Meet Do Kyung (DK) Yun, First Year PT Student

February 17, 2023 • Uncategorized

For some, the road to a physical therapy program is linear, but for first year physical therapy student Do Kyung (DK) Yun, a variety of professional and life experiences led him to his calling. 

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DK Yun and family

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Yun moved to Pennsylvania after graduating high school to pursue higher education. Soon after, however, he ended up dropping out and returning to Los Angeles, going back to working odd jobs to eke out a living. After finding his footing again, he re-enrolled in community college and later transferred to Georgetown University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Upon graduation, Yun explored his passion for education by becoming a middle school teacher in Boston through the Americorps program, working with students who were struggling academically. He then took his experience internationally, moving to Honduras to teach at a bilingual school. 

“I loved my experiences in teaching and when I came back to Los Angeles I was thinking of continuing in the field of education,” said Yun. “Then I got another opportunity to work as a community/labor organizer at a nonprofit that I volunteered at during high school and college breaks.” 

“Working in my hometown, in the working class, immigrant community I grew up in, we fought for workers’ and immigrants’ rights,” said Yun. “It was during this time that I discovered physical therapy, because many of the people I was working with, day laborers, hotel, garment workers, were doing physical therapy due to the nature of their jobs.”

The combination of his passion for education and empowerment led Yun to look into what it would take to become a physical therapist, a pivot from a sociology degree. He began prerequisite science courses one by one in 2019 while continuing to work full-time. 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and our capabilities. I saw that one of the main prerequisites was anatomy and physiology, and I decided that if I liked the subject after taking the class, I will begin looking seriously into physical therapy programs. Turns out that I did, and I realized that physical therapy is this incredible blend of a human science with the art of relationship building,” said Yun.  

He was drawn to HSC because of the area after living on opposite coasts, as well as the program’s opportunities to partake in rural and international clinical education sites. 

“I have a lot of friends in the DFW area and visited frequently,” said Yun. “Travel is a big passion of mine and I hadn’t lived here before, so I wanted to take a chance and immerse myself in a different culture. I believe that you learn so much about humanity by meeting people from all walks of life, so whenever I can, I try to make that happen.”

“I chose the program because at the Health Science Center, there’s opportunities to collaborate with other health professions, to not get tunnel visioned, to step outside your comfort zone and find your way in a new place.” said Yun. “I’m big on making the most of the education that we’re privileged with, and I’ve found many things here to be appreciative of: the inter-professional education sessions that build our foundation for working as a team in health care, the anatomy labs that helped me learn about the human body in a way that cannot be substituted, the simulation lab where I can immerse myself in real-world scenarios and have the freedom to be creative and try different ideas.” 

“I am grateful every day to be able to go back to school and learn about something that I believe in wholeheartedly,” said Yun. “My passion for education, for empowerment on an individual and on a community level, and for health and well-being is all coming together.”