More than 600 physical therapy students from across Texas took part in the Texas PT Olympics and Job Fair over the April 1 weekend. The annual event is organized by UT Health’s Department of Physical Therapy.
The students competed in events such as basketball, dodge ball, billiards, tug-of-war dance competition, ping pong and others.
This year included new competitors from all of the Texas Tech campuses who competed as one group. Winners included the University of North Texas and the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. The two schools tied for first place.
In addition, the PTO Job Fair was also a success with employers coming to speak to students eager to learn about job and mentoring opportunities. Employers who come to recruit health professions students are alumni as well as other professionals who have heard of the event over the years.
“This is by far the most well-managed event that I attend all year, with the UT Health Science Center students available to welcome us and help with set-up,” said Kathy King from Select PT.
Michael Geelhoed, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, associate professor, emphasized that the event is student-run.
“Our students deserve all the credit for the success of the event,” he said. “It is a student-organized and implemented event, with faculty overseeing the process that runs like a well-oiled machine.”
Greg Ernst, Ph.D., PT, interim chair of the department, noted that next year will mark the 20th annual PTO. “We hope to keep up the successful tradition,” he added.
The first Texas PT Olympics was organized by the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Department of Physical Therapy Class of 2000 and held in 1999. The UT Health Science Center won the event for two subsequent years and the Texas PT Olympics continued with the addition of the Job Fair in 2001.
In 2004, the UT Health Science Center Physical Therapy Alumni Association (PTAA) assumed the responsibility to host the event. After 2007, all programs agreed to always keep the Texas PT Olympics at the UT Health Science Center. The Texas PT Olympics and the Spring Job Fair are successful, student-implemented events that provide opportunities for interaction between students from various PT programs and with employers from across the state. Oversight and funding are provided by the PTAA and UT Health Science Center Department of PT faculty.