Keith_ThomasAs a newlywed, Keith Thomas was looking forward to starting his new married life and graduate school in the UAB Physical Therapy program. But then life took an unexpected turn into fatherhood.

“UAB graciously allowed me to wait a year to begin school to be with my family,” said Thomas.

In that time, he worked as a Physical Therapist Technician at Hueytown Rehab and Wellness, a part of Right Therapy, and confirmed for him this was the best field to go into. Thomas had started his undergrad as a mechanical engineer at UAB but realized he liked the math and science, but not the fact he wouldn’t be working with patients. He ended up receiving a degree in kinesiology from the University of Montevallo to allow him to pursue PT.

“As a PT we must develop ourselves not only intellectually, but socially and emotionally as well,” said Thomas. “You do not want to have a wealth of knowledge and be unable to relate to the numerous patients you will see every day.”

He says the program has allowed him to balance life with his family, especially raising his son Landen, and school.

“The faculty really cares about our success and do everything they can to help us through the program,” said Thomas. “The program is uncompetitive and my classmates work well with each other and help each other in any way possible. I have not heard of or been a part of another education experience where there is so much positive collaboration. “

Thomas has a job waiting for him at his former clinic at Hueytown Rehab and Wellness when he graduates in the fall of 2013. His younger brother is considering PT or physical therapy assistant school. The two may open up their own clinic down the road.