Medical Facilities of America (MFA) is dedicated to our students’ success and wants to highlight students for their efforts. The MFA Student Standout for the month of February is Mitchell Kohlhaas.
Name: Mitchell Kohlhaas
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Undergraduate degree and school: Integrated Biology with a minor in Psychology at Christopher Newport University
What sparked your interest in physical therapy?
I sustained not one, but two injuries to my left elbow back in high school due to wrestling. I’ll spare the gory details, but according to the surgeon who sewed me up, I was a medical anomaly and upon learning about the heavy anatomy involved, I was hooked. I was attracted to the profession because the clinic I went to for my second injury had such a warm, friendly, and casual environment yet the the knowledge and expertise my therapist possessed was impressive. The more I reflect on the profession, the more passionate I become about it and know for sure that I am meant to pursue this career.
What’s the most exciting part of the DPT program?
Not to sound like a total kiss-up (though it may help with grades), but the professors here are absolutely amazing. I love that they genuinely care about our success and are more than willing to dole out guidance, advice, or just have a casual conversation about life. Not only are they immensely knowledgeable about their respective setting, but they are also legitimately interesting people with great stories to tell. I am actually a little jealous of the patients they worked with as I’d willingly let any of them be my PT if I had a choice.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I believe physical therapists should not only heal others physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. People who seek our services hurt just as much on the inside as they do on the outside because they’ve lost the function to continue their daily activities. I aspire to be a source of optimism and inspiration to those who truly need help. I seek to not only be their therapist, but a friend they can confide in and trust to heal them. I am also passionate about the APTA’s #ChoosePT movement which seeks to bring awareness to the over prescription and abuse of opioids as I have known one too many people whose lives have been devastated by drug abuse. If I can educate at least one person about the benefits of physical therapy over a lifetime of addiction, then my degree is worth every loan.
What are some of your hobbies?
I try to practice what I preach and stay active by either pumping iron or hitting the running trails with my classmates. Before the vigor of school I enjoyed playing the keyboards and ukulele. I also formed and performed in a comedic Improv troupe at my alma mater of CNU which I strongly believe has contributed to my ability to adapt to new situations and stay open to ideas.
What is your favorite quote?
“Don’t quote me!”- Mark Twain
Anything else you’d like to share?
Carrington Pritchard (Admissions Coordinator) gave me the call in September of 2016 that I was accepted to University of Lynchburg. I literally asked her if it was an early April fools joke because I could hardly believe the dream I’d been working on since high school was coming to fruition. I still get chills thinking about that day even now and can’t wait to introduce myself to my first patient as Dr. Mitch.