The Road to Becoming a Physical Therapist

picture of therapist

The road to becoming a physical therapist takes years of education, hard work and dedication. Our Senior Physical Therapist and Cambridge Clinical Director, Alex Eberspacher, DPT, knows this very well. Alex’s story differs from many of our physical therapists, as Alex didn’t know he wanted to be a PT when he started his undergraduate degree. His journey to becoming a PT has many twists and turns, which paved the path for him to earn his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2016.

Typically, it takes about seven years to become a DPT. This includes four years of undergraduate schooling, as well as around three years attending a DPT program. However, Alex took a more unconventional route to become a physical therapist.

Although Alex didn’t always know that he wanted to be a physical therapist, he’s enjoyed exercise, sports and helping people, which led him to pursue an undergraduate degree that would be a match for all of these elements. In 2004, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury University in Exercise Science. After graduation, Alex was unsure of which direction to go with his degree. He initially considered being a physical education teacher, but began to show interest in physical therapy. In order to “test the waters,” he started working as a rehabilitation technician in 2006. After being a rehabilitation technician for a few years, Alex realized how much he enjoyed working at a physical therapy clinic and decided to go back to school to become a physical therapist assistant (PTA). In 2011, he graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant program of Anne Arundel/Chesapeake College and was further honored as the outstanding graduate of his class.

After becoming a licensed PTA, Alex started working with Tidewater Physical Therapy at the Cambridge clinic. He enjoyed being a PTA, but he wanted additional responsibilities and to spend more time with patients. Alex took this desire and turned his energy towards returning to school to become a PT. While continuing to work as a PTA at Tidewater Physical Therapy, he enrolled in a full-time DPT program at Neumann University that held classes on the weekends. Each weekend he would make the four-hour round-trip commute to attend class from his home in Maryland to Neumann University in Pennsylvania. Taking on a full course load of a DPT program while continuing to work full-time certainly wasn’t an easy task. Alex says that although the journey he took was extremely difficult, it was also well worth it!

In May of 2016, Alex passed his boards and received his DPT license from the State of Maryland. He is now the clinical director of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Cambridge clinic. Everyone at Tidewater Physical Therapy is honored to have accompanied Alex on this journey and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for him at the Cambridge clinic.

COO and CFO Jennifer Walter says, “Since Alex started with us in 2011 as a PTA, we knew he had tremendous potential. When he expressed to us his drive to obtain this DPT, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. It shows tremendous commitment in a person, to not only work a 40+ work week as a top notch PTA, but to then choose to dedicate your weekends to further your education but taking a full doctoral work load. Alex is an immense asset to our Tidewater Physical Therapy family and we are so glad she chose to share his passion with us.”

To schedule an appointment with Alex, please call our Cambridge clinic at 410-228-0742 or stop in to 828 Airpax Road, Suite 100, Building B, Cambridge, MD 21613.