GW PT Class of 2022 Graduates Share Post-Graduate Plans

Megan Tan DPT'22 in regalia

After three busy years spent in the classroom and a variety of clinical settings, the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Science (SMHS) Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduates are beginning their careers in clinics across the country. Two recent graduates were eager to share their plans for post-graduation and how GW helped them achieve their goals.

Angela Petretta, DPT ’22, accepted a position at Excel Rehabilitation, a private outpatient orthopedic/sports clinic in Aldie, Virginia. Petretta said she always knew she wanted to work in outpatient sports. “I was very hard set on only doing orthopedic/sports physical therapy (PT) when I started the program. While I’m glad that’s where I am starting my career, I’ve also found a love for cardiac PT that I hope to eventually pursue,” she said. 

Petretta didn’t realize until she started interviewing for jobs how much the GW coursework, faculty with specialized certifications, her clinical experiences, and volunteer opportunities prepared her for success in her first job. “At times during my three years at GW, I really questioned if it was all worth it. However, the hard work prepared me for my clinical experiences, passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) the first time, and landed me a job at an incredible clinic,” stated Petretta.

She highlighted GW’s emphasis on lifelong learning, and added, “I have come to realize that learning doesn’t have to come from future schooling or continuing education, in fact some of the best learning you can do is from your colleagues and your patients. GW taught me that your relationship, your integrity, your ability to treat a patient starts with being able to learn from their story.”

After taking a few well-deserved weeks off, Megan Tan, DPT ’22, moved to the Portland, Oregon, area to work in an outpatient orthopedics clinic. When Tan started at GW, she was unsure where she would end up geographically, but knew she wanted to do orthopedic PT. She completed clinical education rotations in Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Oregon, all in completely different practice settings. 

For Tan’s first clinical education experience, a spot opened up at an outpatient neurologic rehabilitation clinic and she was encouraged to take it. “The opportunity offered valuable experience and a newfound love for this type of PT. While I ended up taking a job in outpatient orthopedic PT, my clinical experiences gave me a wide skill set that led to job offers in both orthopedic and neurologic clinics,” said Tan. 

Tan added that she’s looking forward to using the skills she’s learned over the past three years and is excited to keep learning and developing her clinical reasoning skills through continuing education courses and potentially a residency program in the future. “I love working with post-op orthopedic patients so I hope to do something with that in the future, whether it's research or developing a specialized rehabilitation program,” said Tan.