Heather Carmichael (’14)

Heather Carmichael (2014)Heather, a 2014 Bethany graduate, went on to graduate in May 2018 from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences’ Program in Physical Therapy with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She is currently a Traveling Physical Therapist.

WHAT YOU DO • • • As a generalist in physical therapy, I have the opportunity to treat patients in a variety of settings, both inpatient and outpatient. My current job is working in a small outpatient clinic where I get to treat patients with a variety of orthopedic, neuro, or post-surgical conditions.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • I was drawn to biology and health care because I love learning how things work in the human body and applying it to basically help people move better in their lives. Physical therapy school was very study-intensive at times, but I really enjoy that my job is much more than just remembering facts; I get to do problem-solving as I diagnose and treat patients. Additionally, understanding and communicating with people is huge in achieving good outcomes.

HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • While I don’t have specifics on locations and settings, my goal is to use the next couple years to become a better generalist while working in a variety of settings before honing in on an area to pursue a specialty certification. It’s important to me to find settings that keep me motivated to continue learning and challenging myself with the goal of being the best clinician I can be. Often times, I get to directly SEE the results of my work; I see people leave the hospital walking again or returning to playing with their kids after dealing with back pain. I also can make a difference in lives of people who are coming to terms with loss of abilities through stroke or disease; in some moments, the most important thing I can do is listen. I trust that God will provide me with opportunities to serve others wherever I am at.

HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • Being in the Christian atmosphere at Bethany gave me a solid academic base and was definitely had a part in shaping me into a compassionate and dedicated professional. My experiences taught me about the ever-present balancing act that comes with being in extracurriculars, having friends, and setting high expectations for myself, which professors helped me achieve. Being active in leadership opportunities, like the missions club, and study abroad experiences helped cultivate an appreciation for interacting with and understanding people from various backgrounds that I cross paths with. When I started in the Mayo PT program, I remember distinctly thinking, “This is what Bethany prepared me for, being a witness of my faith in a new setting, and pursuing a career that uses my God-given talents.”

ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • When making decisions about the future, realize that God can provide ways for you to serve others in more than one place or job. The life decisions will keep coming, and the Lord’s promise to be with you remains constant.