Rufino Aquino, D.P.T.'17

StudentPost-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Residence (city/state): Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Current employment: I am currently working in an outpatient orthopedic facility in northwest suburb of Chicago.

Where did you earn your PT degree?

I am foreign-educated therapist from Manila, Philippines and earned my bachelor’s degree in 1997.

Why did you choose to earn your DPT?

I have always wanted to further my knowledge in PT to become a more competent therapist, especially being a foreign-trained one. As an APTA member for years, I felt that I should represent the group the best of my abilities and one way was to support APTA’s vision of having physical therapy services be provided by doctors of the field by year 2020.  Seeing some of my friends obtained their tDPT/PPDPT also gave me that desire to follow their lead.

Why did you choose Des Moines University?

I had considered a number of colleges/universities to obtain my DPT, but one significant reason why I chose DMU was the online format as it is important for me to be able to manage my time well. As I usually work more than 40 hours a week, the convenience of being at home during the weekends, having the flexibility of setting your time schedule to work on projects, and not having to worry about going to a school physically, were significant deciding factors. In addition, I looked at the tuition fees that would be covered to finish the program and found DMU’s to be very competitive compared to other programs.

 What are your career objectives?

Having just received my OCS certification, I am hoping to be McKenzie-Certified eventually. I believe in specialization and focusing on a certain thing to be great at it, so I would like to eventually focus on limiting my scope to spine treatment.

 What has your experience in the program been like so far?

Challenging yet rewarding would be the best way to describe it. Being a student again after over 15 years of being out of school has been a big change. Initially, it was difficult but with the assistance from the proficient DMU professors and as well as help from other students in the program, things have been going smoothly. I can’t imagine how close I am in fulfilling this dream of obtaining my DPT diploma. It felt like it was just yesterday when I submitted my DPT application and here I am, half way done with the program.

What is your advice for prospective students?

I’m sure everyone has different objectives and time schedule but I would suggest taking one class at a time for proper pacing and to allow one effectively learn more from each class without getting too overwhelmed especially for those who have a full-time job and a family to take care of.

If possible, I would take the Clinical Decision Making (CDM) class first, as this covers a great foundation for research that one can utilize for other classes. However, DMU has done an excellent job covering the basics of it in the orientation class.

What do you do in your free time?

I don’t like to say it and sometimes I deny it, but I love to shop. Outlet malls are my second home.  If ever I get a chance to sit in front of the TV, I would tune in to watch HGTV shows. Often times, I stay home during the weekends to condition my body and mind to prepare myself for another challenging workweek ahead.