From Athlete to LSVT BIG Specialist at Carolina PT

Physical Therapist Megan Leach from Northeast Columbia Carolina PT stands confidently in front of an LSVT BIG poster.

Happy Physical Therapy Month!!


To celebrate PT Month, we asked one of our own, Megan Leach, PT at our Northeast Columbia clinic, why she chose a career in physical therapy and why she chose the Carolina Physical Therapy family. Carolina Physical Therapy proudly serves the South Carolina community across 11 locations. Some of our specialties include aquatic therapy, dry needling, Graston, pelvic health, TMJ, and more! Our hands-on approach provides services that examine and treat immediate problems. We then teach patients how to use their bodies properly to gain strength and mobility and to prevent future injuries.  Carolina Physical Therapy utilizes evidence-based treatment protocols that are both objective and measurable. We are committed to educating our patients so that they understand their personal treatments.

What does it mean to be a physical therapist?

I think to each person you may ask, we all wear a different hat. There are so many different niches that are available to therapists, and that variety is what makes our profession so great. I work in an outpatient orthopedics clinic in the Northeast as part of Carolina Physical Therapy, and while this wasn’t where I pictured myself at 16 when I first envisioned being a PT, this is where I belong.

Many times as therapists we are asked “How did you become a PT?”, and for every person working in this company I think the answer may differ, but the basics are the same- we do it to help people. My story, like many others I know, began years ago as a multi-sport athlete spending many hours performing my own therapy. As a soccer player, track runner, and overall gold star klutz, I spent my high school and college years in and out of therapy for various injuries. I knew from some of that experience that I wanted to pursue PT as a profession, but it wasn’t until I was a junior in college that I really felt this was what I wanted and needed to do.

Megan’s personal journey

Rewinding to being a college soccer player, after an unfortunate career-ending injury, I participated in recreational sports to keep my dream going. After (yet another) unfortunate accident in which my head met someone’s foot, I required extensive vestibular therapy and concussion rehab. Going from having trouble seeing straight, forming words, and needing help to do the most basic of academic and self-care tasks, to being able to study through being in the top percent of my class was an achievement I didn’t think I’d be able to claim. I felt I owed a lot to my therapist, and in that moment I realized- I can do this too. My goal became to make this big of a difference in someone’s life- and off to PT school I went. 

How Megan found her niche

Staff at Carolina Physical Therapy having fun at a marketing event in South Carolina.

From this experience and the multiple opportunities presented to me in PT school, I fell in love with neuroscience and neurological conditions. From there I fell in love with treating Parkinson’s Disease, and people living with it. When I packed up my things and moved from a small town in Southern New Jersey to the capital of South Carolina, I never thought that less than a year in I would be spearheading the return of LSVT-BIG with my clinic director Sharon.

Carolina Physical Therapy, as an employer, prides itself on its family environment, and I truly feel they succeed at it. Being a new grad is daunting, and being welcomed into the fold like I’ve been here for years made the transition so much easier. I think that our patients speak for themselves, and the environment that CPT fosters is the reason why so many people keep coming back- after having multiple tough recoveries, our patients have voiced to us that they trust that they are getting quality care. Not only that, but the environment of the clinic, and the personalities of the staff make their sessions easier.

Hearing from patients that what you are doing has helped them, even if in the smallest of ways, reinforces why we went through school, clinicals, and boards. Seeing the reactions on patients’ faces when they hit their goals, or when they see themselves walking for the first time after participating in specialized programs will never get old for me!

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into physical therapy?

Take it from me, school and clinical are hard, but the reward you get from changing lives is worth it. Everyone has a part of PT that they love, and if you don’t find yours right away, that’s okay- just remember what made you pick PT in the first place, and follow your gut.

Are you looking for a rewarding career in Physical Therapy? If so, check out our job openings at Carolina Physical Therapy here!