitness, and recovery needs to be part of their lifestyle became my ultimate goal.”

With a new goal in mind, Bullock opened Fortress Physical Therapy in Pineville, North Carolina, where she operates as a stand-alone, cash-based clinic, housed within her gym, CrossFit Pineville (CFP). Bullock is also a CrossFit-L2 coach, teaching early morning classes at CFP two days a week. With her FAAOMPT credential, Bullock also serves as a mentor for future PT fellows-in-training who are on the path to fellowship status in orthopedics. “I have created my own version of ‘Fortress Physical Therapy fellowship,’ building strong relationships both personally and professionally within the PT field.”

Bullock’s story of blazing her own path in physical therapy is not uncommon at University of Findlay but, more of a result of precise program design. “A DPT education prepares students to be general physical therapists,” says Joyce Lammers, Ph.D., University of Findlay associate professor of teaching and chair in the physical therapy department. “There are many career paths a PT can pursue. Most probably do pursue clinical work. However, within that clinical work, they can remain a generalist or decide to specialize. We have many students like Bullock that decide to specialize.”

“You ultimately determine your path,” said Bullock. “I do believe that you need to get some reps under your belt as a new graduate but know that your career is not set in stone once you leave PT school.

“I took a 50% pay cut in order to live out how I envisioned PT should impact others.” Nonetheless, Bullock says she regrets nothing about her journey and feels the PT profession is truly undervalued. “We get to impact people’s lives to help them regain control again—to expand their health span, life span, and introduce them to taking care of themselves!”

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