Kieran Davey ’23 – Experience with Physical Therapy
He isn’t the first student to do so, and he certainly will not be the last, but over the last two years, Kieran Davey ’23 has utilized the Advanced Independent Program (AIP) to help him decide what career he wants to pursue in the future.
It began last year, when Kieran participated in an AIP focused on athletic training. He worked closely with Tyler Moccio, a coach and trainer at AOF.
This opened up a new world of possibilities for Kieran. “It sort of opened my eyes that I wanted to do something related to physical and health science, and I honed in on physical therapy after that,” he says. “I’m interested in physical therapy because it combines physical wellbeing and helping people.”
As Kieran entered his fourth and final year at Avon, he began looking at physical therapy programs at the college and university level. He found that for a lot of them there were a certain amount of field observation hours needed in order to be eligible for the program.
With the winter sports season on the horizon, Kieran now had to make a decision. Should he continue to wrestle as he had in years prior, or take on an AIP to get his physical therapy hours? A difficult decision, but he eventually chose the latter. “I had to sacrifice something I’ve done for a while to propel my career, but it was also something I enjoyed,” he says. “I knew if I wanted a chance to get into these colleges of my choice, I needed to do this AIP.”
So during the winter months, Kieran spent a few hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Magna Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center in Avon or Canton. He shadowed doctors through the whole process from initial evaluations to patients’ last sessions. Like any good student would, he brought a notebook and recorded everything.
He says he asked plenty of questions throughout the AIP, which was very helpful in getting a head start on what he’ll be learning in college. Kieran will be attending Sacred Heart University where he plans to complete their doctor of physical therapy program. “Already having background information on what it’s like, what a person does day to day, will prepare me for my college courses. It also just confirmed it’s something I want to do.”
Kieran gave a strong endorsement for any students considering a similar AIP in the future. “I think it was great. I was able to make connections and learn. Overall, I would recommend doing this AIP or something similar, even if you need to create it yourself.”