Webcam image of Tyrell McGee with caption reading "Rizing Tide 2021 Crest Recipient Tyrell McGee"

Trust and Healthcare: Meet Rizing Tide Scholar Tyrell McGee

Rizing Tide Team

This is the fifth installment of Rizing Tide’s Lighthouse Series which spotlights our exceptional scholars. Stay tuned for our sixth installment!

From having a personal experience with PT to offering personal training, Rizing Tide scholar Tyrell McGee is no stranger to the world of health, fitness, and physical therapy. A student athlete and a graduate student at Regis University’s PT program, Tyrell was exposed to the healthcare field at a young age.  

“My mom has always worked in different doctors’ offices,” explains Tyrell when asked why he chose to pursue a physical therapy career. “She’s been a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for years and years…So I’ve always been attracted to the medical field in general.”

Tyrell experienced the power of physical therapy first-hand when he played football during his undergraduate college career. As with most athletes, his football career didn’t come without injuries—knee injuries, to be exact—which led him to spend time with trainers and physical therapists. Tyrell saw a PT for daily treatment to maintain his athletic performance. Off the field, he spent even more time with physical therapists as an exercise science intern. “Day one it was like, ‘oh yeah, this is it’…I fell in love with it immediately,” Tyrell says. 

Now in his graduate program, Tyrell is enjoying his experience at Regis. His program encourages students to strive to be more than a good therapist—students should strive to be a good person who works as a physical therapist. Outside of his studies, Tyrell also works as a personal trainer who helps clients improve both their physical and mental health. He is excited to enter the PT field because he loves seeing how mental and physical health often walk hand-in-hand. 

Though he hasn’t yet decided which PT specialty to pursue, he is weighing the pros and cons of working in pediatrics and sports therapy. “I’m torn. Right now, I would love to work in sports. I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” Tyrell explains, “and so it would be big for me to be able to work in the sports field and keep people healthy…But I do have a lot of experience working with children…which I think would be a lot of fun.”

Tyrell may still have a big career choice ahead of him, but he already knows that he’s rock solid in his excitement about working with different people and giving patients the opportunity to see someone in the clinic who looks like him. He believes that adding to the diversity of the field will help more patients develop connections with and gain confidence with their medical providers, allowing them to trust on a more personal level. He defines this as the key to success. “I found in personal training where if you can connect to people on a personal level, they’re going to listen a lot more. They’re going to be a lot more intentional about what they do, what they choose to do, and what they choose not to do,” says Tyrell. 

When he finishes graduate school, Tyrell wants to be a good community member and medical professional—one who instills faith in the field and makes PT visits comfortable for all patients—no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, or age. Tyrell is motivated to add trust back into healthcare.

About the Author

Rizing Tide Team

Rizing Tide is a scholarship program designed to empower a new generation of BIPOC leaders in the physical therapy profession. We partner with PT and PTA students, PT residents, and industry leaders to advance diversity and inclusiveness in the physical therapy workforce and inspire better—and more accessible—patient care.