Bodybuilder Dick rises with PhD
The number of Jamaican physical therapists with a doctorate is probably as rear as Duvaughn Dick's last name.
On May 13, Dick was the sole Jamaican among 331 candidates at the College of Scholastica, Minnesota, USA, the commencement ceremony for postgraduate degrees, not only for his programme but in the six disciplines.
"It feels great. It's been two long years and a lot of sleepless nights. What made it more difficult is that the semester before last, I was planning a wedding, and before that, I was preparing for a competition as well," he said.
He said that despite the challenges, he had the right people around him to keep him motivated.
"Many of my patients call me Dr Dick, so that always sparked the idea in my head to get my doctorate," Dick said.
"Also, my family. At my house, there's a wall of graduation pictures only for graduates and above, which is masters and doctorate levels. I was the only one not on the wall, so now I get to join the wall. That was very motivating."
Dick, crowned champion of the Classic bodybuilding category for seniors and heavyweights at last year's Jamaica Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness (JABBFA) National Championships, said he believes this achievement will be a great asset to his career.
"As a bodybuilder, I am also pretty much my own physical therapist. So as long as you're pushing your body hard, you're gonna get injured from time to time, and the knowledge of anatomy helps me to better understand exercises, which then helps me to get better results.
"I also have friends that do bodybuilding that I do physical therapy for. Obviously, I love bodybuilding, and I love the gym, so I want to help more people in the gym with their injuries," Dick stated.
He said his aid is not limited to himself and bodybuilders but has plans to help as many Jamaicans as he can.
"Currently, I am a member of the Jamaica Association of Sports Medicine, so I volunteer to help, especially with high school athletes. A lot of athletes don't have the resources to get physical therapy when they're injured, so I definitely want to help out more, especially with track and field and rugby.
"In terms of Jamaica on a whole, people need to know a lot more about physical therapy because there are many people out there with injuries and disabilities, and they have no idea that physical therapy can help them," Dick said.
With his private practice, Advantage Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Limited at Giscombe Gym and Wellness Centre in St Andrew, Dick said he is ready to offer his best care to anyone who needs physical therapy.
"I have been able to practise what I've been earning. Everything was designed to help me become a better clinician, which is what I wanted," Dick said.