86PT, 88MA, 92PhD
Medicine Alumni Society Board of Advisors
Program Director of Physical Therapy Program
Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa
“The University of Iowa's PT program has been well known for its research and advanced degree programs. It has always offered a high quality experience.”
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine was the first school in the state of Iowa to offer an entry-level physical therapy program. Today it remains as one of the most recognized post professional degree programs for physical therapy in the country. Sandra Cassady, an ’86 PT, ’88 MPA, ’92 PhD graduate, can attest that Iowa does an excellent job at preparing competent physical therapists with good problem solving skills. “The University of Iowa's PT program has been well known for its research and advanced degree programs. It has always offered a high quality experience.”
When Sandra Cassady applied to the University of Iowa to obtain her entry level MPT degree, she did not think she would be a part of the University eight and a half years later. Following her MA in 88 Cassady left Iowa to begin her life long dream as a physical therapist. The connection she made with Iowa was so strong that after only a few years she returned to Iowa to complete her PhD in 92. “At the time I did my doctoral work, the PhD was offered through Exercise Science. I had the opportunity to work with faculty in the physical therapy graduate program and the exercise science department.” Upon completing her doctoral degree, Cassady remained at the University as a faculty member. She taught entry level classes full time for two and a half years and in 1995 became an adjunct assistant professor.
Cassady understands the need for post professional degree programs in physical therapy. Physical therapy is an important part of the healing process and without a good therapist many patients are left unhealed. Cassady has educated many entry level physical therapy students and continues to contribute to this field through academia.
As a faculty member at St. Ambrose University Cassady has been involved in establishing an entry level MPT program (now a post professional transition DPT program.) She has hopes of seeing more Ph.D. programs throughout the country. “I believe more programs could be developed for physical therapists interested in teaching and research.”
Cassady continues to maintain connections with the university by sitting on the Medicine Alumni Board. She recognizes that all board members are coming from extremely different aspects of medicine and is eager to work with each and everyone. “As a licensed physical therapist, faculty member and program director, I hope that some of my input and experiences compliment that of the other board members.”
She would also like to be involved in helping with the education of young Iowans about the rewards of seeking a medical career.
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