Career Profile: Physical Therapist - Matthew Scherer
Matthew Scherer, Physical Therapist, Medical Specialist Corps (SP), United States Army, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C.
National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education
I chose this career because…
I chose to become a physical therapist because I wanted to promote wellness and spend time treating and interacting with my patients.
Growing up, I always had an interest in science. I was greatly influenced by my parents. They pushed for achievement in academics and provided a good example of diligent work ethics. As I approached college, I had an interest in natural sciences and in medical school. However, I did not want a long period of schooling, as necessary with medical school. I wanted to promote wellness and work with patients sooner, rather than later. I thought that physical therapy might be in my future.
More on Physical Therapists
Salary: $46,510 - $94,810
Min. Education: Master's
Related Careers: Occupational Therapist, Social Worker
• Bachelor of Arts, Geology, Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minneapolis
• Master of Science, Physical Therapy, United States Army-Baylor University, San Antonio, Texas
My typical workday involves…
My typical workday at the Walter Reed Hospital is a long day involving the duties of an Army officer, patient responsibilities in the clinic, administrative tasks, personal physical fitness and leadership.
• My day begins with a workout in the gym and physical training, which is required by the Army.
• At 7 AM, on Monday and Thursdays, I evaluate outpatient ambulatory patients, and evaluate and treat primarily active duty military personnel.
• At 9 AM, I begin work with patients in the amputee service, dealing largely with the war-wounded who have lost limbs due to blast injuries incurred overseas. Together we work to improve their gait, balance, and general conditioning. Each patient works about 3 hours per day on rehabilitation, including time with an occupational therapist. Our goal is to have the patient return to the physical condition they had before they were injured.