The most recent addition to our Sport + Spine team is Samantha (Sam) Cooper, DPT. A student in our clinic this spring, she recently received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and joined the team full time. Meet Sam Cooper.


Where she studied: Sam earned two degrees from Rockhurst University, her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Administration first, then her Doctor of Physical Therapy . . .

. . . and she’s not done yet: Sam is on her way to earning her MBA from Rockhurst as well. Yes, that means two Master’s degrees in progress at once!

How she decided to become a physical therapist: Sam worked alongside an athletic trainer in high school, which first spurred her interest in the field. “I got my feet wet in the athletic rehab side of it and really enjoyed it.” Physical therapy, she says, “is such a passion for me.”

An injury-free PT: Sam is uncommon in the PT field, having no injuries and no physical therapy of her own. “I’ve never had any injuries, which is rare for a PT,” Sam says. “But this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Physical therapy across the map: Sam’s clinical experiences took place across the map, including Oregon and Nebraska. Her favorite location, however, was Ecuador, where she traveled to do physical therapy as part of a medical missions trip in the summer of 2013. She’s also worked at a pro bono clinic in Kansas City.

Family: Sam is very close to her parents and her two brothers. She grew up in Platte City, and her family is still in the metro area. “It’s great that we all live in the KC area, because we like to hang out often.” And Sam’s family is about to grow — she is recently engaged and planning a wedding with her fiancé Austin.

What she loves most about Sport + Spine: “I love the functional aspect of Sport + Spine,” Sam says. “It’s not just PT after an injury. Instead, it’s about keeping you well and keeping you moving. And I love that Sport + Spine is at the forefront.”

Outside Sport + Spine: Sam enjoys spending time outside, especially at Shawnee Mission Park, as well as swimming. And she’s studying a lot these days too, as she works to complete her MBA in Healthcare Management at Rockhurst’s Helzberg School of Management.

Favorite restaurant: La Bodega

Favorite coffee shop: Coffee Girls

Books she loves: “I like mystery and adventure,” Sam says, and especially loved Gone Girl.

TV favorites: Bones — “it’s like medical CSI,” Sam says — as well as Arrow and Flash.

Favorite teams to cheer for: Sporting KC, as well as The Royals

Best part of her Sport + Spine job: “In prevention and wellness and outpatient rehab, we get to see patients on the full spectrum,” Sam says. “I love watching them progress and watching them grow.”