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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Jason Ofodile

Jason OfodileOrthopedic Clinical Specialist

Department of Veterans Health Administration - Central Texas

Jason Ofodile has long felt called to serve. As an undergraduate student, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after graduating, he became a commissioned officer. He continues to serve as a medical operations officer today.

After completing his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Washington in 2019, Jason felt compelled to continue serving in the federal system. “I wanted to get the most out of my opportunities and see what I could give back,” he said. Jason completed a post-doctoral residency with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Gainesville, Florida, before landing his current position as an orthopedic specialist with the Veterans Health Administration of Central Texas. 

How did you first get interested in physical therapy?

As a lifelong athlete, I’ve always appreciated how the human body can develop, recover and improve over time based on your training and preparation. Whether you’re a specialized athlete preparing for a particular contest or someone simply looking to maximize your health or performance, we’re all training for something.

How did you first hear about UW’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and what appealed to you about it?

I initially enrolled in a DPT program at a private institution in California, but I had to defer a year because of my military obligations as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. Looking back, it was a serendipitous turning point because I was able to explore other options. My mother was already living in Washington at the time — she was in the UW Ph.D. program for nursing — so I’d visit her and explore Seattle. I liked the city and told myself, “Let’s keep the UW in mind.” On top of all that, UW DPT’s tuition was less than half of the program in California. It was a no-brainer.

How did the Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepare you for what you’re doing now?

The UW provided a foundation of skills and knowledge that I could use as a baseline every day, but the various experiences we had outside of Seattle for clinical rotations were essential. Traveling to different areas and settings to work allowed me to appreciate the bigger picture — not every patient will be a 20-year-old, healthy, highly motivated, high-profile athlete with a knee problem. The UW helped me understand the broad levels of complexity across patient populations, and I’ve been able to apply that to my career with the VA.

What do you enjoy most about being a physical therapist?

I enjoy working with folks of all ages, backgrounds and different mobility needs based on their condition. It’s empowering being able to confidently support anyone, from my 7-year-old niece to my 70-year-old father. You cannot beat the aging process, but you can adapt to the body’s changing demands across your lifespan.

It’s tough for some of my 60-year-and-older veterans to accept, especially when they compare themselves to when they were in their 20s, but that realization leads into another aspect I love: the counseling. I enjoy educating patients on the rehabilitation process and expectations, so we can create a plan that aligns with their goals. A lot of folks understandably want a quick and easy fix, but unfortunately that’s uncommon. The overarching goal is to facilitate an active approach to enjoying life with the least amount of physical limitations.

What would you say to someone considering the UW DPT program?

When selecting a program, it’s important to understand what each program values and what they envision for their students — and what you envision for yourself. If you feel that all DPT programs are about the same, and you’re looking for an affordable option, the UW is on that list. If you’re looking for a program that values diversity and inclusion, the UW tops that list. If you’re looking for a professional program that values feedback and prepares you for the profession, the UW is on that list. It’s a very personal and professional program.

On day one, the message from our instructors was the same: “In the next three years, we’re going to become colleagues.” It wasn’t a hierarchy; I was treated as a person and a respected future colleague.