SHP Alumni Highlight: Randy Cornejo, DPT

Randy Cornejo headshot. he is wearing a blue suit, white shirt and blue tie.Currently immersed in a rigorous sports residency programs at Johns Hopkins and IMG Academy, Randy Cornejo, DPT, is paving the way towards a future at Texas Children’s Hospital as a sports clinical specialist, slated to begin this fall. The 2023 graduate of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s Department of Physical Therapy fills his days with a mix of clinical duties and attending practices for his athletes.

Clinic hours stretch from six to eight, primarily dedicated to treating athletes, followed by another three to four hours spent in the training room with various sports teams. Adding to these responsibilities he also attends, didactic modules, lectures, labs, and journal clubs punctuate the residency, ensuring continuous professional growth and skill refinement. Cornejo says that the highlight of his daily routine is the collaboration with fellow health care professionals during practices and games.

Reflecting on his time in school, Cornejo credits HSC’s physical therapy program for fostering a robust foundation in orthopedic skills, crucial for early success in residency. One faculty member in specific, Dr. Charles Nichols, made a lasting impact on his education.

“Dr. Nichols’ musculoskeletal curriculum played a pivotal role in shaping my confidence and competence in the field,” Cornejo said. “I often find myself revisiting my MSK notes.”

The residency journey comes with its share of challenges — long hours and multifaceted responsibilities demand unwavering dedication and efficient time management. Yet, Cornejo views these hurdles as necessary steps toward personal and professional growth.

“Residency is a huge commitment,” Cornejo said. “But it’s immensely rewarding to witness my evolution as a therapist and contribute to my patients’ healing journeys.”

He considers resilience and a growth mindset as pivotal to success as a physical therapist. The realm of sports is extremely competitive. It requires perseverance in the face of adversity and a continuous drive for improvement. Cornejo says to succeed as a sports physical therapist you have to stay resilient and keep learning. He advises aspiring sports therapists, urging them to seek mentorship and embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

As Cornejo’s career continues to progress, the opportunity to impact athletes’ lives stands as a unique privilege.

“The bond I get to form with each patient while accompanying them through setbacks and triumphs makes everything worth it,” Cornejo said. “If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be to slow down and enjoy the journey. It’s all going to be worth it.”

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