Kevin MacPherson, PT, DPT, assistant director of clinical education, recently completed his Doctor of Science degree from Bellin College in Green Bay, WI, acquiring more knowledge about teaching and research design and execution. Dr. MacPherson explains his role as the leader of the student-run pro bono Equal Access Clinic (PT EAC) and shares highlights of his teaching responsibilities and duties within the clinical education team. Kevin recently received a Doctor of Science degree from Bellin College in Green Bay, WI.
Kevin MacPherson, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT
Clinical Assistant Professor Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Congrats on your recent degree! How does it feel to have received your DSc?
It is amazing! I started my journey toward a terminal academic degree in 2014. After several bumps in the road and iterations of how and where I could undergo the training, I was able to identify the Bellin Program as the most effective way to reach my professional goals and simultaneously continue to hone my teaching skills at UF. Just shy of a decade later, I made it. I am very proud of this accomplishment and very grateful for all my support from my family, friends, co-faculty, and students. It took a village.
What plan do you have for your new degree?
I learned a lot about teaching and research design/execution. I hope to continue to use the newly acquired knowledge and skills going forward!
What initially got you interested in physical therapy?
My story is the same as many other PTs, I broke a bone when I was younger and needed PT. After that, an athletic trainer at my high school who graduated from UF started to teach a basic sports injury and prevention class. I signed up and found myself loving anatomy and physiology. These events and others started my journey toward the profession.
What do you enjoy most about teaching our DPT students?
When I am working to help a student integrate or synthesize seemingly disparate concepts, there are moments when they simply stop talking, their eyes go wide, and they get it. I live for those moments.
What do you enjoy most about mentoring students as they prepare for their clinical experiences?
Honestly, the best mentors I have had were guides and not directors. The world does not need more people that think like me. It needs more people that can think for themselves after critically evaluating the information at hand. I enjoy guiding students as they evolve into independent thinkers. Witnessing their growth and evolution while potentially having a small role in their life is rewarding to me.
Tell us about the rewarding role you play in helping run the Equal Access Clinic (EAC)?
The response here centers on mentorship again. I make it very clear to the student leaders that EAC started as a student-run clinic and that it needs to continue to be a student-run clinic. My role is to provide a historical record and guidance on potential pitfalls as the student leaders and their group considers changes to EAC.
How has EAC overcome any challenges during the pandemic?
Excellent student leaders were and are the key to overcoming anything. Bre Stefan and Katie Takacs guided us from in-person to telerehab. Shane Mathew and Alex Mace guided us back to COVID-era, in-person treatment while continuing telerehab. Isobel Harrison and Maggie Steen are guiding us back to a more normal, nearly post-COVID in-person caseload as well as maintaining our telerehab offerings. The dedication and efforts these leaders put in, while also undertaking the challenges of just being in PT school, are amazing.
If you think our DPT program and/or student/faculty is better than others, please share why.
Better is not really a good way to look at it. We all want the best for our profession. Nearly every program, faculty member, and student are giving their all with the resources at hand. Our program is very blessed with resources and our program, faculty, and students push the envelope to make the absolute most of those resources. This leads to even more resources, and we should be very proud of that.