JODI GILRAY-SZOSTAK – Doctor of Physical Therapy, Jodi Gilray PT PLLC
In high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist because I saw that they wore comfortable clothes to work. I didn’t know what that profession really did. Then, still in high school, my sister was diagnosed with leukemia. When she was hospitalized while undergoing a bone marrow transplant, she had physical therapy and talked about the fun she had. However, I still didn’t have a good understanding of what a physical therapist does.
I went to the University of Arizona to get my Bachelor of Science degree in physiology, and found that I loved the human body and the intricate way it worked. I then attended Northern Arizona University, where I earned my clinical doctorate in physical therapy. I received experience in cardiovascular, neurological, orthopedic and pediatric physical therapy. I started my own business in 2013, and then took post-professional certification courses in developmental kinesiology and neurodevelopmental treatment so that I could effectively treat infants and children, from minor impairments to significant disabilities.
In the middle of all that, I became widowed. Feeling defeated, I moved to Prescott with my young children in hopes of learning how to live my new life. It was then that I truly learned about my profession and what really mattered in life. Physical therapy in pediatrics is a profession where you get sweat on, cried on and drooled on. You spend your days crawling, lifting and bending over. You realize these kids have a life harder than they deserve, so you keep going – working on that first step. You give the gift of independence in exchange for a smile.
I am now happily remarried and have my own family, but I treat my patients as if they were my own children. I have been changed for the better by this profession. And I get to do it all while wearing comfortable clothes.